You’ve probably joked that you need to book massages to maintain your sanity, but did you know there is some truth to that? Research shows that massages are good for your mental health and well-being. In fact, you should make them a part of your repertoire of helpful tricks when times get rough.

Instead of viewing massage therapy as a luxury, view it as a necessity. It’s a way to a healthier and happier life. Not only will it assist in your physical health, you’ll also reap the mental health benefits. Invest in yourself and your health.

Here are a few of the mental health benefits of massage:


Improves your sleep

Some people struggling with insomnia may use sleep aides like pills or drinking a bit of alcohol before bedtime. A few glasses of wine should do the trick, right? Alcohol may help you fall asleep, but it won’t give you that relaxed and peaceful slumber that massage does. 

Remember that time you were so relaxed during a massage that you actually fell asleep? The reason for that is you’re being lulled into a state of relaxation with a variation of techniques to induce relaxation. Combine that with aromatherapy by using essential oils and you’ll be floating on cloud 9. Massage helps to Increase blood circulation, lower heart rate and release tension which provides a restful sleep.


Relieves stress

Benefits of massage studies show that it is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension like headaches.

Overloaded at work? A massage may do that body good. Shoulder, neck and head massage works like a charm to relieve a tension headache, migraines and stress. The therapy applied to these troubled areas will help relieve the pressure around your head, neck, and shoulders which will allow you to relax. 

Massage lowers the level of the stress hormone cortisol which is responsible for depression, anxiety, increased blood pressure, impaired memory, and other mental health disorders.


Increases feel good hormones

Dealing with depression or just down in the dumps lately? Well, fortunately for you, studies show a high correlation between massage therapy and the relief of depressive symptoms. In one study, massage was shown to affect body chemistry by increasing serotonin and dopamine. 

Serotonin is a chemical that has a wide variety of functions in the human body. It is sometimes called the happy chemical, because it contributes to wellbeing and happiness. It is thought to play a role in appetite, the emotions, and motor, cognitive, and autonomic functions. This neurotransmitter appears to play a key role in maintaining mood balance and low serotonin levels have been linked to depression.

Dopamine is a chemical found naturally in the human body. It is a neurotransmitter, meaning it sends signals from the body to the brain. Dopamine plays a part in controlling the movements a person makes, as well as their emotional responses. The right balance of dopamine is vital for both physical and mental well-being.

Vital brain functions that affect mood, sleep, memory, learning, concentration, and motor control are influenced by the levels of dopamine in a person’s body. A dopamine deficiency may be related to certain medical conditions, including depression and Parkinson’s disease.

What does massage have to do with it? Well, that great feeling after a massage? You can thank serotonin and dopamine. Several studies have shown that massage therapy can increase both serotonin and dopamine levels, sometimes even up to 30%. Serotonin can help you maintain a balanced mood, and the increase in dopamine can help you be productive and focused.

Next time you tell yourself that massages are too expensive, remind yourself that your health is worth investing in. A little self-care goes a long way.

If you’re in the Hermosa Beach or South Bay area, come by and see me!