When it comes to the human body, there’s not one single thing that’s easy to figure out. There are muscle and fat, joints, nerves, bones, organs, muscles, and even skin. And when we get in touch with those various parts of our bodies, they can be quite tricky for us to understand. Is there a relation between massage and mental health?

Luckily, we have a bit more understanding than a lot of people, but unfortunately, we don’t always understand what goes wrong when these connections aren’t working properly. Now, all medical professionals agree that not everything in the body is in sync, but there are plenty of different conditions that can cause mental health issues.

According to some sources, certain physical ailments like headaches or back pain are actually caused by a “broken brain chemical.” Though this is true and may cause you to experience a number of psychological disorders (like depression), there are also ways in which a lack of movement in a particular part of the body can make your mind unstable and unbalanced. When talking about body massage and its role of that in mental health, it can get a little confusing.

What are the types of body massage?

There are lots of different kinds of body massage, and each requires a unique approach, technique, and technique. The most common types of body massage techniques include;

Sculpture massage

This involves moving up and down your spine over time. It’s actually fairly easy to do, but it still isn’t as good as what you might see in movies. If you struggle with anything after a session, seek treatment from a doctor or therapist.

Even if they give you a clean bill of health, the fact remains that the stress and injury that are suffered during sessions can eventually lead to a permanent feeling of pain and discomfort in the area or body.

Stretching

This type of massage requires your entire body to be moved to release tension and strain. You may find yourself being unable to breathe and unable to take deep breaths, so rest assured that you won’t have a panic attack.

Chair work

This basically involves sitting up or lying down in front of a chair with your feet wrapped around to move the weight of your body from your feet to your head. This helps improve circulation and flexibility in your joints, leading to lower body pain as well as a feeling of improved mobility and a decreased risk of falling.

Plank Work

This is basically a form of pilates, where you hold a plank position for 4–5 minutes with your arms extended. Your body then plops into a seated position, allowing it to strengthen its muscles, improve balance, and stretch your back. Although it may sound great for lowering the risk of a stroke or hip fracture, most people who suffer from chronic back pain would rather not spend their nights seated!

massage and mental health
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How does a body massage affect your mood?

A lot of research has been built around how massage changes your mood, stress relief, sleep cycles, energy levels, and even the way you think. In fact, studies show that body massage has significant effects on just about every aspect of our lives, including mood, energy levels, and sleep cycles.

And while other experts agree this is true; they differ on the actual effect body massage can have on our minds. For example, according to an article published by Psychology Today, Dr. Barry Simonds, Ph.D., says there is no scientific proof that massaging affects any specific aspect of one’s life, and he encourages anyone to continue their own experiences as they choose.

But when speaking about how massage can affect mood, it’s important to note that the process has a couple of major components. First, the act of massage releases endorphins into your bloodstream, which in turn, can help release nervousness. Second, breathing deeply is another component that leads to the release of endorphins, as your stomach relaxes, causing your muscles to become stronger.

If you have trouble sleeping at night, you are likely not just experiencing anxiety or nervousness. You could be experiencing sleep apnea, a condition where breathing stops completely during the night. According to psychologists, that’s something that may happen in the absence of sleep apnea, so it’s best to seek treatment with a professional as soon as possible.

How is a body massage performed?

The first step to learning how is to perform a body massage is knowing the difference between manipulation and contortion. Manipulation refers to actions a person takes (like pinching) to manipulate muscles. Contortion, on the other hand, means performing movements, such as wiggling your toes, with your hands on someone else.

A skilled provider will know exactly what techniques to use to create a comfortable massage, which will help with the process and the success of your massage. During a massage, the most common thing that tends to occur is the shoulder blades rubbing against each other, which leads to soft tissue being released from your shoulders and neck.

To get started with massage, sit down comfortably on a bed. Place your right foot firmly on the floor and place your left hand on it. Be sure not to squeeze anything out the sides of your leg. Allow the muscle to relax. Roll and twist your body clockwise and counterclockwise for 5–10 minutes. Repeat for 2–3 sets of 10–15–30–40. After completing, switch positions and repeat for 30–60 minutes.

Make sure that you’re using a safe, non-metal surface, don’t use oil or natural products, and don’t allow a child to play with the oils. While doing this, it’s best to keep eye contact with the therapist and to give yourself the chance to relax. After the massage, allow yourself to relax. Walk away and check yourself.

Relaxing really brings peace and allows you to return to your regular mindset. This exercise can help you reduce any bad habits you have that may contribute to your mental wellbeing, especially if the anxiety you gain from having to go through the motions isn’t helping your mental health either.

You can also use a massage gun to do it on your own these days.

Other therapies

In addition to massage, some other forms of therapy include hypnosis, EMF therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, art therapy, and music therapy. Others require additional testing and evaluation of the patient’s mental state, and there may be side effects with others.

For instance, alcoholics and drug addicts will need to undergo many, many, many different treatments just to get past their addiction, and I have yet to hear of any specific benefits for them. However, some studies have shown evidence in those groups of individuals suffering from mental illness.

One study showed that individuals who went through trauma would benefit from talking to someone who was able to relate to them. Psychologist Susanne Salk said she believed her study showed that there is hope for individuals who feel they cannot talk enough about themselves due to a traumatic event or illness. I believe my situation could be one of those cases, but I must say, I am glad that I finally met a caring, supportive and trustworthy woman during my therapy sessions.

My experience is definitely far from uncommon when it comes to mental health, and I want others to know that even though I had a rough few years, I wish that I never took drugs or alcohol, nor did I have any thoughts of suicide. At this point in my journey, I should have already known that my only regret was that I hadn’t gotten better. That is because, at the beginning of my diagnosis, I never told myself that I wanted to be depressed.

It was not until after starting my journey that I realized what I was doing was unhealthy enough and I needed to try something new. To be very honest, I didn’t know that there were other options out there other than taking medication or doing things I had never tried before, at least. Since that time, I have learned how important it is to open communication between you and your physician.

Many times, our opinions aren’t similar, so making sure that people know you are okay is imperative. Speaking for myself, I had to admit that sometimes I wondered if there was something wrong with me; it was only after going through many treatments that I found out that there was nothing wrong with me.