Several research studies have indicated that massage therapy is responsible for reducing symptoms linked to anxiety, depression, stress and other health conditions of the mind. This happens because the therapy helps in reducing cortisol levels in the body and enhancing the oxytocin and serotonin levels. Cortisol is the stress hormone while the latter two are the ‘love hormone’ and a neurotransmitter respectively. Serotonin levels are largely responsible for ensuring good night’s sleep and ‘a feel good’ attitude. Oxytocin helps in stimulating psychological stability and emotions of trust and relaxation.
Different Kinds of Massage Therapies
Some of the massage types followed for improving mental health are:
Swedish massage: This incorporates the use of long, seamless strokes, kneading, tapping and circular movements on the outer muscle layer. This relieves tension and enhances blood circulation. Massage oil or lotion is used to ensure the smooth movement.
Aromatherapy massage: This therapy incorporates the use of essential oils to tackle specific ailment needs of the patient. Stress related conditions can be best addressed with selected oils.
Shiatsu massage: Thesecenterson acupressure points to enhance the energy flow into the body and help it to regain balance. Thumb and fingers are used in a rhythmic motion giving firm pressure on the required body parts to offer relief.
Hot Stone massage: This works on the energy centers of the body helping them to regain balance and relax the strained and tight muscles. Smooth, heated stones are used for the purpose and placed or gently pressed on specific body points. The warmth that is transferred deep inside provides soothing and comforting relief.
Thai massage: Balance in energy flow is sought to be obtained through this massage which also applies gentle pressure on specific body points. Stretches and compressions are also incorporated into this massage.
The fast paced and stressful lifestyles of today have led to an increase in mental health ailments. Massage as a form of therapy is being effectively used today, for enhancing the mental health and the general well-being of the affected individuals.