Use Massage to Reduce Depression and Other Mood Disorders

By: Scott Meyers

Millions of Americans suffer from mood disorders and depression. Only one third of those afflicted with depression pursue outside aid for their problem. Anxiety and depression are the most common diagnoses of all psychiatric problems. The World Health Organization believes that depression will be the second cause of disability behind heart disease as the reason for disability worldwide. Depression is most often treated with medications, but can you hopefully find another way to lift your mood? Massage therapy could be the answer for your depression problems.

Massage is said to be one of the oldest forms of treatment. It was recorded in history thousands of years ago. It has a basic element of humanity. It is human nature to pat your friends' hand or give them a hug if they are having a hard time. Touch and therapeutic massage have been used for centuries as a cure for illness and disease.

Advances in medicine replaced a massage as the medicine of choice in the early 1950's. New drugs and medical techniques were discovered every day and massage was replaced by technology. Massage therapy was used extensively in mental hospitals and sanatoriums but is just now regaining popularity for treatment of mental and psychological problems.

Studies have been made about the synergistic effect of relaxing massage on depression. Studies prove depression is reduced after massage therapy. Anxiety levels drop as well as stress hormones. The body releases natural endorphins during a massage. Endorphins are responsible for lifting the mood. There is a link between the body and mind and massage helps, but no one understands why. Studies have been made on depressed teen mothers. After receiving 30 minutes of massage or relaxation therapy over a five-week period the selective group showed a marked difference between emotional stress hormone levels and anxiety. Those teen mothers who took part in the study who did not receive massage therapy did not show a reduction in anxiety or depression.

Why does therapeutic massage make you feel better? Scientists are not sure if it is physical or psychological. Could it be as a response to the human touch either physically or psychologically? It could be both. Scientists believe there is a definite link between your mood and emotions and physical touch. Many people express a fundamental need for a hug, the physical link between any human. Massage is a basic and fundamental physical act that bonds us to another human being. Many genuinely believe the sense of touch is a different way of communicating through the skin.

While receiving a massage, the body responds to the relaxing of the muscles and tendons. Toxins stored in the muscles have been massaged out of the muscles and are flushed out of the body. Natural endorphins the body makes goes through the body easing minor aches and pains. Psychologically, the body responds to the gentle touch of another human being. You don't feel you are the only one in the world, and massage makes you feel pampered and cared for. This is a fundamental part of how individuals are made.

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Scott Meyers is a staff writer for Its Entirely Natural, a resource for helping you achieve a naturally healthy body, mind, and spirit. You may contact our writers through the web site. Follow this link for more information on Massage Therapy.

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