How Does Massage Therapy help with Mental Health?
Discovering How Massage Therapy Leads to a Healthier, Happier You
No matter where you turn, it seems like we’re surrounded by things that trigger our stress and anxiety.
We’re in the middle of a pandemic, gas prices are skyrocketing, and there are big things happening in the world that are beyond our control. Add to it the daily stressors of work, traffic, and maintaining a household, and you can see how all these things can affect your mental health.
According to recent statistics from the American Psychological Association, more than three-quarters of adults report symptoms of stress. That can include symptoms such as tiredness, headache, difficulty focusing, and sleeping problems. Statistics tell us that stress has a direct impact on quality of life and the ability to function, which means many people are walking around right now that are not feeling 100%.
So, how do we handle the effects of stress?
There are plenty of healthy ways to combat the effects of stress and improve your mental health. According to the CDC, some of the most popular methods include getting exercise, meditating, mental health counseling, breathing exercises, taking breaks from reading the news and social media, and massage therapy.
What is Massage Therapy?
Performed by a licensed massage therapist (LMT), massage therapy is the manipulation of skin and muscle tissue using the hands, forearms, and elbows. In some varieties of massage therapy, your LMT may even use their knees or their feet.
Whatever method your LMT uses, the intended result remains the same: to relieve the body of stress, pain, and anxiety. It is a highly utilized resource for those who battle physical pain and/or mental health issues. In fact, recent statistics show that close to fifty million people per year partake in therapy. People love massage therapy because it’s readily available, affordable, and immensely effective. It’s been called a “wonder drug” without the actual drug portion.
How Does Massage Therapy Improve Mental Health?
Think about how you feel after a bad night of sleep or a particularly hard day at work. You’re more than likely cranky, unfocused, and not feeling like your best self. You may even have physical symptoms such as pain, tight muscles, or aches. Bottom line: stress leads to bad mental health. Even the strongest among us can only take so much.
This is exactly where therapy and its benefits come into play. During the process of therapy, your LMT will manipulate your soft tissues to improve your circulation with oxygen-rich blood flow. These techniques naturally release endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, which are known as your “feel good” chemicals.
The great thing about massage therapy is that you don’t have to exercise or take any medication to achieve these amazing results. It’s all as simple as laying down on the table and letting your licensed massage therapist work their magic. In fact, most people who get therapy report an improvement in mental and physical health in this little as an hour.
Other Benefits of Massage Therapy
Don’t think that you have to wait until you’re on the brink of a breakdown in order to take advantage of massage therapy. Many people use therapy as a form of routine maintenance for their mental and physical health. If you want to get the maximum benefit out of therapy, our recommendation is to get it at least once or twice a week.
Getting regular massage therapy means that you will see ongoing benefits for your physical and mental health. Here are some of the most popular ones:
- Improvement in sleep
- Getting to sleep
- Staying asleep
- Achieving deeper sleep
- Improved focus
- Improved mood
- Reduced fatigue
- Reduced anxiety
- Decreased hormones that cause anxiety
- Reduced stress
- Reduced depression associated with seasonal affective disorder
- Reduced blood pressure
- Reduced physical pain and body aches
- Increased mobility
As you can see by this extensive list of benefits, massage therapy is an effective and quick method to improve your mental and physical health.
How to Book Your Massage Therapy Appointment?
Booking your first massage therapy appointment should be easy because it’s such a widely available service. You can either Google the phrase “massage therapy near me” or “massage therapy in Kansas City” to get started. That should bring up several therapy clinics in your area.
When it comes to selecting a therapy clinic, it helps to go with the one that has several positive reviews from customers. You should also check to see if the clinic offers the specific massage therapy service that you want. Many first-time customers start out with the traditional Swedish massage, but you should feel free to try out deep tissue, hot stone massage, or other varieties that look intriguing to you. If you’re having trouble deciding, you can always ask your licensed massage therapist for their professional recommendation.