The stresses of our modern day life are wearing on people like never before. One area of our society that is being particularly affected is our tween/teen group. The "...increased rates of anxiety and depression among America’s youth signal a palpable threat from suicide," and teens are not the only ones being affected (see https://dailysign.al/38tZsx7).
Yet, there is GOOD NEWS. Lifestyle interventions such as receiving regular massage therapy, implementing simple nutritional changes, adopting regular exercise practices, and utilizing water based therapies among other things can have a profoundly positive impact on mood and whole-body wellness. An article from Mayo Clinic details further, "research suggests that more than 90 percent of illness results from stress alone." Yet, "a 60-minute massage can lower cortisol, a hormone that’s produced in response to stress, by an average of 30 percent... by lowering cortisol and [thereby] increasing serotonin, you’re boosting your body’s ability to fight off pain, anxiety and feelings of sadness." The author further states, "massage can be considered an hour-long hug, providing you with a nurturing safe place to rest physically and emotionally." See https://mayocl.in/35hmLZ9 for further details. Massage therapy is a known to boost immunity due to its direct effect on cortisol levels which, in excess, suppress immune function.
Want to give regular massage therapy a try or find out about other self-help strategies? Give us a call at 308-432-4558 and we'll schedule a time for a massage, or just a time to visit in depth with you! 😊❤️
IMPORTANT NOTE: Massage therapy is not a replacement for medical intervention. If you or a loved one are struggling with anxiety, depression, or thoughts of suicide, please contact your local healthcare provider, your local faith community, and/or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800) 273-8255 immediately.
Field, T., Morrow, C., Valdeon, C., Larson, S., Kuhn, C., Schanberg, S. (1992). Massage reduces anxiety in child and adolescent psychiatric patients. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 31(1):125-31. "A 30-minute back massage was given daily for a 5-day period to 52 hospitalized depressed and adjustment disorder children and adolescents. Compared with a control group who viewed relaxing videotapes, the massaged subjects were less depressed and anxious and had lower saliva cortisol levels after the massage. In addition, nurses rated the subjects as being less anxious and more cooperative on the last day of the study, and nighttime sleep increased over this period. Finally, urinary cortisol and norepinephrine levels decreased, but only for the depressed subjects."
Moyer, C.A., Rounds, J., Hannum, J.W. (2004). A Meta-Analysis of Massage Therapy Research. APA Psychological Bulletin. 130(1): 3–18. "Massage therapy (MT) is an ancient form of treatment that is now gaining popularity as part of the complementary and alternative medical therapy movement. A meta-analysis was conducted of studies that used random assignment to test the effectiveness of MT. Mean effect sizes were calculated from 37 studies for 9 dependent variables. Single applications of MT reduced state anxiety, blood pressure, and heart rate but not negative mood, immediate assessment of pain, and cortisol level. Multiple applications reduced delayed assessment of pain. Reductions of trait anxiety and depression were MT’s largest effects, with a course of treatment providing benefits similar in magnitude to those of psychotherapy. No moderators were statistically significant, though continued testing is needed. The limitations of a medical model of MT are discussed, and it is proposed that new MT theories and research use a psychotherapy perspective." See also https://bit.ly/2InlSFr .
Field, T., Hernandez-Reif, M., Diego, M., Schanberg, S., Kuhn, C.. (2005). Cortisol decreases and serotonin and dopamine increase following massage therapy. Int J Neuroscience: 115(10):1397-413. "In this article the positive effects of massage therapy on biochemistry are reviewed including decreased levels of cortisol and increased levels of serotonin and dopamine. The research reviewed includes studies on depression (including sex abuse and eating disorder studies), pain syndrome studies, research on auto-immune conditions (including asthma and chronic fatigue), immune studies (including HIV and breast cancer), and studies on the reduction of stress on the job, the stress of aging, and pregnancy stress. In studies in which cortisol was assayed either in saliva or in urine, significant decreases were noted in cortisol levels (averaging decreases 31%). In studies in which the activating neurotransmitters (serotonin and dopamine) were assayed in urine, an average increase of 28% was noted for serotonin and an average increase of 31% was noted for dopamine. These studies combined suggest the stress-alleviating effects (decreased cortisol) and the activating effects (increased serotonin and dopamine) of massage therapy on a variety of medical conditions and stressful experiences."
The Depression Recovery Program by Neil Nedley, MD
In addition to other liftestyle programs, we have helped direct and facilitate the Nedley Depression Recovery Program for 5+ years. It is a lifestyle-education based program that has a whopping 90% (that's Ninety Percent!) success rate for helping people overcome depression (also anxiety and anger issues) for those who fully adhere to the lifestyle principles and practices taught within the program. Nutrition, massage therapy, hydrotherapy, mental exercises, et cetera are what make this program so enormously successful. In this capacity, we function merely as lifestyle/wellness educators/coaches and teach scientifically validated lifestyle principles that can be used to help individuals improve quality of life, and as licensed professional massage therapy providers. We work in conjunction with licensed mental healthcare providers, and always refer individuals to appropriate resources. The Depression Recovery Program's overall (and ENORMOUS) success rate is a testament to the fact that when you focus on the underlying lifestyle aspects that may be contributing to someone's depression (there are 10 "hit" categories), individuals are often able to stop relapsing and overcome depression and anxiety for good! The Depression Recovery Program is hosted by Neil Nedley, MD, a world renown mental health expert focusing on lifestyle intervention for depression and anxiety. For further information see https://bit.ly/3lnGBYe. NOTE: This is not to take away from the importance of professional mental healthcare, or drug therapy when necessary; nor do we profess to treat, cure or prescribe to treat any illness or disease.
Regular fasting has proven to be exceptionally effective for reducing the incidence of illness and disease. Overindulgence on the other hand is well known to produce a wealth of disease processes. Fasting can be done in many different ways; from once in a blue moon to daily; from full and water only, to fasting from or with the use of specific foods; or coupled with rest or specific activities -- all depending upon the desired outcome. For length of life, health and general daily detox, caloric restriction diets practiced on a daily basis seem to be incredibly effective. Words of wisdom from the ancients say, "eat until you are 80% full" and if you focus intently on ensuring exceptional nutrient intake along with caloric restriction, one might rightfully expect to live to a healthy, happy old age.
If you've never fasted before it would be beneficial to seek out more information prior to venturing on any intensive technique as some do come with precautionary measures. Always be sure to talk to your primary care provider before starting any major health venture, especially if you are already under medical care.
If you'd like more information on general fasting techniques, we'd be happy to visit with you. Just call 308-432-4558 for info.
Coronavirus has affected our operations in reference to many of the subjects or services listed herein. Please see our dedicated COVID-19 page for information. Until further notice, all of our standard policies and procedures will be trumped by the Nebraska State DHM (Directed Health Measures) in order to stay in compliance with state law as far as possible. Thank you all for your continued support and patience as we collectively work through this.
Jerri W., LMT, CWC
Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Wellness Coach with over 25+ years of experience in pain management, relaxation techniques and lifestyle education.
Heather R., LMT, CWC
Certified Wellness Coach and Licensed Massage Therapist with a passion for helping others achieve optimal wellness through healthier living.
NOTICE: The information provided herein is meant for educational purposes only. We accept no liability for your use of the information provided. As always, use your best judgment and if in doubt, please consult your healthcare provider to determine the best course of action for your particular situation.