Today is Mental Health Awareness Day and I personally don’t know many people who are not affected in some way by a mental health problem, whether they suffer themselves, or have friends or family who do. 1 in 4 people in Britain have been diagnosed with some form of mental illness and yet there is still a lot of confusion and controversy surrounding diagnosis and treatment. There are many wonderful websites that give really helpful information for people, both directly and indirectly, affected by a mental health problems, the main one being Mind. I’m not here to explain what mental illness is, but to bring to your attention quite how crucial a role massage therapy can play in helping people cope with whatever is going on in their lives.
A lot of people think massage therapy is all about keeping your body healthy, getting rid of knots and tension and easing muscular pain. But it is just as much about the mental side of your health as it is the physical. In fact many people have regular massage treatments simply to relax and get away from the usual stresses of life. Just having that regular bit of time focused solely on you, means that you have a guaranteed break from the outside world, dedicated to making yourself feel better and forgetting any worries that may hinder your brain from day to day. Even if those stresses and worries return soon after leaving us, having even a short break away can enable your mind to deal with them far better than if it has been working tirelessly.
Massage treatments will give you a feeling of balance both in body and mind. For many people that suffer with depression and anxiety, it can be used as a way of building confidence, giving them an opportunity to get to know how they are feeling about themselves and for some people it is the best way for them to experience and understand what deep relaxation really feels like. It can work the other way as well, if you find you have been feeling lethargic, it can help to energise and motivate you. Some people that lack physical contact in day to day life, find themselves feeling an increased sense of loneliness, but having a massage treatment helps them to feel nurtured and cared for. It can make you more aware of yourself both mentally and physically, it can make you more aware of warning signs from your body that there is something wrong and enable you to get the appropriate help before it becomes a problem. The techniques used will encourage circulation, lymph movement, aids the digestive system and eases chronic muscle pain, all of which aids the healing process.
Massage is not for everyone though; some find that they are uncomfortable with physical contact and would rather remain fully clothed. There are always treatments that can be given fully clothed, part of our consultation process is to talk to the client and discuss exactly what they are comfortable with and what they wish to gain from the treatment. I cannot stress enough that if you feel uncomfortable with anything, please tell your therapist and they will be perfectly happy to alter the treatment accordingly, however they cannot do this if they are not aware! If you would prefer to avoid physical contact, a good treatment to try is Reiki. This is a non intrusive treatment in which the therapist will use universal energies channeled through the hands to encourage healing of the body and mind. Many people find it difficult to just lie down and relax so we also offer guided meditation and aromatherapy which encourages a deeper state of relaxation and ultimately enhances the treatment as a whole. Our resident expert, Lynn, is a Reiki Master and should you have any questions about this treatment would be more than happy to talk you through it.
So if you or a friend, or family member, have been struggling with a mental health issue, why not give us a call or an email and see if there is something we can suggest to help.