Massage therapy can be a helpful complementary treatment for depression and anxiety-related disorders, but it is not a substitute for evidence-based treatments such as medication and therapy.
Several studies have suggested that massage therapy may be effective in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. For example, a 2010 meta-analysis of 17 studies found that massage therapy had a moderate effect in reducing symptoms of depression. Another meta-analysis of 12 studies found that massage therapy was associated with significant reductions in anxiety symptoms.
However, it is important to note that these studies have limitations, such as small sample sizes and variations in the type and duration of massage therapy used. More research is needed to fully understand the effectiveness of massage therapy for depression and anxiety-related disorders.
In addition, it is important to seek the advice of a healthcare professional before using massage therapy as a treatment for depression or anxiety. Massage therapy should not be used as a substitute for evidence-based treatments, such as medication and therapy, and it may not be suitable for everyone. A healthcare professional can help determine if massage therapy is a safe and appropriate treatment option for you