Depression is never a matter of just “getting over it” or making the simple decision to be happy. While it is still not entirely demystified, it is clear that depression is tied to chemical balances in the brain. It can also have implications for other parts of an individual’s health. It has been shown that depression is often associated with cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and arthritis. Depression is a very real and very serious health concern, and holistic approaches to healing it can often prove effective beyond pharmaceutical treatments. Massage therapy has been shown to work with a person’s body to improve their body chemistry as well as overall health.
Depression can affect the balance of hormones within an individual’s body. This imbalance is associated with an over active stress system, which means that the body has too many stress hormones. This results in an overtaxed immune system, which means that it is more likely that a person will become sick. Massage lowers the levels of stress hormones, specifically cortisol, in the body, which gives the other systems under strain due to the stress hormone a chance to recuperate. Massage also stimulates serotonin and dopamine, natural endorphins that can help to reduce stress hormones.
Massage therapy also helps reduce joint pain and muscle tensions, which can contribute to a sense of lacking support that is prevalent in many people suffering from depression. Improved posture, increased range of motion, and improved digestive functioning can all help an individual feel more physically supported. These musculature changes can help a realign the internal functioning of a depressed, giving them a sense of support.
It should be noted that massage is not a replacement for other types of therapies, and should only be used in concordance with mental and medical health treatment plans.
Elements Massage Scottsdale on Shea is located at The Shops at 94th and Shea, 9343 E Shea Blvd., Suite 120.
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