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Massage therapy can help to decrease pain and muscle aches, reduce stress and anxiety, and promote overall wellness and relaxation.

My son suffers from depression. Can massage help him deal with stress?

Melanie St. Ours (Washington, DC) on Oct 10, 2014
Diane, I'm so sorry to hear of the pain that your son is experiencing. I felt compelled to respond because I'm a massage therapist and clinical herbalist who specializes in mental health and trauma. I want you to know that even as difficult as the healing process can be, there is hope. So many people have walked the path of healing and been able to find peace and happiness in their lives. I have faith that you and your son will find your way to healing, too. I agree with your son's physician and certainly recommend massage therapy and other forms of bodywork to support him in his healing process. Massage and bodywork don't replace psychotherapy, but they help address the physical components of traumatic experience in a way that perfectly complements "talk" therapies. A skilled therapist who knows how to work with trauma survivors can help your son's nervous system to re-learn the experience of safety and basic trust. A good psychotherapist can help him work through the thoughts and feelings that accompany his experiences. The combination of the two is very powerful. He can even receive some of the benefits of massage without a professional therapist. Any kind of safe and supportive touch will cause the body to release oxytocin, which is the "bonding hormone" that increases feelings of well-being and closeness. Hugs work. Back rubs work. The most important thing here is that your son needs to be in an environment where he feels safe and comfortable to receive massage. Find a therapist who he trusts and with whom he feels comfortable. If he doesn't feel comfortable he likely won't be able to experience much benefit. While any therapy that he likes and feels good about will have a significant positive effect, if you have access to a massage therapist who practices CranioSacral Therapy and/or specializes in working with trauma survivors, so much the better. If your son doesn't quite feel comfortable with massage, he might have better results with another therapy like acupuncture or herbal medicine. Both of these disciplines have much to offer people who are recovering from abuse and experiencing emotional disturbances in the wake of their abuse. Please avoid any practitioners who claim that your son needs to experience emotional release or who ask him to talk about his abuse with them. Good trauma bodyworkers are always working to create safety and trust; they never ask a client to disclose their stories or push for emotional release. No matter what modality he chooses, it's vitally important that your son be in the driver's seat of the decisions about his health care. He needs to be the person who decides whether or not to tell a provider that he's experiencing depression or the aftermath of abuse, and he needs to be the one who chooses which therapies and therapists he wants to work with. The experience of abuse is that of profound loss of control and sometimes even a loss of the sense of self. Survivors need to begin to take back the control over their own lives; it begins with their healing process. Lastly, I hope that you'll reach out for support for yourself. It's very common for people who are close to survivors to experience secondary trauma, and it takes a toll to care for a person who is experiencing depression. I hope that you'll be as much an advocate for your own needs during this time as you are for your son's. The support of a compassionate massage therapist is a valuable healing tool that would serve you well, too. I am sending you my very deepest wishes for peace and healing. With great care, Melanie St. Ours, BFA LMT
Kristy Wiggins (Algonquin, IL) on Oct 10, 2014
Massage is great for those who suffer from psychosomatic issues, including anxiety and depression. The reason is because massage releases the natural pain killer and stress buster known as endorphins. When the body releases endorphins there is an increase in immune response and euphoria, fewer negative effects experienced from stress, as well as a reduction in somatic (body) pain. I would recommend him receiving a Swedish massage to assist him with managing his stress. Hope this helps! Kristy Wiggins, MBA Kristy Wiggins, MBA Licensed Massage Therapist, NCBTMB, AMTA
Richard Bartlett (Lansing, MI) on Oct 10, 2014
Massage can help people relax, sleep better, and feel better about themselves, and this has been found to be true in research. This may be something he could try and see if it helps. Finding a massage therapist he can trust, who is respectful of his boundaries, is most important. As an abuse survivor myself, I would say that being around supportive caring people, in a climate of love and respect, can be the most helpful to someone in this predicament. He may also find antidepressants helpful, and this may make the transition to college easier for him.
Frieda Mah (Irvine, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
Acupuncture might cover more benefits due to that stress can cause more health problems that massage can not help such as organ deficiency or function abnormality. Please refer to stress caused problems that acupuncture can treat at
Lloyd McElheny (Aurora, CO) on Oct 10, 2014
Massage has been proven to reduce stress and depression. See The Touch Institute web site: If I were treating your son, I would consult with his physician. My personal suggestion for course of treatment would be Swedish/Deep Tissue and Craniosacral therapies.
Kelly Wood (Rockford, IL) on Oct 10, 2014
General massage can help with relaxation, circulation and body awareness, which can lead to improved self image. Knowing, respecting, and connecting his physical body with his emotional and mental body could be a good step forward in helping with your son's depression and stress. All of these benefits of massage could help him cope better with the stress and challenges that going off to college have as well.
Ryan Chapman (Los Angeles, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
Massage can definitely health people with depression. Massage has many different benefits, some physical some psychological. On the physical side, massage can reduce body aches and pains, and make the body feel better, which can brighten anyone's mood. Massage also releases hormones from the brain that alter mood. It can also reduce cortisol levels due to stress reduction, help lower blood pressure among other things. On a Psychological level, Getting a massage often allows a person to relax and focus on themselves. Many of my clients rarely take the time to focus on what they need. Taking a hour every couple weeks might allow him to relax and get into a state of mind that increases his mood. All I can say is, you never know unless you try. In today's world, its medicate first and fix the problem later. I would definitely recommend you try a few massage sessions before you start medicating. Or if he is being medicated, add this in, then talk to your doctor if he starts to improve. It is important to remember that medicine typically does not fix a root cause of most issues, it simply masks them, or artificially reduces them in a unnatural way. But treatments like Massage, Acupuncture, Yoga, and exercise convince the body to heal itself.
Kymberly Kula (Lakewood, CO) on Oct 10, 2014
YES! I also suffer from depression and anxiety and massage is one of the BEST stress outlets I turn to. I recommend either a relaxing Swedish massage to start if he never had one before, but to move into Deep Tissue/trigger point because certain emotional responses can be triggered or "stored" into these area's and when released they can greatly help the client to "let go" of things. I also recommend finding a therapist who can relate to his ordeal and personally talk to him throughout the massage. Because talking about situations, can also help.
Richard Jones (Nampa, ID) on Oct 10, 2014
Massage, while helpful, is not a cure for the problem. Situations like that are best handled by removing the stressors or finding ways of coping. How a person handles the situation is their own choice. Massage, yoga, exercise, and a healthy diet all help a person to relax. However note that if there is physical abuse, a massage could bring up suppressed emotions. As for the type of massage, Swedish, Russian Sports Massage, reflexology, and hot stone are all supremely relaxing, both mentally and physically. If the abuse is severe enough and seeking professional help is viable it may be a good idea. Just talking about a situation can be tremendously helpful. Hope this helped.
Stephanie Grenadier (Hingham, MA) on Oct 10, 2014
Hello Diane. If your son is open to massage, I would definitely give it a try. I have worked with teens and college kids and for those who can allow the sessions, it has been very profound. (If he is not comfortable with it, it will just add to his stress.) Above and beyond any particular modality, it is important the your son like and trust the massage therapist. The relationship is far more relevant than method at this point, in my opinion. The sessions should be able to provide relaxation (except perhaps deep-tissue which could feel invasive and even abusive and should probably be worked up to, if used at all.) One of the best aspects of bodywork and massage of every type is that it can model self-care, self-worth, and self-acceptance. That being said, I still think a trusting relationship is the first criteria; after that, probably something of a gentler variety is in order. And if being unclothed adds to the stress, I would go with some type of energy work, acupressure, cranial sacral, or whatever makes him feel comfortable. By the way, some of the teens I work with use binaural relaxation soundtracks, which they love. There are podcasts, downloads, and information on the web. Remind your son that it is not his fault! I wish you both the best.
James Jordan Harrell (Pensacola, FL) on Oct 10, 2014
I would say, from personal experience, that everyone can do more when they feel better. Massage is a tool for whole body well-being.
Tammy Shaffer (Culver, IN) on Oct 10, 2014
Absolutely. Start with a Swedish massage. One of the reasons I love being a massage therapist is the transformation of the client. A client walks out of my office with a totally different posture.
William McCammon (Oxford, MS) on Oct 10, 2014
It can help him feel less stressed because of the release of the "feel good" endorphin hormones and the overall physiological relaxation response. However it will not help him "deal" with his stress any better as this is purely mental. Regular massage can however become some people's release, the same as someone else would go fishing or take martial arts. It all depends upon your son.
Adi Barad (Winnetka, IL) on Oct 10, 2014
Massage can definitely help to relax the mind and body. There are many different types of massages. I would recommend he try Asian Body Work Therapy. This therapy combines body work, nutritional suggestions, and an overall awareness of a healthy way of living.
Prisila Jacobs (New York, NY) on Oct 10, 2014
Hello Diane, Massage has a profound affect on the body's neuromuscular system. According to an article about the effects of massage on the autonomic nervous system, "Swedish massage, particularly effleurage and other slow stroking movements are thought to have a sedating effect leading to activation of the parasympsthetic nervous system. It appears that massage may stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system- stimulating the Vagus nerve to slow down the heart rate." I have observed this myself in my practice that people who come into the session visibly upset over some work-related issue or personal matter, leave the session speaking slower and appearing more relaxed overall. I have had many people thank me for helping to relieve their anxiety and stress. I also think that a caring massage therapist can go a long way in helping your son recover from abuse because when people are hurt emotionally, the pain often manifests in the body physically. This is why at school we were taught that it iss not uncommon for people to have an emotional release and cry during treatment because the adhesion or knot being healed is also healing the spirit. Infants can not live without being held and for adults, a therapeutic touch helps to promote a sense well being and relaxation for the recipient. I hope this helps, Diane. If you have any more questions, feel free to call me.
Andrea Santoro (Forest Hills, NY) on Oct 10, 2014
I would also say that massage can help, but some sort of psychotherapy should also be addressed.
Katalin Csoka (Mission Viejo, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes, it can help, temporarily. But, he needs more than that. Therapy, group therapy, acupuncture, herbal medicine and yoga are just some options.
Kim Vandeveer (Rohnert Park, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
Ask for a relaxation massage. In addition, get him an acupuncture treatment or seek Chinese medicine treatment.
Mark Carlson (Costa Mesa, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
Take 500mg of L-Tyrosine with water daily. L-Tyrosine is the main amino acid that controls brain function. This is brain chemistry 101. It is damn near impossible to be depressed with enough L-Tyrosine in the brain. It is totally safe to take.
Eddie Gibson (Wilkinson, WV) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes, massage is very beneficial when it comes to depression. Massage will help relax the body and release stress. It can also release emotions that your son is feeling. I have had clients start laughing or crying during massage due to emotional stress. You need to find an experienced therapist who has worked with depressed clients. As far as the kind of massage, Swedish massage would be my choice. Energy work or aromatherapy may help too.
Christine Gross (Grand Rapids, MI) on Oct 10, 2014
Try touch therapy or energy work.
Michael Moy (Willowbrook, IL) on Oct 10, 2014
For treating depression, acupuncture works best. If the person does not like needles, the other choice would be acupressure massage combine with cupping therapy. The treatment should be done in the evening for best results.
Amy FitzPatrick (New York, NY) on Oct 10, 2014
Hi Diane That is a tough situation. Massage is a great modality, but I cannot speak to its efficacy for depression. I am an acupuncturist and herbalist and have had success with depression & depression in pediatrics (which it sounds like your son may no longer qualify for! - congrats on the college!) In any case, with something as complex & pervasive as depression he will also need to consider some lifestyle changes. Please feel free to get in touch with me - mental health is my specialty and I would want to make sure your son heads off to a big adventure and undertaking in the best mental place possible for him. Kindly, Amy M. FitzPatrick, M.S., L.Ac.
Maria Baraybar Lee (Denver, CO) on Oct 10, 2014
I do not know about massage since I am not a massage therapist. Depression can be caused by many different things but can be treated with acupuncture and Chinese herbs.
Friska Streeter (Mokena, IL) on Oct 10, 2014
To some extent, yes. Depression can caused by inability to manage stress. Stress is caused by many different things, from emotional to physical condition. At some point the massage can prevent the condition from becoming worse. However, if the depression is caused by chemical imbalance, massage itself will not be able to reduce the stress level. It is always best to combine massage with other alternative medicines and counseling in this situation.
Chester Dickerson (Austin, TX) on Oct 10, 2014
Massage and acupuncture can both help alleviate stress and anxiety. Acupuncture can also be used for treatment of depression if used in conjunction with therapy. The use of acupuncture may help decrease the amount of antidepressants needed. But to answer your question, massage is definitely a great tool for reducing stress whether or not the client is depressed.
Kweli Ya-Saleem (Latham, NY) on Oct 10, 2014
I would suggest Swedish massage, craniosacral therapy, or myofascial release. The following is excerpted from Massage Magazine, Feb 2009, Vol 9, Issue 2. Treating Depression with Massage By Don McCann, MA, LMT Physical pain that is often chronic goes hand in hand with psychological depression. Often, clients who come for massage for pain relief also suffer from depression. Of course, as massage therapists we do not do psychotherapy. However, depression has major physiological and anatomical components; it is in this area that massage can truly have a significant and profound effect. It is important to understand depression and how it manifests physically. You also need to understand the different types of depression and physically how they individually respond to massage therapy. Situational depression: Many clients are situationally depressed. They usually have situations in life that are stressful and appear overwhelming. Situational depression often arises after loss of a loved one is experienced, typically during the mourning process. The good news is when the situations change massage can very effectively support the client moving out of depression. Family of origin depression: Other forms of depression are more psychological in nature and usually stem from family of origin issues that have been unresolved. Often these clients will have been in therapy to work on these issues and many will be medicated for depression. The seeds of depression will have been around since early childhood, so there has been plenty of time for the body to grow into a depressed and collapsing structure that gets significantly worse when the issues arise. In these situations, there are also endorphin biochemical changes. Moderate depression, like family of origin depression, will be longer term than situational depression. However, unlike family of origin depression, moderate depression will often be triggered by no discernable event. Often the appearance is cyclic even to the time of the year. These clients are often on long-term medication and in therapy. Because of the longevity and severity of moderate depression there are substantial structural and biochemical changes to the endorphins. It is important that these clients be monitored by mental health professionals during the duration of massage therapy. Severe depression often requires hospitalization and heavy medication. These clients usually won't be coming for massage until they have had months of both psychological and chemical therapy. Due to the severity of the depression their issues are often profound, and the changes both structurally and biochemically are more severe. It is important for the massage therapist to be working with the psychiatrist and/or psychotherapist to monitor the risk for relapse and potential suicide. Chronic depression is usually moderate to severe. These clients are being treated by mental health professionals with both medication and therapy. Because of the duration of chronic depression there will be significant structural collapse and changes in the endorphins. They should also be monitored by a mental health professional during the course of massage. Treatment with Massage Now let's identify some of the physiological and energetic challenges for those who are depressed. This is where massage therapy can accomplish physical changes that normal psychotherapy or medication cannot. With all the above forms of depression there is a structural collapse in the client. This involves a shortening of the abdominal muscles and a tightening of the diaphragmatic arch which pulls the chest down and forward, limiting its ability to expand during breathing. There is an additional medial rotation of the shoulders and internal rotation of the arms resulting in a kyphosis that further restricts breathing. Without the support of the thoracic region, the head and neck will move forward and down and further into collapse. All this distortion of the upper body will lead to further distortion in the lower body and give the structure an image of being fully collapsed. The degree of structural collapse will depend upon the severity of depression and its duration. The benefits of massage: Applying massage with the goal of releasing the structural collapse associated with depression will bring the client from a hopeless, helpless collapsed structure to one that is supported and erect. This sense of support will give the client feelings of being stronger and more capable of dealing with the issues of their depression. Key areas to release for structural support are: 1) the abdomen and diaphragmatic arch; 2) the musculature and connective tissue of the front of the chest that cause a sunken chest and medial rotation of the shoulders; 3) the musculature and connective tissue of the anterior shoulder and upper arms that cause an internal rotation of the arms; and 4) the musculature and connective tissue of the anterior neck followed by the posterior neck and top of the shoulders. Follow this by bringing the legs out of hyperextension and more under the body. All of this will result in a significant structural change in a depressed client. While releasing the structural collapse associated with depression you will also be releasing the breath process which will allow depressed clients to energize their system and have more energy. This additional energy will allow them to take part in their lives and move out of depression. Don McCann, MA, LMT, is a licensed mental health counselor (LMHC) and has been a therapist for more than 30 years. He developed structural energetic therapy (SET) and is the author of three books on pain affecting the head, neck, shoulders, carpal tunnel and low back. He can be reached at
Patricia Olson (Beaverton, OR) on Oct 10, 2014
It could totally help. Massage is a great way to lift the sprits and relieve stress.
Sharon Rose (Portland, OR) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes, it can. Relaxing his muscles can help relax his mind. Sometimes just taking an hour to take care of yourself is useful in itself. And there is a real therapeutic value to human touch, too. Acupuncture is another great way to go: We can calm the Shen (mental state) and some of us do massage combined in the same treatment.
Rosilee Alvarez (Seattle, WA) on Oct 10, 2014
Diane, As long as he's comfortable with it, absolutely. There are massage therapists that specialize in emotional traumas as well, but if that's what you're looking for make sure the therapist is actually licensed to do so. Normally a massage therapist has had some training with trauma, but check in your state. Each state has different requirements and some don't require licenses or insurance or really any training at all. As for a typical massage, it lowers heart rate, relaxes the nervous system, releases "feel good" hormones, all of which can help with depression. And sometimes just having that time to yourself, even if it's just an hour, can make a huge difference. There's a relationship with your therapist. You know you can trust him or her and you can just let yourself be. Massage can be very healing on many levels. Good luck.
Bharat Kalra (Wheaton, IL) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes of course ! Massage will improve blood circulation which will help hormonal balancing which in turn will help depression
Roger Bailey (Gatlinburg, TN) on Oct 10, 2014
I would recommend a relaxing Swedish massage. One thing you need to be aware of sometimes clients who have been abused can have emotional releases during massage. This is completely normal and could help the client cope,
Carrie Forman (Acton, MA) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes, massage and craniosacral therapy are very helpful for depression.
Carin Piacente (Putnam Valley, NY) on Oct 10, 2014
Hello Diane, I am so sorry for what your son is going through. It must be tough not just on him but as a mother watching her son go through this emotional time. Massage is a wonderful holistic treatment that can help with some of your son's depression. Massage contains many qualities that affect the body physically, mentally, and emotionally. Massage can help him relax and give him that "feel good " sensation that help direct him in a positive way. Massage also helps release endorphins, these are also released during exercises, which if you goggle them are the feel good hormones. It is worth a try. :) I would suggest starting off with a nice swedish massage as a starting point. I hope this helps
Robert Conroy (San Diego, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
Diane, massage is really excellent for stress and depression. I am also a California Certified Nutritionist and I treat depression and bipolar with nutrition. As a nation, 99% of us are omega-3 deficient. There is a huge connection between depression and nutrition. I checked with my school and I can do nutritional consulting for people outside California, by phone or e-mail. One out of every 10 Americans are on at least 1 anti-depressant drug. These drugs do no good if you have a nutritional deficiency or food allergy that's causing your depression. This is more common than you might think. Whatever the cause, nutrition can help.
Sean Elias (Santa Monica, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes, massage is wonderful for stress release. I would recommend a relaxation or Swedish massage because it's not uncomfortable, like deep tissue massage, and it allows a highly stressed person to relax their minds as well as their bodies. Hope this helps.
Ed Guieb (Hutchinson, KS) on Oct 10, 2014
Massage is an excellent way to help with lowering stress, and many people report a lessening of their symptoms of depression after receiving a massage (especially Swedish Massage). Keep in mind though that some people suffering with depression are uncomfortable with being touched. It must also be stated that massage IS NOT a treatment for depression; it only helps in addressing some of its symptoms. It is very important for him to talk with his physician and/or mental health care provider about whether or not he would benefit from having bodywork done. I cannot stress strongly enough that if he is currently experiencing depression symptoms (loss of interest in activities, persistent sadness, lack of energy, sleep problems, feelings of worthlessness or thoughts of suicide) that he talks with a doctor as soon as possible.
George Engelhard (Orlando, FL) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes, massage can help. So can Chinese medicine.
George Engelhard (Orlando, FL) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes, massage can help. So can Chinese medicine.
George Engelhard (Orlando, FL) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes, massage can help. So can Chinese medicine.
George Engelhard (Orlando, FL) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes, massage can help. So can Chinese medicine.
MaryAnn Sumaraga (Modesto, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
Some experts estimate that upwards of 90 percent of disease is stress-related. It could be the case that nothing ages us faster, internally and externally, than high stress. Massage is an effective tool for managing this stress, which translates into: Decreased anxiety. Enhanced sleep quality. Greater energy. Improved concentration.Ã''''''''Ã'''''''Ã''''''Ã'''''Ã''''Ã'''Ã''Ã'  Increased circulation. Reduced fatigue. Lessen depression and anxiety. I highly recommend a therapeutic massage using 100% essential oils, as well as craniosacral therapy, which can help balance and ease some of the depression. Depression begins with a disturbance in the part of the brain that governs moods. When stress is too great for a person and the adjustment mechanism is unresponsive, depression may be triggered. I am not sure how old your son is as the following recommendations are for adults. Check with a doctor to be sure. I would like to recommend some nutrients. Take Vitamin B complex, 100 mg 3 times a day. This supplement helps necessary brain function. Get B12 injections from a doctor if depression is severe. Have him take L-Tyrosine (an amino acid) on an empty stomach along with 1000 mg of Vitamin C and 50 mg of Vitamin B6. Tyrosine alleviates stress by boosting production of adrenaline and raises dopamine levels, which influence moods. Lack of tyrosine results in a norepinephrine deficiency at a specific brain location, resulting in mood disorders such as depression. A raw fruit and vegetable diet, alone with soybeans and their byproducts, is important. Diets too low in complex carbohydrates can cause serotonin depletion and depression. Keep his mind active and makes sure he gets plenty of rest and avoids stress. Massage is highly recommended!
Anna Waggoner (Indianapolis, IN) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes, most definitely! Depression can cause physical pain in the body. Massage therapy is a great way to help relieve that pain, as well as relax the body and mind, thus preventing depression.
Kevin Howley (Plymouth, MI) on Oct 10, 2014
Absolutely, massage can help with depression! Check out neuromuscular therapy. We work with clients who often have posture distortion and other factors that contribute to the development of depression. Often those with depression also have a depressed posture or a posture that is throwing the body out of its center of gravity, causing stress on nerves by compressing them or entrapping them.
Dustin Siena (Westlake Village, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
Massage is wonderful for human and animals. Learning some acupressure would be great for you if you would like to work on him, or he can learn it himself. Massage and aromatherapy are a great combination. Aromatherapy combined with massage allows essential oils to penetrate the meridians of the body, which can help activate "qi" or dispel energy blockages in the body. Consider learning acupressure, or making an appointment for him for some acupressure massage therapy. I would consider buying an aromatherapy book, which will teach you how to make essential oils. There are some wonderful oils for trauma including helichrysum, St. John's wort Oil, and rose absolute, to name a few. Some oils for mild to moderate depression include bergamot, neroli and camomile. A few combos that I like for healing after emotional traumas are: Rose bbsolute - 1 Part Sandalwood - 1 Part Sweet orange 1 Part Ylang yang - 1 Part Jasmine absolute - 3 Parts Sandalwood - 1 Part To elevate, brighten and uplift: Lemon -1 Part Frankincense 2 Parts Jasmine absolute - 3 Parts Letting go of past anger: (Equal Parts) Helichrysum Chamomile Bergamot Hope this helps! Good luck to you and your son!
Anne Hartley (Gahanna, OH) on Oct 10, 2014
Cory Moran (Richmond, FL) on Oct 10, 2014
Massage has been known to reduce cortisol (stress hormones) in the body and increase seratonin and dopamine levels. Massage not only helps the body let go of physical issues but emotional and mental issues as well!
Nancy Web (Pawtucket, RI) on Oct 10, 2014
Hi Diane, I am a practitioner and teacher of Eastern Medicine and Shiatsu as well as massage. Asian massage techniques, such as shiatsu. have a different scope of practice then relaxation massage. They are based on balancing the body, mind and spirit. The training provided for this type of therapy goes beyond just touch. Shiatsu does not require the removal of clothing, which usually feels safer for someone suffering from any type of abuse. I personally get referrals from therapists to work on the body trauma aspect of cellular memory. I often work with people with depression, PTSD, and ADHD. I would suggest looking for someone in your area that can provide this type of treatment for your son. Good luck.
Betty Humphrey (Harrisonburg, VA) on Oct 10, 2014
Hello Diane, Massage has been shown to effectively raise endorphin levels. Endorphin is the "feel good" chemical messenger in our bodies. I would suggest that he find a therapist that he feels comfortable with and begin with Swedish or relaxation massage sessions. He would probably get the most benefit from weekly treatments at first, gradually decreasing to treatments every two weeks and then monthly, as needed. I would also recommend helping him to develop a meditation practice. The techniques of Kinetic Forgiveness will be a powerful tool to help him to release the negativity that his mind and body have retained as a result of the emotional trauma he has endured. All of these things together can greatly improve symptoms of depression and anxiety. I wish him the very best and if there's anything else I can do to help, please let me know. Peace and God's Blessings, Betty
Betty Humphrey (Harrisonburg, VA) on Oct 10, 2014
Hello Diane, Massage has been shown to effectively raise endorphin levels. Endorphin is the "feel good" chemical messenger in our bodies. I would suggest that he find a therapist that he feels comfortable with and begin with Swedish or relaxation massage sessions. He would probably get the most benefit from weekly treatments at first, gradually decreasing to treatments every two weeks and then monthly, as needed. I would also recommend helping him to develop a meditation practice. The techniques of Kinetic Forgiveness will be a powerful tool to help him to release the negativity that his mind and body have retained as a result of the emotional trauma he has endured. All of these things together can greatly improve symptoms of depression and anxiety. I wish him the very best and if there's anything else I can do to help, please let me know. Peace and God's Blessings, Betty
Cindy Ferrell (Canton, MI) on Oct 10, 2014
Massage increases dopamine and serotonin naturally, helping ease depression. However, be aware that massage, while it can be a soothing, relaxing therapeutic tool, will sometimes bring out unexpected emotions. This can trigger emotional outbursts such as crying. I have seen people with no known issues get on a table for massage for the first time and begin to weep uncontrollably. This effect does subside with future massages. I'd inform the massage therapist of the reason for the visit, so she is prepared to deal with any emotions that do emerge during the session. Good luck, Diane. I think you're on the right track to getting your son some well-deserved treatment. You'll be surprised at how much hands-on therapy will help your son. Take care and best wishes.
Deborah Gilmore (Golden, CO) on Oct 10, 2014
Chavez Walden (Columbia, SC) on Oct 10, 2014
A massage will help in limited ways. A physical connection through touch will be very useful with helping him relax and feel comforted and accepted. Massage therapy can also assist in achieving an emotional release. Depression is the physical manifestation of prolonged stress. Stress itself is an emotion and it should be handled carefully. Our emotions stem from our thoughts and perception of life and the things around us. My suggestion is self-chakra balancing. Chakras are thepools of energy that supply vital energy throughout the body. A blocked chakra can have mental and physical side effects. In the case of your son. eepression could have caused a disruption in several chakras. In balancing a chakra, awareness of the root problem is key. I suggest making a list of what bothers him emotionally. Complete honesty is required! After a list is created, find a reasonable solution to each problem. Generally an emotional release is the best method. Crying or releasing bottled-up feelings will make a miraculous difference! Crying is very healthy in this situation. It's not weakness. It's healing!
Marcus Webb (Grand Rapids, MI) on Oct 10, 2014
Massage is a great remedy for this situation. A great mentor will also help, as the problem is mental. If you are in the greater Grand Rapids area you can call me at (616)589-4129 or you can contact me through this site. Thank you, Diane, and God bless.
Nicole Scruggs (Detroit, MI) on Oct 10, 2014
Massage will help. Reiki would be great. Look at his diet too. Is he eating a lot of processed food, refined flour and sugar? Does he exercise? Rejection hurts and it takes time to heal. Massage helps and so does good food. Natural French vanilla and nutmeg bring a sense of joy. Chamomile is relaxing. Blue vevain and black and blue cohosh can help too.
Efren Jimenez (Burbank, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
Hello and my apologies for not getting back to you sooner. Yes, different modalities of massage have shown to be very helpful in treating depression. I would recommend Swedish massage.It can be very relaxing. But when does with vigor, Swedish massage can not only boost circulation but self-awareness and mood.
Jagdish Jindal (Houston, TX) on Oct 10, 2014
Diane, this is a case of emotional stress. Emotions are governed by touch, smell, seeing and hearing. All these factors are controlled by memory. Your son's problem can be solved easily with acupressure scalp and face massage, with reflexology on the ears. The therapist should become a good friend of the client.
Simon Nelson (North Hollywood, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
Sunlight, Chinese herbs, swimming and deep tissue massage will speed his recovery.
John Stoltzfus (Richmond, IN) on Oct 10, 2014
I hope you have found some good connections for massage. I suggest trying a few different approaches of massage. One or more may be a good fit. I am glad to practice massage therapy, and I find ongoing massage significant in my overall sense of well being. Some massage approaches I enjoy include Swedish and craniosacral work. I have also enjoyed Watsu therapy very much.
Brian Kocun (New York, NY) on Oct 10, 2014
Everyone knows that getting a massage is relaxing and works to relieve daily stress. But a number of studies have shown that it may help relieve clinical depression. A group of researchers have conducted a review of medical literature to find out if it really works. The authors searched for randomized controlled trials of massage therapy in depressed patients. They identified 17 studies including 786 people in all. In 13 of the trials, massage therapy was compared to another active treatment such as Chinese herbs, relaxation exercises, or rest, while four compared massage to a control group. Investigators also used a range of methods for evaluating mood and depression in study participants. The results of their investigation suggest that massage therapy holds potentially significant effects in easing depression. The researchers believe that more studies need to be done to firmly establish this link.
Sabrina Cornell Miller (Minneapolis, MN) on Oct 10, 2014
Massage is a wonderful way to relax and let go of tension and stress. Our muscle contain a lot of memory of experiences, and if they are negative the muscles harden and start to hurt. Stuck energy equals pain. Massage, especially combined with acupressure or acupuncture, is a more customized approach of healing. I will explain to you our treatment plan and answer any question you may have. Thank you very much.
Kevin Franklin (Brandon, FL) on Oct 10, 2014
Massage is always beneficial for stress, anxiety, and depression. Contact me if you would like more information or to schedule an appointment.
Nicole Desrochers (Mount Vernon (fleetwood), NY) on Oct 10, 2014
There are a number of ways through which massage could help people with depression. By reducing stress and inducing relaxation; building an alliance between the therapist and patient; and by causing the body to release the "trust hormone" oxytocin. Stress can manifest itself as stiffness in muscles. This tension restricts the supply of oxygen, leading to accumulation of lactic acid and waste products in these muscles. After prolonged periods of stress, this results in soreness and pains in muscles. Massage improves blood circulation, relieves tension, increases oxygen flow, boosts the immune system, and clears the mind. Swedish massage, energy work, and reflexology would be my recommended techniques. I sincerely hope this helps and that he finds the help he needs.
Judie Yim (New York, NY) on Oct 10, 2014
First, under New York State laws, any person under 18 years of age needs to be permitted by a legal guardian and must be present in the room while the underage recipient received treatment. More importantly, your son can receive benefit from a nurturing touch focusing on his sympathetic nervous system located on the back, neck, and head. Tiffany Field 's Touch Institute of Florida has proven scientifically, that therapeutic touch can help with overall wellness. Best of luck for your son in a difficult time of transition.
Sue Moore (, ) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes, massage releases endorphins like dopamine from the pituitary gland, which relaxes the body. I would recommend cranial release or Swedish massage to relax the body and mind. He could also benefit from energy work, which has proven to be beneficial to many clients. Qi Gong can be quite beneficial. It involves deep breathing and slowing your thoughts down to a point you can best deal with them. It is much like a mix of Tai Chi and yoga. It is also a wonderful workout. I hope that this helps and I wish your son all the best.
David Barr (Seattle, WA) on Oct 10, 2014
Massage can provide relief from the physical symptoms of depression and stress. Depending on how his stress manifests, there are a variety of different specializations that may be useful. For example, if he is the type to hunch his shoulders and clench his hands into fists, there are a number of stretching techniques in Thai massage that would be effective. If, on the other hand, he is more likely to clench his jaw or yell , craniosacral techniques might well be more applicable to his situation. The key is to find a therapist who your son can feel comfortable around, and who is able to respond to the unique needs of your son.
Brian Roel (Dallas, TX) on Oct 10, 2014
Sorry for the delay in answering your question. Massage can definitely help your son cope with his depression. If he is stressed, then more likely his muscles are stressed as well. . I would like to work with him. I could get your son on a massage schedule to give him some relief. For a firm Swedish massage, I charge $55 if he comes to my business address or my home massage studio.
Aram Akopyan (Glendale, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
Hello, Diane. My recommendation is for your son to try a combination of things. He should do some form of meditation or moving exercises, such as Tai Chi or Qi Gong. These can help balance seratonin and have been shown to reduce stress and enhance mood. Also, he should get acupuncture every week for at least three months to reduce stress and balance his hormones. Additionally, a proper dietary regiment can further help cleanse his system. Remember that emotions are the root of all disease, so managing his emotions will help him live a healthy and well-balanced life.
Rosemary Rickard (Tampa, FL) on Oct 10, 2014
Hi, Diane. Thank you for inquiring about this issue. Massage therapy is very beneficial to victims of abuse. I have previous experience working with abuse survivors in a counseling center. The counselors referred their patients to me for healing and relaxation. Through massage, abuse survivors learn what healthy touch is all about and that they are worthy of love, kindness, and self-esteem. I would be happy to assist in this healing process for your son.
Amor Largo (Atlanta, GA) on Oct 10, 2014
Yes, massage could help him. He will probably need more than one massage, however.
Vanessa McKay (Orangeburg, NY) on Oct 10, 2014
Massage could help him to relax and de-stress. I would suggest an aromatherapy massage. The essential oils can enhance his ability to relax and lift his spirit. Acupuncture has greater long term benefits for depression and anxiety. The treatment process takes a little while, but it's certainly better than any sort of medication for depression.
Leslie Wilcher (Naperville, IL) on Oct 10, 2014
Diane, massage will help him greatly. He would need to start off with a Swedish massage, which will help him relax. Afterward he will feel tired but relaxed. After the massage, you need to get him to drink water to flush out toxins and to rehydrate the body for at least 24 hours. Just regular plain water, nothing else. He should probably see a massage therapist at least once every two weeks. Depression is a constant battle, but he will get better. I will send good thoughts and prayers your way. Leslie L.M.T.
Julie Laico (Safety Harbor, FL) on Oct 10, 2014
If he has never had a massage before, I would start him off with a gentle relaxation massage. Massage can help him avoid medication for depression. Massage will be more effective and better for him in the long run.
Crystal Balboa (Desert Hot Springs, CA) on Oct 10, 2014
Massage is great for depression, especially when combined with aromatherapy.
Brian Skow (Scottsdale, AZ) on Oct 10, 2014
Shiatsu therapy, performed by a fully trained and certified provider, can provide your son with deep feelings of relaxation and peace. These feelings can be maintained through the practice of meditation and breathing exercises.
Laurie Velez (New Windsor, NY) on Oct 10, 2014
Diane, I am sorry to hear about what your son is going through. One of the many benefits of massage is that it helps decrease depression and stress. Massage increases the serotonin levels in the brain, which is what makes you feel happy or good. Massage is a wonderful holistic antidepressant without negative side effects. Even a basic Swedish massage can do wonders.
Rogelio Medina (Arlington, TX) on Oct 10, 2014
Most types of depression can be relieved by massage, which works in several ways to alleviate symptoms. Massage reduces stress by activating the relaxation response. It increases serotonin and dopamine, hormones that decrease stress, and reduces cortisol, the "fight or flight" hormone. Swedish massage is one popular form of relaxation massage, though everyone is different, and some people find deep tissue massage more relaxing. If your son is new to massage, I recommend starting with Swedish massage.