Can Massage Improve Mental Health?

Male Therapist Doing Massage

Mental health and psychological disorders are extremely complicated issues with many people today struggling with poor mental health. Many people will know that massage therapy promotes relaxation, decreases stress, improves sleep and reduces pain. Research has also proven that massage can indeed improve a person’s mental health and well-being.

Most people are receptive to human contact, as it’s in our nature. The calming “touch bond” between the client and the therapist forms an unspoken trust which allows the client to relax. When this trust is formed, the psychological and physiological stress levels drop as the massage goes on. 

Can Massage Improve Mental Health?
Poor mental health associated with pain

Massage not only changes our biochemical hormone levels but can also improve pain-based depression, anxiety and avoidance. When we experience significant levels of pain, our brains automatically avoid all movements that will cause pain. Whether it be chronic pain or an acute injury we can all develop fear and anxiety associated with that injury.

Pain and depression are very closely related and can contribute to a vicious cycle where the pain is exacerbated by depression, and depression is worsened by the pain levels.  

Massage can help reduce the physical pain in musculoskeletal injuries by desensitizing the area and providing relief in or around the area. Even reducing a small amount of pain can go a long way for someone who lives with pain constantly, and can greatly impact their mental well-being in a positive way.  

Massage can play a major role in helping your mental health concerns, whether it be taking away your pain and increasing relaxation or taking your mind off your stresses.

References

Clarabut, J., 2019. Is massage good for mental health? | Wellbeing People. [online] Wellbeing People. Available at: https://www.wellbeingpeople.com/2019/07/23/is-massage-good-for-mental-health/ 

Physio.co.uk. 2022. Massage In Mental Health – Massage For Client Groups – Massage – Treatments – Physio.co.uk. [online] Available at: https://www.physio.co.uk/treatments/massage/massage-for-client-groups/massage-in-mental-health.php 

Healthline. 2016. Massage Therapy for Depression. [online] Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/massage-therapy#the-takeaway