Massage Therapy & Mental Health

Massage is well known to help with physical muscle and joint wellness, although research and experience show it’s also an effective holistic approach to support emotional and mental health too.

Massage therapy has been shown to provide relief and results for anxiety, depression, work stress and even anorexia because it helps your body to relax, which facilitates patients a better opportunity to use coping skills that have been acquired elsewhere, such as counselling.

Of all mental disorders, Health Canada reports anxiety conditions top the list. An estimated 10% of Canadians suffer anxiety in some form (1), though anxiety can be reduced by the positive effects of massage. Studies show massage therapy to be effective in the reduction of symptoms of pain, anxiety, and depression in oncological patients (2).

Everyone can benefit from massage, especially those experience stress at work! Touch Research Institute (TRI) research amazingly shows increased speed and accuracy on math computations while reporting lower job stress with two weekly fifteen minute periods of therapeutic massage (3).

Another study by TRI demonstrates massage therapy’s reduction of anorexia nervosa symptoms including decreased body dissatisfaction on the Eating Disorder Inventory, decreased ‘stress’ hormone cortisol and increased ‘relax’ hormones dopamine and norepinephrine levels with massage twice weekly for a five week period (3).

Along with other wellness approaches of proper nutrition, fitness, naturopathic medicine and counselling, massage therapy is an effective strategy for your health plan!

~Eleanor Hayward RMT, Holistic Practitioner