Tag Archives: massage therapy

More Reasons To Schedule That Massage Appointment: Massage May Help Lower Depression

What’s not to love about a good back massage? There are few things more relaxing than lying down and doing absolutely nothing for an hour while somebody kneads at your back with massage oil to relaxing music. According to new research, it turns out that massage may possibly also help alleviate symptoms of depression, too.

Overall, the studies, which were of "moderate" quality, showed that massage therapy had "potentially significant effects" in alleviating symptoms of depression, the researchers report in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

It’s not clear from the analysis, they emphasize, whether a person would need to undergo regular massage therapy for benefits to persist.

There are a number of ways through which massage could help people with depression, the researchers note, for example, by reducing stress and inducing relaxation; building an "alliance" between the therapist and patient; and by causing the body to release the "trust hormone" oxytocin.

– Reuters.com

Certainly, more follow-up research is needed for more conclusive evidence. For most people struggling with depression, one massage session will not cure all of one individual’s sadness, insecurities and emotional issues. Still, any research that points towards a natural depression treatment option that does not require medication is pretty exciting stuff.

What would happen if weekly massage sessions happened in conjunction with cognitive therapy? Then we are giving some major healing to the mind and the body.

I would like to add one more possible way massage can help people with depression: in taking the initiative to call a massage therapist to set up an appointment, you are making a big step to take better care of yourself. More than that, it is a powerful expression of some major self-love.

Have you been giving yourself enough self-love lately or have you been taking your mind and body for granted with inadequate sleep, long work hours and constant self-criticism? If the latter rings more true to you, then consider it a sign to dial up your local massage therapist for a future date. How does Saturday afternoon sound to you? 

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / diamondduste


Massage Therapy Supports your Immune System

Regular therapeutic massage sessions offer significant benefits beyond the instant relaxation we enjoy. People who experience high levels of stress are likely to get sick more than others. Mix stress with lack of sleep and poor diet, and our body’s ability to naturally defend itself against bacteria and infection is seriously reduced.

Stress management is a key factor for anyone striving to reach a balanced lifestyle. Massage therapy has been proven to be one of the most effective ways for achieving stress relief. Research studies show massage therapy in fact boosts the body’s immune system, which can become compromised from prolonged periods of stress.

Jitka Frajbisova, LMT




Low Back Pain – A Healing Story

A few weeks ago, a young person came to me complaining of chronic low back pain over last five years.  During the intake questions, he suggested that it may have been caused by a football injury.

He had tried a number of different things to treat the pain.  X-rays did not reveal any structural damage and physical therapy along with pain medication hadn’t resolved the problem.

I began the session as usual and began seeking more information.  The client was a student at a state college, studying accounting.  He said he always knew he would be an accountant because his father was an accountant.  With that statement, a feeling of resignation and heaviness emanated from the young man.

I asked him if he liked it.

The answer was "no".

"What would you like to do?" I asked.  "What do you do now that you love, that brings you joy, that energizes you?"

"I’ve always wanted to be a professional athlete," he said with no hope in his voice.  "It’s too late for that."

"OK, what else could you do related to sports."

"I don’t know."

"Could you be a sports manager, sports trainer, sports promoter?  Could you be a coach?  How could you find out about a sport career?"

Just discussing the possible answers lightened his energy.  Having hope that he wouldn’t have to be an accountant like his father, changed his perspective.

"I’m not suggesting that you quit college," I said. "All I’m suggesting is that you never, ever give up your dreams.  Maybe you could add a class in a sports related field of study just to try it out."

By the time the young man turned over so I could massage his low back pain, the pain was gone.  It stayed gone even when he got up and walked out of the therapy room.

"That’s amazing!"  he said.  "I’ve tried everything and my back always hurt."

"Yes, and all you had to do was give up the idea that you were going to grow up to be something that you didn’t want to be."

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