How Massage Can Improve Your Mood

How Massage Can Improve Your Mood

We all know how a good massage can make us feel relaxed and give us a better outlook on life. However, did you know that there are many real health benefits to massage? Regular massage has amazing mood-boosting abilities that will have your overall mental outlook improved in ways you did not think possible.

Massage Changes Immune Function
In a study published by Massage Magazine, a 25-minute massage was capable of inducing many physiological reactions in participants. Participants who received the 25-minute massage had lowered serum cholesterol levels, the findings of the study suggested that massage not only boosted immune function but also supported and promoted general good health. Maintenance of the major blood markers such as cholesterol can do wonders for improving mood, especially for long time sufferers.

Improves Serotonin Levels
Serotonin is a brain chemical that regulates mood, and depression is attributed to lowered or irregular serotonin levels.
Massage can help those with low serotonin levels because it boosts the body’s natural ability to produce serotonin. Everyday Health reports that those who receive regular massage can expect to see an increase in their serotonin levels and a subsequent drop in depression and pain.

Reduces Stress Hormones
Everyday Health reports that regular massage also reduces the presence of stress hormones in the body, including cortisol and adrenaline. The reduction of these hormones in the body leads to a host of positive mood changes for the person receiving regular massage therapy.

In one study, participants who received 6, 30-minute massages over the course of 2 weeks reported that they had a reduction in anger, sadness, and stress.

The key to enjoying these positive benefits of massage is to make sure that you are receiving a massage with moderate pressure. This type of pressure will activate the healing properties of massage therapy.

As Beneficial As Medical Treatments
The American Massage Therapy Association has noted several studies that show how regular massage therapy can improve the symptoms of many medical conditions. These conditions include many mood related disorders.

The AMTA cites links to massage therapy combined treatment effectiveness with the following disorders:

• Anxiety
• Fibromyalgia
• Insomnia
• Depression
• Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
• Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder

The studies linking the combined treatment of massage therapy and traditional medicine to improved moods for these patients show how massage significantly affected the mood of those patients receiving massage therapy to significantly improve treatment outcomes.

Additional Benefits
When we think of mood-boosting benefits, it can be easy to bottleneck those thoughts into those related to alleviating depressed mood and anxiety. However, massage can boost your mood by just improving your overall quality of life. Think about how your outlook would benefit from things like improved flexibility and decreased healing time after an injury? Well, massage therapy can do these things for you.

Increased Flexibility
Licensed Massage Therapists can help address soft tissue damage and disorders. Massage can help you loosen tight muscles and work on tight ligaments and tendons to increase your flexibility. These types of improvements in your daily activities can lead to great boosts in overall mood.

Decreased Healing Time
Massage increases blood flow to massaged muscles. With small tissue injuries like sprains and strains, massage has been shown to reduce the healing time associated with these types of injuries.
Of course, you should always let your massage therapist know what type of injury you’re dealing with to ensure they use proper technique to assist with the healing process.

Give It A Try
Everybody reacts differently to massage. You may find that it takes a few massage sessions before you can relax enough to reap the benefits of your massage therapy sessions.
If you would like to see how massage therapy could improve your mood, the only real way to know is to find a local licensed massage therapist.
Make sure that they are licensed and that they have the proper training so that you can see all the benefits that their training has to offer.
Massage is a wonderful way to improve your emotional and mental state. By simply enjoying the relaxing therapeutic touch that massage offers you, you can boost your mood, and regular massages can ensure that you feel good in mind, body, and spirit for the long-term!

Stress Management through the Use of Flowers

 

flowers to deal with stress

Roses, as some might say, are part of the  stereotypical gifts men give women, along with chocolate and wine.

Lotuses tend to be associated with narcotics and opium dens by some, likely due to the lotus being a popular motif in depictions of organized crime in early 19th century China.

Chrysanthemums and peach blossoms once had cultural connotations and links to the Japanese and Chinese imperial thrones, respectively.

Cherry blossoms, sakura to the Japanese, are treated as nature’s subtle and beautiful way of reminding mortals of the short, evanescent nature of life as believed by Japanese who practice their Zen and Shinto religions.

Flowers can have many meanings and many implications, varying from culture to culture, but there is one that (apparently) even science is not disputing: stress management.

Studies conducted by various organizations and groups in Japan and South Korea have found data that appears to indicate that growing flowers or simply viewing a flower garden is a viable form of stress management. This was quite observable during hanami, the three days of spring in Japan where most Japanese traditionally spend a day viewing the blooming cherry blossoms.

According to studies, most of them showed remarkably lower levels of stress compared to those who did not. This effect has been associated in the past by other cultures and countries as well, as exemplified by the popularity of vast flower gardens in European palaces and estates. The study also showed that flowers, whether being viewed or received, had immediate effects on a person’s mood, at times even alleviating the effects of depression and anxiety for a few minutes.

Evidence also suggest that they make excellent ways to regulate someone’s mood, which is considered a component of any attempt at stress management.

Common sense has long told people that being around flowers make people feel happy, or at least a little less dismal and drab. Now, science is starting to realize that common sense, in this case, was not entirely incorrect. There is currently no real data on how or why flowers are able to have such effects and if these effects are universal for all known flowers.

However, there can be no disputing the fact that flowers being used for stress management and emotional therapy actually do work, even though how effective the tactic is varies from person to person. It is also unknown if the scent or the appearance of the flowers have any influence on the effect, though it is notable that no one wants to receive rotten flowers. There might also be links to memory-based reactions to the flowers, but this has not yet been fully explored.

There have also been some notes on how certain flowers seem to trigger specific emotions and areas of the brain. For example, roses seemed to stimulate areas of the brain that are known to react to intimacy and romance, which might explain why they’re such popular choices for dating. The aforementioned cherry blossoms and peach blossoms both appeared to have a soothing effect, relieving tension, particularly in large amounts. Gardenias, hydrangeas, and other small flowers were notable because they gave test subjects a sensation of tranquility and calm, stimulating areas similar to those touched upon by cherry and peach blossoms. The study noted other effects caused by other flowers, but noted that they were similar to the ones noted above.