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Massage for mental health

Many people suffer from different levels of mental health. As mental health conditions become more common, people are seeking for more treatment options such as massage therapy. Feelings of anxiety and depression are the most common conditions that can be reduced through massage treatment. Massage provides relaxation and stress relief in the body. Massage can be a powerful tool which can fit into a treatment plan for mental health issues.

What is massage for mental health?

Mental health is a person's state of mind. Mental health is associated with psychological and emotional well-being. Mental health problems can range from the worries of everyday life to serious long term conditions. Mental health can be divided into two groups called "neurotic" or "psychotic". Neurotic mental health covers severe symptoms of "normal" emotions such as depression, anxiety or panic. Anxiety and depression are common problems that can be severe and long lasting and have an impact on people's lives. A less common form of mental health is psychotic behaviour. Psychotic behaviour can interfere with a person's perception of reality. Mental health problems can affect the way you think, feel and behave. Many mental health problems can be diagnosed by a doctor and treated with medication, psychologists and massage.

Customer going through a sheet of different body parts with instructor in Manchester Physio Clinic

When can massage help for mental health?

At Physio.co.uk our massage therapists can provide a range of treatment catering to a wide range of circumstances. Massage is an appropriate tool to use for mental health in the following circumstances:

Massage can be applied for relaxation purposes. Relaxation can come in both psychological and physiological forms. Psychological relaxation refers to the reduction in stress hormone release such as cortisol. A reduction in the level of cortisol within the blood will allow the individual to feel a reduction in anxiety, stress and depression. Physiological relaxation refers to the increase in tissue flexibility, elasticity and pliability. A reduction in musculoskeletal tension can allow the individual to feel a reduction in pain and increase their range of movement and flexibility.

Massage can be extremely beneficial to an individual with mental health problems prior to a stressful event. Stressful events for an individual with mental health issues can include a business meeting, interviews or a first day at a new job. During periods of stress the body increases the release of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress, anxiety and fear. Low levels of cortisol can enable the individual to become alert, attentive and observant during the "fight" or "flight" response. Prolonged periods of high cortisol levels can leave an individual feeling anxious, stressed and even depressed. Massage can be used to inhibit the production of cortisol which can enable the individual to feel relaxed and calm. Massage can also be used following a stressful event e.g. following a work presentation, first day at the new job or exam. Following stressful situations the body will have experienced a sudden increase in levels of adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine which are all stress related hormones involved in the body's "fight or flight" system. Although stress hormones can be beneficial within stressful situations to become alert, aware and focused, it can be hard to relax following a stressful event when such hormones are no longer needed. The application of massage can reduce the production of stress hormones. A reduction in stress hormone levels can allow the individual to feel calm and relaxed.

What are the physiological effects of a massage for mental health?

The application of massage can produce a number of physiological effects such as;

Massage can increase the release of endorphins such as serotonin and dopamine. Endorphins are released during times of happiness and relaxation. Low levels of endorphins are common within people managing a mental health problem due to the stress associated. Low levels of endorphins are linked to negative thoughts, anxiety, stress and depression. Massage can stimulate an increase in the release of endorphins through stimulating the autonomic nervous system. An increase in levels of endorphins such as serotonin and dopamine can leave the individual feeling positive, enthusiastic, and relaxed.

Massage can decrease the release of cortisol. Cortisol is a stress related hormone released during times of threat. High levels of cortisol are linked to feelings of anxiety, stress and depression. Massage can reduce the production of cortisol by promoting relaxation. A reduction in the levels of cortisol can leave the individual feeling calm, relaxed and happy.

Massage can increase tissue temperature. An increase tissue temperature is achieved through stimulating an increase in blood circulation. An increase in blood circulation is gained through vasodilation. Vasodilation occurs when the smooth muscles surrounding blood vessels relax which widens the vessels. An increase in blood circulation can warm the tissues allowing them to become more relaxed. An increase in tissue temperature can lead to an increase in flexibility, tissue elasticity and decreased pain.

Customer receiving upper back massage in relaxed position in Manchester Physio Clinic

What are the benefits of a massage for mental health?

Symptoms of mental health can have many negative effects. Massage can help to reduce symptoms and help improve mood. Massage has many benefits towards helping mental health, these include:

Massage treatment can help produce clarity of mind. When receiving a massage, the individual has time to relax and think about current problems or issues without any distractions. Sometimes people need time to ???unwind???, during the presence of a mental health issues this need to ???unwind??? can be essential to reduce stress, anxiety and avoid depression. The application of slow, long and gentle massage strokes can enable the individual to experience clarity of mind. Additionally, the friendly and personable therapists at Physio.co.uk are happy to listen to any problems and issues which need to be discussed and spoken out loud.

Massage can decrease stress levels. Individuals with a mental health issues can experience high levels of stress and anxiety. In order to avoid further health related issues the individual should identify a method of managing and decreasing stress levels. Massage can stimulate the production of the body's natural endorphins which are involved in mood regulation, stress reduction and relaxation. The increase in endorphins such as serotonin and dopamine enable the individual to experience a reduction in stress levels.

Massage can encourage the individual to experience a relaxed state both physically and psychologically. Physical relaxation can be achieved through reducing muscular tension and increasing tissue temperature. Physical relaxation is achieved through the application of moderate to deep massage strokes which can manipulate the soft tissue to reduce adhesive connections between the muscular fibres. The application of such techniques stimulate vasodilation, which refers to the widening of blood vessels. Massage enabled the tissues to increase in temperature due to an increase in blood circulation. Psychological relaxation can be achieved through the stimulation of relaxing hormones and endorphins such as serotonin and dopamine. The production of such endorphins enables the individual to feel calm, relaxed and peaceful.

Massage can stimulate an increase in energy. Living with a mental health condition can be draining. The application of a high tempo massage can help excite tired or fatigued muscles. High tempo massage can stimulate an increase in blood circulation, and cellular exchange which increases the release of oxygen and nutrients from the blood into the muscles. An increase in cellular exchange can leave the individual feeling refreshed and invigorated.

Summary

The therapists at Physio.co.uk can provide massage treatment that can benefit an individual managing a mental health condition in both a physical and psychological sense. Massage can be extremely beneficial when applied for relaxation, prior to a stressful event and following a stressful event. The application of massage can produce a number of physiological effects such as an increase in the release of endorphins, serotonin and dopamine, a decrease in cortisol levels and an increase in tissue temperature. The benefits of massage are vast with regards to mental health but include a reduction in stress, an increased clarity of mind, relaxation and increased energy.

How can I arrange a massage to help mental health?

To arrange a massage to help mental health at Physio.co.uk, email us at office@physio.co.uk or call us on 0161 883 0077.

You can also book an appointment online and save £10.

Call us on: 0330 088 7800
Phone: 0330 088 7800
Call us on: 0330 088 7800
Mobile: 0330 088 7800
Email us on: office@physio.co.uk
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