Mental Health Benefits of Massage Therapy

Manipulation of the body’s muscles and soft tissue can stimulate or calm the nervous system, increase circulation, promote healing, help precise waste products, and reduce pain. It can also stimulate the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers.Massage Therapy

It triggers a relaxation response, decreasing heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing while increasing serotonin levels, the “feel good” chemical. Keep reading the article below to learn more about the mental benefits of Massage Therapy Tulsa.

The physiological benefits of massage include increased blood flow, decreased muscle tension and joint rigidity, as well as an increase in the body’s serotonin production. In turn, this elevates mood and decreases depression symptoms. This is because serotonin and dopamine are two powerful endorphins that work together to reduce negative emotions. This is why people usually feel better after a massage and often feel this way for the rest of the day, and why incorporating regular massage into one’s wellness routine can significantly impact mental health.

Stress is a natural part of life, but chronically elevated levels can have serious detrimental effects on the body. When the body’s “fight or flight” response is constantly on, it can lead to many health problems including high blood pressure, gastrointestinal issues, cardiovascular disease, and even the reproductive system (erectile dysfunction in men, lowered fertility rates in women, and abnormal menstrual cycles). Massage has been shown to help calm the fight or flight response and promote relaxation, thereby reducing negative health effects.

Researchers have found that the sympathetic nervous system is triggered by psychological stress, which increases heart rate and the secretion of adrenaline and norepinephrine (the catecholamines). By contrast, the parasympathetic nervous system is activated by the relaxing effects of massage therapy, which lower heart rate and the release of these hormones. Massage also stimulates the immune system, which helps protect against infection.

The deep tissue techniques used in massage, such as kneading and rubbing, cause the muscles to stretch and relax, which reduces inflammation caused by tight muscles. Inflammation is the result of damaged muscle fibers and tissues, which results in pain and stiffness. Massage also promotes healing by stimulating the body’s circulation, bringing fresh oxygenated blood full of nutrients and removing toxins to the lymphatic system for elimination. It is recommended that you drink plenty of water after a deep tissue massage to flush the excess lactic acid from your body. This will minimize post-massage soreness and keep your muscles hydrated. This will also prevent inflammation from occurring again in the future. A good massage therapist will monitor your comfort level and adjust the pressure and technique as needed throughout your session.

Pain Relief

Massage therapy loosens the tight muscles that can cause pain, spasms, and limit a person’s range of motion. Tight muscles can be caused by many things including increased stress, comorbid health conditions, and deconditioning through reduced functioning and exercise. During the massage, a patient can communicate with the therapist to specify how much pressure they can tolerate, from light to medium to firm.

One theory for how massage relieves pain is that it interrupts the nerves that report pain in injured tissues to the brain. These nerves are called nociceptors and they share the neurological pathway to the brain with many other nerve types such as cutaneous (skin) nerves, proprioceptors that report position and movement, and mechanoreceptors which respond to pressure. By stimulating these other nerves during massage, massage may distract the nociceptors and temporarily overwhelm them.

The massaged areas can also receive a boost in circulation that delivers oxygen and nutrients to the muscle tissues, helping them heal. This also helps to carry away waste products that might be contributing to pain.

Another way that massage relieves pain is by reducing inflammation. Research has shown that massage reduces the production of inflammatory cytokines, which are chemical messengers that promote tissue inflammation and swelling. Even a short massage session can have this effect.

Massage therapy has been shown to improve the outcomes of patients with chronic pain and reduces the need for opioid pain medications. It is an important addition to the tool bag of physicians treating pain, particularly in the face of growing concerns about the use and addiction potential of opioids. However, more high quality research is needed to better understand how massage works and its mechanisms of action to elucidate its benefits.

Anxiety Relief

Anxiety is a common mental health issue that causes feelings of fear and tension. People with anxiety often find it difficult to relax and may also experience physical symptoms such as a fast heartbeat or muscle tightness. There are many ways to treat anxiety, but massage therapy has a long track record for helping with these symptoms. Getting a good quality massage at least once per week can help reduce anxiety, especially when combined with other relaxation techniques. There are several types of massage that can relieve anxiety, but myofascial release and trigger point massage have been shown to be particularly effective for this purpose.

Myofascial release is a deep pressure and kneading type of massage that targets the muscles and tissues that are associated with chronic pain. This type of massage is known for melting knots and releasing tension in the body. In one study, myofascial release was shown to have significant psychological benefits for people with anxiety disorders by reducing the levels of perceived stress and depression. A trigger point massage involves finding and releasing the knots within the muscle that cause chronic pain. This is a very effective way to relieve anxiety and can be done at home as well by doing self massage or visiting a qualified Massage Therapist.

Various clinical trials have demonstrated the effectiveness of massage in reducing anxiety in patients with specific medical conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and asthma. It can also be used to reduce the anxiety that comes with a number of mental health issues such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bulimia, and cystic fibrosis.

Massage has been found to reduce anxiety by easing the tension in the muscles of the back, shoulders, and feet. Studies have also proven that this type of massage is very beneficial to people who suffer from a chronic illness such as HIV, cancer, or multiple sclerosis. Some of the effects from massage can even last for a few days after the session has ended. Some people may feel a little disoriented after their massage, but this feeling usually fades in about 10 to 15 minutes. It is also important to drink plenty of water after a therapeutic massage.


A common and popular reason for getting a massage is to have the body relaxed. A relaxation massage uses gentle stroking and rhythmic kneading movements to encourage the mind and body to relax and heal. Unlike other types of therapeutic massages, such as deep tissue, the relaxation massage is more holistic in nature. The therapist may use techniques such as deep breathing and soothing music to create a calming environment.

The physiological effects of a relaxation massage include improved blood circulation, increased feel good hormones and decreased stress levels. The therapist’s touch to the soft tissues stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the part of your brain that triggers the body to relax and decrease its production of stress hormones. This response also results in the increase of feel good hormones, such as endorphins, serotonin and dopamine.

Improved circulation results in a number of benefits, including the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to muscle cells which aids the repair process after a workout, increases the absorption of fluids from the tissues, decreases swelling from inflammatory conditions and reduces toxins from the muscles and soft tissues. The kneading and stroking movements of a relaxing massage can also increase the blood vessels’ diameter, which promotes this effect.

Massage helps decrease pain by interrupting the pain signals that are sent to the brain through the nervous system. The pressure applied during a massage can also help decrease pain by increasing the lubrication in the muscles, which allows the tendons and ligaments to stretch and move more freely. Massage is also believed to improve circulation by reducing the accumulation of waste products in the muscles, which can lead to pain and inflammation.

Stress and anxiety can affect the physical, mental and emotional health of a person. A relaxation massage can alleviate some of the negative psychological effects of stress by releasing feel good hormones, such as endorphins, which contribute to a sense of well-being and happiness. It can also decrease cortisol, a hormone that increases with stress and depression. In addition, the tense muscles that are a result of stress can be relaxed through a relaxing massage which can improve posture and movement.