Massage Can Alleviate Symptoms of Depression

Massage Can Alleviate Symptoms of Depression

on Dec 13, 2016

Tis the season! This hectic time of year, compounded with cold, dreary days and lack of sunshine is when those struggling see an increase in symptoms of depression. Massage is a safe, non-invasive way to alleviate these symptoms. Depression effects people of all ages including children, teens, young adults, midlife and the elderly. Let’s explore how common symptoms are manifested in different ages and how massage can alleviate the symptoms of depression.

Children

Depression in younger children tends to present itself physically through feeling of sadness, irritability, worry, aches and pains and weight problems. Sometimes depression can also be associated with ADHD. Massage provides benefits to children without the side effect of prescription medication. It is not clear whether antidepressants are safe and effective for children and adolescents. Recent meta-analyses have cast doubt on the clinical significance of antidepressant efficacy and raised concerns about increased suicidal behaviors. An Australian study on alternative treatments for depression in children concluded, “Massage has an immediate effect on emotional state…:” Long term, sustained benefits are still being studied.

Teen and Young Adults

In addition to the symptoms discussed in young children, teens may also experience feelings of being misunderstood and extreme sensitivity, use of drugs and alcohol, self harm and an avoidance of social activity. The benefits of massage to alleviate symptoms of depression in teens may need special consideration. Because antidepressant drugs function by affecting the central nervous system the long term effects are difficult to determine. This can be particularly worrisome in young people who brains are still developing.  The use of massage to alleviate symptoms of depression may be most beneficial in this age group. Massage is a safe, noninvasive alternative or compliment to modern day treatment methods.

Midlife

Also known as “the sandwich generation” and is a time of great transition. People in this age group often become overwhelmed and feel pulled in all directions. Juggling work and home life, relationships, caring for growing children and perhaps aging parents pose a set of stressors that can lead to symptoms of depression in this age group.  Some ways massage can alleviate symptoms of depression may include; relaxation and improvement in sleep patterns.  Many seek to avoid the use of prescription medication and their side effects, therefore leaving them to seek alternative treatment methods, like massage. A holistic approach in midlife may be the best approach to overall wellness.  Practices of self-care can go a long way in helping us navigate the rough waters of midlife.

The Elderly

According to an article from WebMD, late-life depression affects about 6 million Americans ages 65 and older. Not all are being effectively treated with modern day methods of prescription medication. Let’s look at how massage can alleviate symptoms of depression in this age group. Because of the relaxing affects of massage some common symptoms can be alleviated including, sleep problems, aching muscles and joints, headaches, agitation and restlessness.

 

A review of more than a dozen massage studies conducted by the Touch Research Institute at the University Of Miami School Of Medicine concludes that massage therapy relieves symptoms of depression and anxiety by affecting the body’s biochemistry. When paired with other noninvasive remedies like; light therapy, counseling, dietary control, mediation and physical activity, massage may be even more effective in people of all ages. In this article the positive effects of massage therapy on biochemistry are reviewed including decreased levels of cortisol and increased levels of serotonin and dopamine without the side effects of medication. Euphoria Spa and Wellness offers a variety of massage therapy options that can alleviate symptoms of depression. We want to be your happy place!