As shared in the “About” section, The Warriors’ Purpose, LLC was inspired and cultivated through relationships and my mission with Warrior Bodywork & Massage. As a newly Licensed Massage Therapist, I had no idea that massage therapy would be the catalyst to realizing so many dreams and visions that have whispered in my ears for the past 25 years. Now, with our new facility under construction, my main activities will be massage therapy, but there will also be MANY other activities held at our Healing and Creative Arts Center.
But first, I found it fitting to start our very first blog post sharing an article about what massage and bodywork can do specifically for depression (aside from the MANY other benefits). I find what I do to be healing arts, and ties right in to our upcoming projects to be held at the Healing and Creative Arts Center.
Here’s a bit of the “science” behind why massage can make you feel….better.
If you’d like to schedule a massage with us, please visit warriorbodywork.com to book your appointment!
Bodywork’s Therapeutic Role in Depression:
Aside from a general understanding that massage feels good, bodywork can have significant, therapeutic value in battling depression. Three physiological explanations for massage therapy’s tremendous positive impact on depressed people include:
- Touch improves the efficiency of the pituitary-adrenal axis. A healthfully functioning pituitary-adrenal axis quickly neutralizes the chemical changes that cascade when a threat is present. When this system is not working well, these chemicals remain in the body longer, lengthening the amount of time the person experiences stress. Studies on animals reveal one reason for a sluggish stress response – lack of tactile stimulation. In human society, this translates to touch deprivation capable of causing or exacerbating depression. Ironically, depression tends to cause people to isolate themselves even further from tactile stimulation, potentially worsening their depression.
- Right and left lobe brain symmetry minimizes depression susceptibility. Research about how massage affects mood indicates a shift in electroencephalogram (EEG) activation from the right frontal lobe (usually associated with sad affect) to the left frontal lobe (usually associated with happy affect), or at least towards symmetry between lobes. The redistribution of electrical activity within the brain can exhibit a profound effect on a person’s emotional state.
- The balancing of hormones and neurotransmitters can be encouraged naturally with massage.Shifting people from a sympathetic to a parasympathetic state, massage brings about several physiological and chemical changes in the body, including increases in serotonin and endorphin secretion, and a decrease in cortisol. A majority of studies investigating the effects of massage measure these three chemicals because they are crucial ingredients for each person’s health. In general, serotonin and endorphins function to make people feel good, while cortisol functions to transmit feelings of pain and stress. Nearly every clinical trial evaluating massage therapy reports that bodywork enhances serotonin and endorphin levels, and reduces circulating levels of cortisol.Reference: http://www.integrativehealthcare.org/mt/archives/2007/09/bodyworks_thera.html