Mental health is a persons state of mind and is associated with psychological and emotional well-being. Mental health problems can range from the worries of everyday life to serious long term conditions. These can affect the way you think, feel and behave.
Massage can be applied for relaxation purposes. Psychological relaxation refers to the reduction in stress hormone release such as cortisol. A reduction in the level of cortisol within the blood will allow the individual to feel a reduction in anxiety, stress and depression.
- Clarity of mind
- Reduced stress
- Increased energy
Massage can be beneficial to an individual with mental health problems prior to a stressful event. This could be a business meeting, interview or first day at a new job, for example. During periods of stress, the body releases an increased amount of cortisol. Low levels of cortisol can enable the individual to become alert, attentive and observant during the “fight” or “flight” response. Prolonged periods of high cortisol levels can leave an individual feeling anxious, stressed and even depressed. Massage can be sued to inhibit the production of cortisol which can allow the individual to feel relaxed and calm.
Massage can also be used following a stressful event. Following stressful situations, the body will have experienced a sudden increase in levels of adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine which are all stress related hormones. Massage can help reduce the production of stress hormones leaving the individual to feel calm and relaxed.
Massage can increase the release of endorphins such as serotonin and dopamine. Endorphins are released during times of happiness and relaxation. Low levels of endorphins are linked to negative thoughts, anxiety, stress and depression. Massage can stimulate an increase in the release of endorphins through stimulating the autonomic nervous system. An increase in levels of endorphins can leave the individual feeling positive, enthusiastic and relaxed.