What does massage have to do with depression? Massage seems to be about the farthest thing from depression which you can find. And that is exactly my point.
A sad and unnecessary story
Recently I got an email from a friend of mine. She told me that her doctor decided that she had a case of depression, and he put her on heavy anti-depressants. He told her she should keep taking them for several years!
She complained to me that the drugs had strong side effects. How come I am not surprised!
Now, I know this person well enough to know that she is not a seriously depressed person. She never had a big problem with depression until she was told that she had it. And now she is popping pills like candy. Quite a sad story, really.
The value of medical science (and the lack of it)
I know that there are cases where people are a danger to themselves and others, and they might have to be medicated. And I also know that medicine does a great job of fixing broken things in the body, reattaching parts, replacing parts and stitching accident victims back together.
But I also know that medical science has a lousy track record when it comes to healing immune system issues, chronic diseases, and yes, even the common cold.
I also know that ingesting lots of chemical pills can and does cause a lot of problems and is something to be avoided as much as possible. If anyone doubts this, get a hold of a copy of the “Physician’s Desk Reference” and read up on side effects of popular drugs. It is scary, let me tell you!
Common sense and some easy remedies
I cannot diagnose diseases and I am not an expert in medical science, but I do have some good common sense that has served me quite well in life. This depression episode got me thinking.
Most of us get a little depressed every now and then. Life has its ups and downs, and the downs can get to us. Just using some old fashioned common sense and a life time’s worth of experience, what might likely help a mild case of depression?
11 tips to prevent or counteract depression
Here are some things which you can do when you get the doldrums (not one of them was suggested to my friend by the doctor):
- deep breathing
- exercise (check out my follow-along exercise in this video)
- improve your diet, drink lots of fresh squeezed juices
- get some sun on your body
- spend time in nature
- hug someone
- play with a puppy or kitten
- helping someone else instead of focusing on me, me, and me
- stop taking yourself so seriously
- read or listen to something funny
- And last, but not least, GET LOTS OF GOOD MASSAGE
Massage therapy to the rescue
I dare anyone to feel depressed when you are getting an excellent massage. It is actually pretty difficult if not impossible since massage increases the production of endorphins. And those little fellas are perfectly designed to counteract anything depressive that comes anywhere near them.
When I have a case of the blues, I go down to the local mall and get a one hour foot massage while I am watching the world go by. I have never managed to NOT feel good when I do that. Luckily here in Thailand massage is cheap and available everywhere.
An easy massage fix when you cannot afford one
If you live in a place where massage is expensive and not so easily available, suggest to your partner, spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend to learn a little massage so that you can work on each other.
It will not only get you out of depressive moods, but it can be of great value in improving your relationships as well. I have produced the perfect video course for this. It is called “Massage For Friends And Family“. You can find it here.
This can be a lifelong skill and a great hobby. You don’t have to spend the big bucks on professional massage therapy if your budget is tight. Just invest a little time to learn some massage skills yourself and share the experience and the knowledge with your loved ones.
Massage is often my first line of defense when I don’t feel right. Massage is not just good for your body, it is good for your mind as well.
I love the relaxed, trance-like, peaceful, carefree, happy, clear and light feeling after a good massage. It makes me feel like I am walking on clouds. And you can be sure that there are no unwelcome side effect.
The author, Shama Kern, is the founder and director of Thai Healing Massage Academy. He has been practicing and teaching Thai Massage for 16 years and he is the creator of 20 Thai Massage online video training courses.