10 October marks World Mental Health Day. Discover how massage therapy makes a positive contribution to the awareness and restoration of mental health.
Set up by the World Health Organisation in 1992 the day provides an opportunity for us to consider the impact of the equally important but less visible element of health – the state of our mind.
How you feel emotionally and spiritually defines the state of your mental health. Being able to think rationally is equally as important as being able to carry out daily chores without pain.
Massage is most usually associated with its physical aspects. Kneading, pressing and rubbing various body parts to reduce tightness around muscle tissues is what most people think of when considering the health benefits of massage therapy. However massage also offers many benefits for better mental health.
Mental health issues are very common and believed to affect all of us at some time. They can range from simple every day worries to more serious life-threatening illnesses. The sooner emerging mental health issues are identified and treated, the higher the chance of quick recovery.
The most common mental health problems include things like stress, anxiety and depression. It is thought that at any one time, up to 10% of the population could be suffering from one of these issues. These are effectively standard emotional factors that we all experience from time to time, but taken to a more extreme and life affecting level. Regular massage therapy is an excellent way to treat the most common mental health issues such as anxiety or stress.
People usually associate massage with physical aspects of wellbeing. But massage is equally, if not even more, beneficial for mental health.
Touch through massage is a wonderful thing. It can make us feel warm, loved and connected.
Whether deep or soothing, a loving touch from another person can help increased the release of endorphins and other feel good natural hormones in our bodies. Empathy, compassion and sympathy all form part of good real massage therapy and are all recognised effective contributors to treating mental health issues. Combine regular massages with eating feel good food to get the most out of every session.
In many societies there is shame or embarrassment attached to discussing mental health issues. It seems to be much more acceptable to disclose a broken leg or even serious cardiac health issues than to admit a mental health illness.
Look at the list of 10 common mental health problems below and you will probably recognise most if not all of them. Most of us have either experienced one or more of these directly ourselves or within our close circle of friends and family. They are nothing to be ashamed of and importantly the sooner they are recognised and treated, even through simple means such as regular relaxation massages to take your mind off other things, the higher the chances of good mental health.
Other mental health issues, known as psychotic issues, are less common and include things like seeing or hearing things that others around you are not experiencing.
Whether you are suffering common or psychotic health issues, these are all symptoms that can be diagnosed and treated through medical advice and not something to hide away from.