Massage Therapy & Depression: A Literature Review

This literature review, performed by Lucy Last, CCMH Class of 2021, set out to explore the efficacy of massage therapy as complementary management to decrease symptoms of depression. 

Various search methods and techniques landed on five journal articles to review. Each study was unique; however, every study reviewed demonstrated that massage therapy is an effective treatment option for managing the signs and symptoms of depression

Significantly, one study declared an impressive average of 31% decrease of cortisol in patients experiencing depression. The same study claimed a 28% increase of serotonin and 31% increase in dopamine levels immediately following massage therapy treatment. 

A summary of each of the articles referenced, along with the researcher’s thoughts:

  1. T. Field, M Hernandez-Reif, M. Diego, et al. (November 2004). Cortisol Decreases and Serotonin and Dopamine Increase Following Massage Therapy; explains that “cortisol has been labeled a...
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Can we create more connection as massage therapists?

Can Massage Therapy help today’s students cope with the current COVID restrictions?

by Jennifer Stuart

Junior high and high schoolers are missing out on normal & necessary experiences. This and the reduction in their face-to-face connections with friends may have a significant effect on their development and mental health.  Massage Therapy may be able to provide some relief and connection they are currently lacking.

Today’s teens are navigating their world during a global pandemic full of uncertainty, instability, constant change, tons of screen-time, and LESS CONNECTION than ever before.  I listened to an interview with 3 Canadian high-school students talking about their struggles.  These were intelligent, well-spoken young people – those who would likely be at the tops of their classes, great athletes, musicians, or academics – and they were struggling.  They spoke of depression, overwhelm, and concern for themselves and their...

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