How can massage help DEPRESSION??
DEPRESSION has become a growing public health problem, especially in urban areas. Modern life is making us more depressed and a loner. Recent research indicates that this constant feeling of sadness can drain our energy, hope, and drive to perform better at work place. With inadequate treatment, it can negatively affect the course and outcome of common ailments like arthritis, asthma, heart disease, and diabetes etc.
If your Depression is severe and stubbornly persistent, it can cause you short-term disability too. Just like any other chronic illness, beating depression isn’t quick and it takes time to feel better. However, you can slowly win your fight against depression if you make positive choices each day.
Every time you do things that relax and energize you, you get one step closer to your ultimate goal of defeating the depression. Therefore small steps like following a healthy lifestyle, learning to better manage stress, calling your friends, and taking time out for massage and other holistic treatments etc. can make a huge difference.
The relation between Stress and Depression
There are so many factors which directly or indirectly increase the risk of developing depression. Long term Stress and Anxiety is one of the most common causes of depression. Stress has become an unavoidable part of our everyday life and it is not possible to take away all the stress from our daily life. However, we can take some steps to lower physical and emotional stress in order to improve overall health.
The relation between Stress and Depression is quite complex. People, who are facing stressful situations on daily basis, often tend to ignore healthy lifestyle practices. They try to comfort themselves by smoking or drinking alcohol, and also neglect regular work-outs. Heavy stress and anxiety for longer period of time can sometime lead to the risk of developing severe depression.
Lifestyle practices to combat Depression
The following healthy lifestyle practices can help you de-stress, improve your flexibility and alleviate symptoms of depression too:
- MILD EXERCIES: Only 30 minutes of moderate exercise, like brisk walking or swimming on a daily basis can do wonders! Regular exercise improves the production of chemicals in the body that fill you with positivity and reduces stress hormone, cortisol.
Exercising or work out of any physical form also releases chemical called Endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptor in our brain that reduces the perception of pain. Endorphin triggers a positive feeling in our body, similar to that of Morphine. Hence, there is a strong relationship between Exercise and Endorphin.
- STRONG & HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP: Isolation or loneliness is one of the main reasons for depression. However, a strong relationships work as a shock absorber and saves you from the effects of adversity. Invest in a relationship which is long-term and would stay with you in thick and thin of your life.
- YOGA & MEDITATION: These ancient healing practices can be extremely beneficial if you feel depressed and stressed-out almost all the time. Meditation calms your mind and develops a positive attitude towards life. Yoga is another form of exercise with controlled breathing pattern. A controlled breathing pattern ensures the right amount of oxygen to your body, which is essential for relaxation.
- BALANCED DIET & NO ALCOHOL POLICY: It is important to take a healthy and balanced diet; you should choose your carbs intelligently. Instead of taking too much sugary foods, go for “complex” carbs like whole grains. Ditch junk foods like cakes and cookies and start eating more fresh food like fruits and green leafy vegetables.
- The magic of MASSAGE THERAPY: The results of various researches show that getting massage therapy on regular basis can help fight depression by significantly decreasing cortisol hormone levels. It can also be very effective in suppressing feeling of dejection.
When you are under depression, your brain produces less amounts of feel-good hormones (serotonin, endorphins and dopamine etc.). These chemicals are responsible for making us feel happy, relaxed, and confident. Massage helps our brain release both serotonin and endorphins.
Apart from increasing the levels of these feel-good hormones, massage therapy also aids in decreasing the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol releases tension and helps stabilize the mood. The emotional balance is vital and valuable for our overall health and well-being.
Massage is safe and nurturing therapy to relax, refocus and progress in life.
It makes you aware of the mind-body connection
It also enhances self-esteem and overall personality.
Safe, nurturing and gentle touch provides “much- needed” human contact just like a comforting hug which helps you calm down physically and emotionally. Massage therapy supports a peaceful state of mental awareness, which in turn builds up a positive outlook towards life. Therefore it makes sense to reserve some time for a professional therapeutic massage, which is tailored to address your specific needs. Soothing massage sessions at regular intervals remind you that you deserve to feel good physically as well as emotionally.
How does massage therapy help in relieving depression?
When you feel stress for an extended period of time, your muscles and joints become stiff or inflexible; it can cause soreness and limit your physical activities. Massage therapy using ayurvedic oil can help relieve this stiffness in your body. However, massage therapy alone can’t cure severe depression without proper medication, but it can definitely help relieve the symptoms associated with depression. Massage therapy help you get rid of fatigue, back pain, migraines, and sleeping problems.
Stress management with Shirodhara
Ayurveda, the ancient healing system explains a number of curative procedures like meditation and massage therapies for relaxation of body and mind. These ancient practices bring an unstable mind to a tranquil state, de-stress the body and help in developing positive attitude.
All the above benefits of meditation and relaxation techniques can also be achieved by an ayurvedic procedure called “Shirodhara”. Due to its positive effects on mind and body, Shirodhara ayurvedic treatment is now gaining huge popularity in the western countries too. This classical procedure involves slow and steady dripping of herbal oil on the forehead. The word “shiro” refers to head and the word “dhara” refers to stream in Sanskrit language. Gentle pouring of warm herbal oil on the forehead or the Ajna chakra between the eyebrows, can cure various neurological disorders like Alzheimer, Parkinson disease, dementia and paralysis.
This ancient ayurvedic therapy for peace and serenity has several health benefits:
It nurtures the brain cells by increasing the blood flow.
The nerves originating from the brain becomes stronger with this therapy.
Shirodhara increases the production of feel-good hormones like dopamine, which improves the quality of sleep, and regulates mood and social behaviour.
This classical stress bursting treatment has ability to un-block the chakras, and to develop an increased flow of the vital energy towards the brain.
Shirodhara is one of the most effective treatments for balancing the aggravated vata dosha in the mind. When your mind is preoccupied with racing thoughts, it becomes difficult to slow down the mind; this causes nervousness, anxiety, depression, insomnia and fatigue.
Shirodhara is the perfect treatment for these types of stress related disorders. Scientists claim that more than eighty percent of all diseases in the western world are stress related; in such a scenario, shirodhara can be considered as one of the most effective stress-bursting therapies.