Background

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, over 40 million adults in the U.S. have some form of anxiety disorder.[i]  In addition, the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) found that depression affects roughly 10% of U.S. adults. Mental health issues of all levels of severity can have a profound impact on your quality of life. Whether it’s anxiety, depression, mood swings, or other mental health issues, finding strategies to cope with and manage these conditions is of critical importance.

Benefits of Massage on Mental Health

When many people think of massage therapy, they think of it as a way to provide some physical benefit. However, massage is also widely seen as a strategy to improve mental health, relaxation, mood, and decrease stress. Massage can provide a number of benefits to your mental health, whether you have a clinical mental health condition or simply had a long day at work.

Massage and Anxiety

Research has shown the benefits of massage on many different individuals with anxiety. For example, massage can reduce anxiety for: [ii]

  • Psychiatric patients
  • Those with chronic pain
  • Cancer patients
  • Patients undergoing bone marrow transplants
  • Children with illnesses
  • Those with lower back pain
  • Those with headaches
  • Patients awaiting invasive cardiovascular procedures
  • Healthy adults
  • Patients with generalized anxiety disorder
  • Patients under local anesthesia
  • Stroke patients
  • The elderly
  • Children and adolescent psychiatric patients
  • Those at the end of life
  • Adults with hand pain
  • Patients with fibromyalgia
  • Patients withdrawing from psychoactive drugs
  • Burned adolescents
  • Patients with congestive heart failure
  • Women in labor

Massage and Depression

Depression can be a debilitating and costly condition. The CDC notes that “depression can adversely affect the course and outcome of common chronic conditions, such as arthritis, asthma, cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Depression also can result in increased work absenteeism, short-term disability, and decreased productivity.”

Substantial research has been completed that shows the benefits of massage on individuals with depression, including:

  • Those with chronic pain
  • Hospice patients
  • Children with cancer or HIV
  • Pregnant women
  • Those lower back pain
  • Those with tension-type headaches
  • Children and adolescent psychiatric patients
  • Women with breast cancer
  • People with chronic disease
  • Adolescent mothers
  • Those with chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Those with high blood pressure
  • Those with fibromyalgia
  • Adults with multiple sclerosis
  • Women with premenstrual dysphoric disorder

Sources:

[i] https://www.amtamassage.org/approved_position_statements/Massage-Therapy-for-Anxiety.html

[ii] https://www.amtamassage.org/approved_position_statements/Massage-Therapy-for-Anxiety.html

[iii] https://www.amtamassage.org/approved_position_statements/Massage-Can-Reduce-Symptoms-of-Depression.html

 Additional Resources

  1. https://www.amtamassage.org/research/Massage-Therapy-Research-Roundup/Research-Roundup–Volume-4.html
  2. https://www.amtamassage.org/articles/1/News/detail/2930
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23059434
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23397692
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24055114
  6. [1] https://www.amtamassage.org/approved_position_statements/Massage-Therapy-for-Anxiety.html[1] https://www.amtamassage.org/approved_position_statements/Massage-Therapy-for-Anxiety.html
  7. https://www.amtamassage.org/approved_position_statements/Massage-Can-Reduce-Symptoms-of-Depression.htmlAdditional Resources
    1. https://www.amtamassage.org/research/Massage-Therapy-Research-Roundup/Research-Roundup–Volume-4.html
    2. https://www.amtamassage.org/articles/1/News/detail/2930
    3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23059434
    4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23397692

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24055114

Come Visit Irene’s for a Tour

Wellness topics like the one covered above are part of our massage therapy curriculum. If you’re interested in topics like these or in massage school in general, we invite you to visit Irene’s massage school to see our campus and get a feel for our environment.

In fact, we are so confident that we are the best school for you, if you come in for a tour of Irene’s and then enroll in a massage program at another school, we will pay $50 towards your registration fee at that school. A check will be written to the institution with proof of enrollment in a massage program.