Do you or someone you know get the wintertime “blues”? Less sunlight in the winter, coupled with more time indoors, can trigger what is known as “Seasonal Affective Disorder” in many people. SAD can prove to be a serious form of depression and reduce the quality of life for those with the disorder.
One of the many therapies that can help SAD is massage. A recent article from the American Massage Therapy Association catalogs several proven ways in which massage therapy can counteract physiological mood factors that often accompany SAD. According to the AMTA, massage can:
- Reduce anxiety and depression with a course of care providing benefits similar in magnitude to those of psychotherapy.
- Increase neurotransmitters associated with lowering anxiety and decrease hormones associated with increasing anxiety.
- Significantly decrease heart rate, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure.
- Improve mental health by reducing depression in individuals with HIV, lessen anxiety in cancer patients, reduce anxiety and depression in military veterans and lower work-related stress for nurses.