Massage Therapy & Seasonal Affective Disorder
Does winter give you the blues? 14% of the general public are affected to some degree by Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Seasonal affective disorder sufferers may exhibit any of the associated symptoms, such as feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, thoughts of suicide, loss of interest in activities, withdrawal from social interaction, sleep and appetite problems, difficulty with concentrating and making decisions, decreased sex drive, a lack of energy, or agitation. Seasonal affective disorder is caused by a lack of melatonin which is produced by the pineal gland in the body- this is because of the amount of darkness we have in comparison with the rest of the year. There may also be a link between low serotonin levels.
Massage Therapy can be a proven help with these symptoms. 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
If you think that you may have any of these symptoms you can try Massage Therapy first instead of any pharmacological interventions. Touch is very important in healing and Massage could be the cure for you!