Regular massages helped me deal with depression. Here’s how they can come to your aid too

It’s strange, but it’s true. While you’re getting massaged, your body releases hormones that make you feel happy and relieve depression and anxiety symptoms.
therapies to relax after Diwali
'Nasya' is a part of Panchakarma, which helps to clear the head region of the body and is treated through massages with herbs and oils on the head and shoulders. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Sonakshi Kohli Published: 17 Dec 2019, 09:00 am IST
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Depression, anxiety, and stress are some of the problems that haunt almost
every millennial these days. The root cause could be a hormonal imbalance,
chemical locha in the brain, traumatic past, or just cumbersome circumstances.
But there’s no denying that mental health issues are damn tough to deal with. I
say this because I’ve recently experienced the wrath of clinical depression

But fortunately, with the support of my partner, family, friends, and a lovely
MASSEUSE, I got through it. I am sure the mention of my masseuse in caps has
made it abundantly clear that her contribution was the biggest, especially
during some very tough days.

It began with an accidental encounter with my neighbour’s multitasking, part-
time house help, who was looking to venture into the “tel maalish” line of
work. Luckily for me and her, we both got into a better place because of this
decision of hers.

An hour of gentle body massage with moderate pressure twice or thrice a
week during extremely low phases helped me tremendously.

Before you decide to tag me as crazy, just know that a research conducted by
members of the Behavioral Medicine Group at the Guy Harvey Research
Institute (GHRI) shows that getting a massage can lead to a 50% decrease in
anxiety symptoms.

In fact, Dr. Sagar Lavania, consultant & head of department, psychiatry and
mental health, Nayati Medicity in Mathura, agrees. He says: “Regular massage
therapy helps in dealing with mental health issues like depression, anxiety and
stress–although it may not cure it completely.”

If it still sounds too good to be true, check out these science-backed reasons
behind a massage’s immense contribution to mental health:

Getting a massage releases happy hormones
“While massaging, a hormone called endorphin is released. This uplifts your
mood, improves physical health, and helps with stress management,” explains
Dr Lavania.

It helps reduce stress
Not only do massages stimulate endorphin production, they can also reduce
cortisol, the stress hormone, by almost 30% according to an Australian study
conducted in 2012.

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It can make you feel less lonely
One of the worst downsides of depression and anxiety is the way it can make
you feel lonely and isolated. However, getting a massage, despite the
involvement of non-sexual human contact, can stimulate oxytocin, which is
also known as the love hormone, and make you feel better–according to a
study conducted at the University of California.

It relaxes your body
“A massage relieves the tension in the muscles and loosens joints to give
physical comfort to the body, thereby increasing the blood flow and promoting
relaxation. It relaxes the body which in turn relaxes the mind,” explains Dr

Calm your nerves and relax your senses with a monthly dose of massage. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock.

It can make you feel energetic
The pressure applied during massage can boost your lymphatic system, help
you detoxify and promote blood circulation in your body. This in turn can help
you feel fresh and active.

It helps you sleep better
A study published on PubMed Central found that a massage can help you get
some quality sleep by helping your body to relax and stimulating the serotonin hormone that promotes sleep. Needless to say, with quality sleep comes a
better mental health.

Sleep like a baby and shine bright like a diamond. Image courtesy: Shutterstock.

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