Depression can vary from mild to severe and you should consult with your primary for the latter. Fortunately, massage can and has been a part of the healing process for milder forms of depression including SAD (seasonal affective disorder).
Symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can include:
– Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
– Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
– Changes in appetite
– Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
– Loss of energy, feeling fatigued
– Feeling worthless of guilty
– Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
There are many studies which conclude that massage therapy fights of depression by lowering cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is the body’s response to stress and massage therapy has been known to lower it by as much as 50%.
At the same time, massage therapy also has been known to increase levels of serotonin and dopamine, which are both known as the “feel good chemicals” secreted by the brain to stabilize your mood. When cortisol levels are lowered, and serotonin levels are increased, you are boosting your body’s abilities to fight off pain, anxiety, and feelings of sadness.
The emotional balance that massage can deliver is just as vital as the physical benefits. It can increase awareness of the mind-body connection.