Summer has come and gone but I am reflecting on people I know who felt blue during the dog days of summer. It’s common in winter to feel sad and we usually perk up when the days are longer and the sunny days outnumber the wet days. But stress and sadness don’t always follow the seasons and many of us feel down in the dumps for many reasons. Massage has been proven over and over to help ease those down days with the magic of touch.
The blues can happen anytime. We can be sad about relationships, work, finances and more. Don’t get me started on sad news stories. These feelings can affect our bodies in many ways. You may feel a tension in your shoulders, neck or back. You may get frequent headaches. You may have trouble sleeping or sleep too much.
More than a dozen massage studies by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine have shown that massage therapy relieves depression and anxiety by affecting the body’s biochemistry. They studied 500 men, women, and children who were dealing with depression or stress. After massage therapy, the participants had up to 53% lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This is the hormone behind high blood pressure and blood sugar levels and suppresses the immune system. The studies in Miami also showed that regular massage increased serotonin and dopamine in participants; these are neurotransmitters that help reduce depression.
If you come in for a massage and are feeling down, let me know. I can focus on specific areas and provide a gentle touch that can help improve your mood. We all need to be touched and regular massage sessions can help you feel better able to cope with life’s sad days.