Massage Therapy Helps Alleviate Conditions Related to Mental Health, Like Anxiety, Worry, Sadness, Stress, and Sleeplessness, According to Soothe On-Demand Massage

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With mental health being a top concern for people of all ages today, and May being Mental Health Awareness Month, Soothe offers timely and helpful information to consumers who may want to pursue a holistic means to alleviating conditions related to mental health.

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Massage therapy has mental wellness benefits, according to Soothe on-demand massage.

“Working specific reflex points in the body can stimulate the production of serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters that promote well-being, satisfaction and feelings of happiness, while decreasing cortisol levels, a hormone produced by the adrenal glands, which is related to stress and anxiety."

With mental health being a top concern for people of all ages today, and May being Mental Health Awareness Month, Soothe offers timely and helpful information to consumers who may want to pursue a holistic means to alleviating conditions related to mental health, such as anxiety, worry, sadness, stress and sleeplessness. Soothe (https://www.soothe.com) is the world’s leading on-demand massage service, providing a licensed, insured massage therapist to one’s home, office, or hotel within 60 minutes, in over 65 cities worldwide.

“The power of touch has an amazing effect on body and mind,” says - Curtis Lisa, a Licensed Massage Therapist for Soothe. “Working specific reflex points in the body can stimulate the production of serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters that promote well-being, satisfaction and feelings of happiness, while decreasing cortisol levels, a hormone produced by the adrenal glands, which is related to stress and anxiety.” Serotonin, consequently, stimulates production of melatonin, which helps regulate the body’s circadian rhythms and lull people to sleep.

Lisa also uses aromatherapy, which uses essential oils. “Using aromatherapy during massage affects the brain, which in turn affects our emotions and nervous system. I use different combinations of lavender, bergamot, chamomile, geranium, rose, sage, jasmine and rosemary, all of which have positive emotional benefits. I put a drop or two in my palms which I pass over and around, but never touching, their face and head while they are supine, or I’ll hold my hands under the face cradle if they are lying prone, and have them inhale the aroma with several deep breaths.”

A questionnaire precedes each massage session: does the client have any injuries, medical conditions, take medications, and what is their overall state of mind? Their answers help him decide which combination of massage modalities to use, and if they are allergic to any specific essential oils he may intend to use.

Lisa offers massage-specific advice for different concerns:

  • For tension and stress, consider a massage of varying pressure to relax shoulders, neck, and mid back area. Lisa explains, “People with tension and stress characteristically have raised shoulders elevated towards their ears. I focus on the muscles of the neck, mid back, and shoulders. I slowly and gently palpate through these muscle groups to warm up the tissue and fascia. If I find knots or adhesions, I return to those spots later for specific attention. I slowly increase pressure working into the muscle fibers by combining several modalities, like Swedish, deep tissue, acupressure, shiatsu, and neuromuscular.”
  • For anxiety or sleeplessness, consider reflexology massage on specific areas of hands and feet. Lisa says, “These areas are reflexive of the head and brain, solar plexus, and adrenal glands. The adrenal glands help regulate our energy level, mood, and anxiety, and when they are fatigued, the result is low energy, trouble sleeping, mood swings, depression, anxiety, and slow brain function. Sitting at the head of the massage table, I place both my hands over the ears to quiet the space so they notice a silence before I work the reflex points.”
  • If you are suffering from depression or sadness, let the massage therapist know. He explains, “While we aren’t trained to offer a medical diagnosis and treat your symptoms, we can show compassion and comfort, and use a supportive touch, combined with guided breathing, visualization, and application of healing essential oils. Very slow, gentle touch has been shown to increase oxytocin, a hormone which is related to contentment. Using guided breathing and visualization helps occupy their mind with peaceful thoughts, instead of troubling ones.”
  • How does visualization and guided breathing work? “In the supine position, I have clients focus on their breath and ask them to clear their mind and leave all thoughts behind. Standing at the side of the table, I gently place one hand on the abdomen so they can feel it rise and fall with their breath, and my other hand on their shoulder. I ask them to visualize and describe a peaceful setting, take a deep breath and hold it for a moment before exhaling completely, and to make a sound--a sigh--as they let go of anything that they are holding inside. I slowly move to their arm and forehead, cradle the back of their head, and work their deltoids. I’ll repeat hand placement on the abdomen, head, and shoulders several times, always working with their breath. The client may have an emotional release during this treatment and start to cry. Being there, I let them know it’s ok and they are safe, which will make them feel supported in the context of depression, where people feel isolated and alone.”
  • If you are having trouble focusing or unable to concentrate, consider using peppermint essential oil. “While occupying their mind with positive thoughts during a visualization, I also use peppermint essential oil, which helps with focus and concentration, and have clients inhale the aroma with several deep breaths. At session end, I remind them of the peaceful place they described and suggest they use peppermint oil at home, either using a diffuser or putting a drop of it into their palms and inhaling deeply, when they feel unfocused.”

Besides performing massage, Lisa offers clients other holistic tips ranging from exercise to sound therapy, relaxing before bedtime, taking short daily breaks, and spending time in the sun.

For additional information about massage therapy or Soothe, visit soothe.com or call 833-276-6843.

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Carolyn Kamii
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