With October being National Depression Awareness Month, it’s a great time to look at how we can take better control of our mental health. One way to do that is with routine massages.  

Did you know that depression is the leading cause of disability in those 15 to 44 in the United States? According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), major depressive disorder (the most commonly diagnosed form of depression) affects more than 16 million Americans a year. 

Depression not only affects one’s mental health, but it can affect a person’s overall well-being. People with depression have a 40% higher risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic diseases than the general population, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). 

A little bit of self-care can go a long way for both mental and physical health. Eating right, getting enough sleep, and picking up an exercise routine all can help improve your mental health. We want you to add massages to that list!  

Reduces Stress, Anxiety and Depression 

With the hustle and bustle of everyday life – never ending to-do lists, deadlines, and feeling like everyone is relying on you for something – the pressure is real and hard to escape.  

An hour on the massage table will not only help you relax (forcing you to shut out the noise, turn off the phone, and step away from the screen for an hour is a great start), but it will relieve that stress. 

According to an article in Prevention, massage therapy relieves depression and anxiety by affecting the body’s biochemistry. Researchers have found that getting a massage can lower cortisol levels (the stress hormone) by up to 53%! High levels of cortisol can negatively impact mood, lower energy levels, cause weight gain, increase blood pressure, and disrupt sleep.  

Promotes a Better Night’s Sleep 

Constantly worrying about everything on your plate can keep you up at night – but it doesn’t have to. According to an article in Harper’s Bazaar, massages have been shown to boost serotonin levels (the mood stabilizing hormone that also plays a big role in sleep) up to 28 percent. Being well-rested is a game changer when it comes to mood.  

Human Touch is Powerful

Researchers have found that massage produces feelings of comfort and connection as a result of caring physical contact. Just think about how good it feels to receive a hug from someone. Just like a hug, oxytocin levels (the hormone known as the “love hormone”) increase during a massage. This hormone is linked to individual and social trust and is an antidote to depressive feelings, according to Psychology Today. If you would like to work on improving your mental health, a massage will help. At Balanced Body Therapeutic Massage, we offer professional therapeutic massages at two convenient Lehigh Valley locations. Book your appointment online today.