Massage and Depression

 Depression is a very serious disease that millions of Americans are suffering from today. Many have turned to anti-depressants to help them cope with the symptoms of the disease but there are other remedies that are often overlooked, one of them being massage. Massage has proven to be a great resource for counteracting many illnesses like heart disease, insomnia, injuries, depression and more. Human touch is something that many people are lacking and it has incredible healing powers.

We’ve all had days where we feel sad or blue. Nobody can be happy all of the time, and changes in mood, feelings of sadness sometimes, are perfectly normal. For some people, however, these feelings are more persistent and severe, interfering with everyday activities, lowering energy levels and interrupting sleep, for example. When these feelings begin to take over and noticeably change a person’s quality of life, seeing a mental health professional-and getting a depression diagnosis-can be the first step in getting the help they need.

For many who suffer, the solution most talked about is psychotherapy, where a person sees a trained mental health professional to talk (and perhaps be prescribed medication). But that approach doesn’t always work equally well for everyone. Now, people are also beginning to better understand how a combination of treatment options can be beneficial, and massage therapy is showing some promise in helping people better handle this condition.

Defining Depression

Perhaps one of the most difficult things about depression when talking about ways to help people who suffer is that arriving at a simple, straightforward definition of depression is next to impossible. Depression, unlike some other medical conditions, is seemingly fluid in nature, meaning the cause(s) and how symptoms manifest are often unique to the individual and can be a secondary complaint of another primary health condition, such as Alzheimer’s, for example, or other mental health issues. In other words, my depression isn’t your depression isn’t someone else’s depression.

That’s not to suggest, however, that there aren’t guidelines around diagnosing depression. Some people might think that depression is simply someone who is sad, but there’s a lot more to this condition than simply feeling down. Yes, sadness and unhappiness are definitely indicators of depression but, according to the Mayo Clinic, so are anger and irritability, loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable, sleep disturbances, changes in appetite, cognitive problems, as well as physical pain, such as back pain or headaches.

There can also be different types of depression. For example, some women experience depression both during pregnancy and after delivery, while other people may be affected seasonally or have anxiety that accompanies the depression.

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