Is Massage the Perfect Prescription for Mental Health?

Is Massage the Perfect Prescription for Mental Health?

Balance your brain with this holistic health strategy.

Who doesn’t like a good massage?  We all see it as a treat, a relaxing way to pamper ourselves.  But more than just a luxury, regular massage (sometimes called bodywork) can actually be highly therapeutic for a number of reasons.

It’s common knowledge that in order to be healthy we need to eat right, get good quality sleep, and exercise.  However, we sometimes forget that there are other components of self-care that can also support wellness.  Massage therapy appears to be an effective form of complementary and alternative medicine.

According to information published by the Mayo Clinic on Stress Management, in addition to supporting fibromyalgia, soft tissue pain, sports injuries, and headaches, massage therapy can also potentially be supportive for conditions like anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

Massage for mental wellbeing

So, in addition to relieving physical tension and stress, it appears that massage therapy is actually supportive for a much wider variety of issues.  And, this isn’t totally brand new information.  One study from 1998 published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine found significant decreases in depression and anxiety among adolescent athletes given massage therapy.

A new small scale study found improvement of attention deficit hyperactivity (ADHD) symptoms in children.  While it is a small study, 100% of the therapeutic group responded positively.  Of course, this indicates a need for more studies, but certainly also makes adding massage therapy an intervention worth considering for mental health.

For women, massage therapy has even been shown to be supportive for relieving premenstrual symptoms.  Study participants had improved mood and decreased pain after their massages.  They also had reduced water retention making this an important part of self-care for those who struggle with severe premenstrual issues.

Balancing the brain

On a higher level, massage therapy has been shown to have a positive impact on neurotransmitter status with measurable decreases in cortisol, as well as an increase in both serotonin and dopamine following a session of massage therapy. These positive changes in neurotransmitter status are quite probably linked to reduction in pain and increase in mood.

As a positive adjunct to the benefits of massage therapy for mood stabilization there is also the potential to use amino acids which can be highly supportive for neurotransmitter balance.  These should be taken with supervision or guidance in order to establish which ones are needed.

One supplement that can be effective for mood, energy, and focus is Ultra H-3. Formulated with 100 mg of procaine hydrochloride it releases its natural constituents of para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) and diethylaminoethanol (DEAE).

Hundreds of clinical studies have shown that procaine HCl can help to balance buildup of the critical enzyme monoamine oxidase which in turn enhances mental clarity, concentration, energy and an overall feeling of wellbeing. Based on a 60-year Romanian formula, this formulation has also been reported to help with sleep, relief from joint pain, and improved energy.

Overall, remember to make massage part of your holistic health care plan. And don’t forget to always make personal wellness and self-care something you practice regularly!

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Field, T., Cortisol decreases and serotonin and dopamine increase following massage therapy. Int J Neurosci. 2005 Oct;115(10):1397-413.
Field, TM., et al. Adolescents with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder benefit from massage therapy. Adolescence. Vol. 33, No. 129. Spring 1998.
Hernandez-Reif, M., et al. Premenstrual symptoms are relieved by massage therapy.  Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology.  Volume 21, Issue 1, 2000.
Zadkhosh, SM, et al., The effect of massage therapy on depression, anxiety and stress in adolescent wrestlers. International Journal of Sport Studies. Vol., 5 (3), 321-327, 2015.

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About UNI KEY Health

The team at Uni Key Health Systems is committed to helping others take control of their health and wellness. We practice what we preach and believe health is one of the greatest gifts. We are led by founder James Templeton who founded UNI KEY in 1992 after he used alternative health modalities to heal himself from a terminal cancer diagnosis. He has since dedicated his life to helping others achieve optimum health and wellness.

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