massage for improved mental health


Massage is not usually a therapy you associate with mental health but there is some evidence to suggest that it is a powerful tool, in combination with other treatments, to aid recovery from depression. When choosing a massage therapist it is likely you have many questions about what to expect. It is to be expected you will likely have some apprehension if using a therapy is new to you.  We at Seek a Therapy want to help answer your questions and concerns surrounding massage in order to help you select the right masseuse for you and on this page we have included some of the most common questions a person may have before treatment.

What is Massage?

Massage therapy is the manipulation of soft tissues of the body including, muscles, connective tissues, tendons, ligaments and joints.


Most people know that a massage therapist will manipulate your muscles and other soft tissues to enhance their function, promote relaxation, or sometimes both. The therapy itself has been used in China for more than 3,000 years. Some massage practitioners believe it has the ability to not only relax but also ease feelings of depression. Those therapists suggest that touch releases’happy’ hormones, (the same chemical as anti-depressants) into your body that create a sense of emotional connection and relaxation.

It is safe to suggest that massage may be able to help calm your mind and improve your mood, as well as ease physical aches and pains that are in your body.

What to Expect From A Massage Therapy

Obviously, when a person is massaged it is usually to relieve pain or stress within the muscles but also massage can help with other areas of your health.

When having a massage, it is usually the case you will be dressed in a gown and/or towel and asked to de-robe and lay down on a massage bed. This isn’t always the case as some massage is performed on chairs, and some solely on the feet, it would depend on the muscles that your therapist is targeting. The masseuse, once they have a good idea of your problem, will then begin work working your muscles and bones and sometimes the connective tissue to help relieve the tension.

When performed by a trained professional, most people report that massage therapy provides almost immediate gratification. You may feel relaxed and calm from the time your massage begins. You can combine it with more conventional treatment for depression, such as medication and psychotherapy as it is unlikely massage alone will be able to lift your depression.

How Massage Can Aid In Improving Our Mental Health?

How Can Massage Help Ease My Depression?

The list of ailments massage can be used to treat is just as long as the list of massage types. One recent study found that massage therapy can reduce pain, promote muscle relaxation, and improve both mood and sleep quality . Another study found that after subjects were massaged, the levels of cortisol (a hormone contributing to stress) in their saliva decreased. One study also found massage therapy’s pleasurable qualities can lead to recipients reporting a better body image, especially for women.

Please note, not everyone can give a massage, it must be a professionally trained masseuse and also, if you have any reason to believe you may have severe muscle pain or weak joints please let your therapist know before he/she begins work on your body.


How Much Does A Typical Massage Session Cost?

Costs can range depending upon the type of massage, locality and time required from £30/$50 per session and sometimes can go up to hundreds of pounds/dollars and occasionally more depending upon the therapist’s experience, speciality and location.

How Do I Know Which Masseuse To Choose?

Ask any masseuse do they have accreditations and can they provide evidence of them before undertaking any massage. As without this certificate, a massage could potentially be more problematic than therapeutic.

One of the most important parts of any therapy is the relationship and comfortableness between yourself and the therapist. When you feel you have found the right therapist that offers you good communication, a partnership, trust, goals and a feeling of genuine understanding then you will be able to relax fully into your massage.

How Long Does It Take To Heal Depression With Massage?

Massage on its own is unlikely to heal your depression. It should be used in combination with other therapies or medication such as counselling, psychotherapy, hypnotherapy or any other talking therapy to help identify and heal the thinking that is causing your depression.

What If Massage Doesn’t Work For Me?

First of all, don’t worry!

If you think massage could be beneficial but you have the wrong therapist then you have every right to seek a different masseuse. If, on the other hand, you don’t feel massage therapy is working at all then do not be disheartened, there are many, many different types of therapy to heal from depression and massage therapy is only one. Use our therapy directory to find a different therapy, you may find hypnotherapy works better or possibly some holistic treatment. The key is not to think this is your only option.

Massage Therapy For Depression

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Please note : This information should not replace professional medical advice, it is purely for informational purposes. At all times when you are in crisis please first seek help from your GP or another medical professional. Thankyou