May is Mental Health Month, so I’d like to write a little about what receiving massage has done for my own mental health. As you have probably seen on many lists of “the benefits of massage” it is a powerful tool in helping to ease depression and anxiety. There is a lot of research that proves this, but what I can share is my own proof of how massage truly helped me.
During a time when I was struggling with depression, I received several massages. This was a very powerful experience for me, in that during that hour I was free from any darkness that I felt. It was a time where I could simply be in my body and nothing was expected of me, and that in itself was very healing. I felt emotionally achy all the time and massage soothed me and allowed me to feel loved, comforted and alive. I remember these experiences very vividly, and in my mind as the image of a warm fire on a cold winter night. These experiences are part of what led me to become a massage therapist.
When you are experiencing any form of depression or anxiety it becomes very difficult to not always be focused on those feelings. Massage allows for a deep, wordless experience and a break from the constant chatter of the world and our minds. It is a space to quietly rest and allow the body and mind to recharge their innate healing abilities. For me this had tremendous power in allowing me to begin to heal.
There are many helpful treatments that work for depression and anxiety from therapy to medication. But if you are experiencing any drop in mental health be it from depression, anxiety or just plain being a human, I sincerely recommend that you try adding a massage to your treatment plan, because you deserve it and it might just really help :)