Massage therapists play a vital role in every community. Not only do they use their skills to provide natural and effective pain relief for their clients, but they also provide services that enhances mental health and improves quality of life. Trained massage therapists are in demand now more than ever. If you are interested in a career that makes a huge impact in the lives of others, you should consider becoming a massage therapist. Keep reading to learn more about massage therapy, how it positively impacts mental health, and how to get started on this exciting career path.
What is Massage Therapy?
Massage therapy is a service performed by licensed professionals, typically in a spa, medical setting, or resort. During a massage, the licensed massage professional uses purposeful pressure on targeted areas of the body to provide pain relief and an enhanced state of relaxation. The massage therapist performs different techniques including Swedish massage, deep tissue massage and other massage techniques learned during a massage therapy program at a vocational school.
What are the Benefits of Massage for Mental Health?
Massage therapy is a highly effective way to reduce stress, alleviate anxiety, and treat depression. Massage therapy can be used in conjunction with a client’s treatment program to alleviate chronic or acute mental health conditions. The benefits of massage for mental health include:
Benefit #1: Stress Relief
The last few years have been stressful for everyone. Needless to say, the need for effective stress relief is greater than ever before. Massage therapy helps to relieve stress through relaxation and by lowering heart rate and blood pressure. Massage therapy can help reduce cortisol levels. Cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone,” is produced during heightened states of arousal and stress. A lower level of cortisol measured in the blood signifies decreased anxiety and a greater sense of calmness. Massage enables the body to enjoy a state of calmness while allowing it to focus on the present. Massage also encourages mindfulness, which is known for reducing stress in the mind and body.
Benefit #2: Anxiety Relief
Anxiety is characterized as a persistent, overwhelming feeling that something is wrong. Anxiety is unique and presents differently for everyone. Those suffering from anxiety may experience a racing heart, sweating, muscular aches, and shakiness. These symptoms can be persistent or ebb and flow in severity. If left untreated, anxiety can significantly reduce a person’s quality of life and lead to secondary issues such as depression or high blood pressure. While there are medications that are designed to help those suffering from anxiety disorders, they often come with significant side effects. Therefore, many people may look for more natural ways to address these bothersome symptoms.
Massage therapy can help reduce the symptoms of acute or chronic anxiety. Those dealing with anxiety may see a reduction in the intensity of their symptoms after receiving a massage from a professional massage therapist. Many veterans who suffer from combat related posttraumatic stress disorder may enjoy a decrease in the frequency of flashbacks and additional anxiety related symptoms.
Benefit #3: Better Sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep is incredibly important to have a productive day. Unfortunately, many people experience sleep related issues, including the inability to fall and stay asleep. Massage can help alleviate sleep related issues and enhance the quality of sleep. The human touch is powerful and can help the brain decrease the amount of cortisol released into the bloodstream.
At the same time, therapeutic massage encourages the release of dopamine and serotonin (otherwise known as the “feel good” hormones), which can help stabilize mood and promote feelings of happiness and well-being. By inhibiting the production of stress hormones and increasing the output of “feel good” hormones, the body may experience a reduction in stress and anxiety, allowing the mind to fall asleep quicker and enjoy a more restful night of slumber.
Benefit #4: Reduce Depression
Many people suffer from depression. For some people, depression can become overwhelming, making it difficult to function. Depression is characterized as a feeling of sadness and despair and can impact a person’s ability to enjoy the things they used to. Because massage therapy involves the use of the hands, the human touch can create a sense of connection that those who suffer from depression may benefit from. And, because depression can also cause aches and back pain, a massage session can offer effective relief from the symptoms of depression.
Benefit #5: Relief of Headaches and Migraines
Headaches and migraines can be caused by muscle tension trapped deep within the muscles. Massage therapy may help reduce the frequency of migraines and headaches. Techniques like deep tissue massage can target the shoulders, which encourages the muscles to relax and release tension. The brain can then experience relief from these symptoms and enjoy a decrease in subsequent headaches.
How Do You Help Clients with Their Mental Health?
You can help those with mental health symptoms by becoming a compassionate massage therapist. An easy way to qualified as a massage therapist is by first attending and successfully completing a vocational school program.
As a massage therapist, you can provide a valuable service to your clients. Not only can you deliver effective relief of physical pain, but you can also be a vital component of your client’s mental health treatment program. Clients who receive a professional massage from a skilled practitioner enjoy many mental health benefits.
By becoming a professional massage therapist, you are not only securing a successful future for yourself, but you can also make a positive difference in your client’s lives. If you are interested in learning more about this challenging and fulfilling career, take the first step and enroll in a massage therapy vocational school program today. The Minnesota School of Cosmetology will be with you every step of the way.
Massage Therapy Program
If you are interested in the healing powers of massage, you can begin your career in massage therapy at Minnesota School of Cosmetology. Our short-term massage therapy training program is designed to be completed in as little as 13 months. Our massage therapy training program is designed as a holistic program that will prepare students to focus on body mechanics of their patients as well as develop positive habits for the therapist. Together, those two areas will provide a foundation that can lead to longevity in the career field.
Contact us today to learn more about becoming a massage therapist and starting a rewarding career in the massage industry.