The BEST MASSAGE For Mental Health


Sarah Galeano massages her temples in front of an abstract background

Massage Therapy has been long recognized for its benefits to mental health, but have you ever found yourself asking, Which Massage is Best?!

In general, the best massage for mental health is a combination of Swedish Massage and Aromatherapy. The best massage modalities are the ones that make you feel safe and comfortable while reducing your stress and muscle tension and healing old soft tissue traumas.

When it comes to mental health, massage can be an effective way to help manage a wide range of mental health conditions. Let’s explore the best massage techniques for mental health and how they can help alleviate common issues such as anxiety, depression, and stress.

Massage and Mental Health: The Connection

It’s really no secret at this point that every part of our body is connected. All of the cells in our body are communicating constantly with our brain, and our brain is sending communication out to the different cells in our body. If the body is happy, the brain is happy, and vice versa.

Most people associate a massage with a positive, relaxing experience. When we are embraced with loving kindness by another person, we are receptive to the care they are giving us. This understanding allows our body and mind to relax, knowing that we are not in danger. In contrast, if someone makes us feel unsafe in any way, we will stay in a hypervigilant state, unable to relax.

In addition, the soft tissues of our body tend to hold onto old information. This can be an injury, a fight with our spouse, one too many push-ups at the gym, etc. When these things occurred, our nervous system sent messages to our brains that our environment had changed, and our brain, determined to keep us safe, sent chemicals to the parts of our body that told them to contract and release inflammatory chemicals to aid in the healing of those soft tissues.

Some of the most significant benefits of massage for mental health include the following:

  • Reduces Stress: One of the primary benefits of massage is reducing stress. Stress is a major underlying factor in many mental health conditions, and reducing stress through massage can help manage these conditions.
  • Promotes Relaxation: Massage is incredibly relaxing, which can help promote better sleep and reduce anxiety. Lack of quality sleep has been associated with many mental health disorders.
  • Enhances Mood: Massage has been shown to enhance mood by increasing the production of endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine, which are the body’s natural feel-good chemicals.
  • Improves Symptoms of Depression: Massage has been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms of depression, such as anxiety and sadness.
  • Addresses Trauma: Massage can be an effective way to address the symptoms of trauma, such as PTSD, by promoting relaxation and reducing tension in the body. Many trauma survivors have a problem with being touched, especially if the trauma occurred near the area of the body being massaged. Trauma that happens to the brain happens to the whole body. Massage Therapy can be a huge leap forward in your healing journey if your massage sessions are a positive experience.

The BEST Massage for Mental Health!

The BEST MASSAGE for mental health is going to be one or more massage modalities that accomplish both: making you feel safe AND ridding the muscles of chronic tension. As mentioned earlier, if you don’t feel completely safe, your brain WILL NOT allow your muscles to relax. Also, when a Massage Therapist can effectively rid the soft tissues of tension and scar tissue, this boosts blood circulation to those areas allowing them to heal WHILE releasing endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin in the body. Win-win.

In my professional opinion, I believe most people searching for a massage that will enhance their mental health will greatly benefit from a combination of SWEDISH MASSAGE and AROMATHERAPY. Why? Well, Swedish massage is rhythmic in movements while effectively relieving muscle tension, reducing inflammation, clearing scar tissue, moving lymphatic tissue, and allowing the body to release trapped energy. Aromatherapy has substantial scientific research behind it at this point that proves the ability of the vapor of the essential oils to enter into our brains affecting change.

Swedish massage is composed of 7 techniques: effleurage, petrissage, tapotement, friction, vibration, compression, and stretching. Aromatherapy that has been proven to enhance mental health is lavender, chamomile, bergamot, frankincense, peppermint, and ylang-ylang.

If you’re looking for a good set of Therapeutic Essential Oils I recommend this set by Gurunanda (affiliate link for Walmart) and this Color Therapy Diffuser (link to Amazon).

Guru Nanda Essential Oil Kit
Katusie 500ml Essential Oil Diffuser with Remote

How Can You Find a Massage Therapist That You Trust?

I know I have had some unpleasant experiences with some Massage Therapists as well as heard some bad experiences from others. This doesn’t have to and SHOULD NOT HAPPEN. This isn’t part of the massage experience, and you shouldn’t settle for anything less than AMAZING!

When searching for a Massage Therapist, I highly recommend going off recommendations, reading reviews, and reading the information from their website if they have one. Once you have narrowed the options down to the best candidates, you can call or drop by to have a brief chat. If they’re available, tell them what you’re looking for and listen to their answers. Notice how your gut intuition feels about this person. If you get a bad feeling at all, then keep searching.

A few websites for finding a Massage Therapist I know are:

You can also book a short 10-15-minute chair massage with them to see how you feel about their massage, touch, and communication before booking a full-body work session with them.

Communication is vital when it comes to massage therapy. Get comfortable communicating and telling them what you want and don’t want, and at any point during the massage, if something feels bad to you. Even if you find the music they chose unpleasant, tell them and ask them to change it to something you like. If the therapist doesn’t respect your wishes, you have the complete authority to terminate the session, even if they’re not “done.”

When it comes to Aromatherapy, I recommend either finding a Certified Aromatherapist who’s also a Licensed Massage Therapist or at least a Licensed Massage Therapist who has taken courses in Aromatherapy. There are contraindications and safety precautions that need to be heeded with Aromatherapy.

If you are a survivor of trauma, it’s important that you communicate this with your Massage Therapist and that the Massage Therapist is trauma-informed. Only pursue massage for your mental health if you feel you are ready and it’s under the guidance of a Qualified Mental Health Practitioner.

This article was written by and is the intellectual property of www.galeanomassage.com. If this article appears anywhere else on the internet it was stolen from the copyright owner.


MEDICAL DISCLAIMER

The content in this article is for informational, entertainment, and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a trained qualified physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Galeano Massage nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, or supplements or those diagnosed with a medical illness should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement, or lifestyle program.

Sarah

I've been practicing Massage Therapy since 2014. I'm a health and wellness enthusiast. I'm always learning and experimenting with different techniques, recipes, and healing modalities. I believe that we need to approach health and wellness from a WHOLE-listic point of view and understand that it will constantly be changing and is never stagnant. We are all unique and what works for one person will not necessarily work for another person. As I grow, change, and experiment I will share what I have learned as it may help someone else in need.

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