Palliative Caring for Patients and Families

Mental Health

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The Role of Massage in Mental Health & Well-Being

Linda is a knowledgeable,experienced and skilled professional who provides safe, well-boundaried, compassionate touch which can enhance the process of re-grounding in the body. This is very helpful for people dealing with depression and anxiety disorders, including PTSD.

A great deal of information regarding the beneficial effects of massage has been amassed over the centuries. Now we have research that shows that massage therapy is helpful in alleviating anxiety and depression. Levels of dopamine and serotonin are increased during and immediately following massage and levels of saliva and urinary cortisol are decreased. Heart rate decreases. The physical symptoms or manifestations in the body and its systems of anxiety and depression are improved by massage therapy (for example: stress, muscle tension, lethargy, pain, sleep disturbances and digestive difficulties). The value of an increase in the sense of well-being, self-confidence and connection with one’s own body cannot be overstated.

When people begin to connect to their bodies through the positive feelings engendered by massage, important changes happen. Rather than the body being simply the container, or the origin of pain or negative feelings, it becomes an ally in “reading” themselves. Noticing and paying attention to physical responses helps people to learn more about what stresses or triggers them and what soothes them. This can become an important tool for mental health and wellness.

As well as being a beneficial treatment on its own, massage therapy is an effective adjunct to other forms of treatment for mental illness.