Most people know having a regular massage is great for our physical health, but did you realise that it can also be a valuable tool for helping to maintain good mental health?

Massage therapists are well aware of the link between body and mind and the impact that one can have on the other. For example, many persistent pain conditions are closely linked with stress and anxiety. This becomes a vicious cycle when muscle tension – often in the shoulders and neck – associated with being anxious or stressed causes pain and so the cycle continues.

Stress and anxiety also causes your body to produce a chemical called cortisol. This has the effect of making your nervous system more active, like turning up the volume on a radio, so your experience of pain is likely to be greater if you are stressed or anxious.

Therapeutic massage not only helps to relieve any physical pain and reduce muscle tension but it also helps to lower your blood pressure and boosts your bodys production of a hormone called serotonin ( a horomone that reduces the release of cortisol). This has an immediate and positive effect on both physical and mental health and reduces sleep disturbance.

Massage helps your body to return to a state of feeling safe and relaxed and gives you some time to tune out the chatter of your mind. It’s a positive, nurturing experience for your whole system which will leave you feeling mentally clearer, with renewed energy.

In modern society there are also many people who are rarely touched physically and this can have profound emotional consequences. The emotional benefits of a massage can be intensified by having a treatment with a therapist who is also a qualified aromatherapist. A personalised blend of oils might be recommended for their individual pharmacological properties when absorbed through your skin or by stimulating the emotional centres in your brain (limbic system) through your sense of smell. This blend of oils can be provided with an inhaler, so that the powerful emotional associations we all have with smell can be used as a tool at other times to help you relax and remain calm.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions at all.
The Cambridge Massage Therapy team.