Massage … For Depression?

I’ve been reading through my posts lately and had rather forgotten about this one – I hope you don’t mind me reposting!

Research says that a part of the treatment of depression and anxiety is to indulge in massage. Fabulous! However, I’m a middle class, middle aged woman and I don’t just take my clothes off for anyone. I’m rather British and frankly going to a therapist for the first time was bad enough – stiff upper lip and all that. Talking about one’s feelings? Are you clinically insane? I went to a Victorian boarding school on the southernmost cliffs of England where crying oneself to sleep was the norm, but one never talked about it.

So to be completely starkers, be kneaded and pummelled like a lump of dough was definitely going to take some pluck and courage.

The Technical Paragraph … skip this para if you have a low boredom threshold (I do if it’s any consolation).

The Mayo Clinic claim that a 60 minute massage can lower cortisol (the hormone that’s produced when stressed) by an average of 30 per cent, (although the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine found the therapy lowered levels by 53 per cent … bit of a difference but it’s all going down and that’s what matters in my book). And when cortisol lowers, serotonin and dopamine increase. The combination of all this thereby boosting the body’s ability to fight off pain, anxiety and feelings of sadness. Win, win, win! Definitely worth ripping my clothes off for.

Ok … enough of the dull bit … carry on now.

So off I trundle to visit ‘Michelle’. Michelle is stunning. Michelle has a sing-song voice calming voice and in the warm, whale music of her scented room, I lie on a bed with only a couple of tiny towels covering the important bits. Now, to be clear, say that the word massage comes from the Arabic word mass’h which means “press gently“. I since have looked into this further, and there are definitely some discrepancies over this. But as far as I am concerned … “gently” sounds good.

Are you joking? Face down with my head poking through a hole in the bed, I am oiled, squeezed, stretched, pummelled and beaten within an inch of my life. And I feel fan-bloody-tastic! I feel slightly drunk and my legs certainly can’t hold me up. No wonder the Chinese have been doing this for the last 2,500 years …. who needs alcohol when you have Michelle in your life?

I’m beyond relaxed, lying legs akimbo, tiny towels long since disappeared and I suspect that at some point my damp cheek indicates that I might have dribbled, so given the option of sliding my oily body and matted hair (yes, the head got a going over too) into my clothes again, I slurrily asked if she could perform any other beauty miracles on me. “A leg and bikini wax mightn’t go amiss” she said in her sing-song voice just a tad too quickly. But hey, I’m agreeing to anything and with whale music drifting through me she paints me with warm soothing wax until …. ARGHHHH! Holy God …. “Just a bit nippy!” she laughs as every morsel of hair is ripped from my below my waist. The tiny towel which had once covered my modesty is now gripped between my clenched teeth whilst I, unable to utter a word, make Neanderthal moaning noises as she chatters away happily about her camping holiday last summer.

An hour later I return home, with a gait akin to John Wayne, resembling an oil slick from the waist up and a bald, plucked chicken from the waist down. All benefits of my massage long since gone. And when I delicately crawl my fragile body into bed and cuddle up next to the Colonel as his arms wrap around me, he suddenly pauses, then lifts the duvet, peers down and reappears with a grin. “Don’t even think about it!” I mutter with veritable force from between clenched teeth. He looks like a berated puppy but I am practising deep breathing so I think he thinks I’m asleep, and even he wouldn’t risk the wrath of a hostile, woman in recovery from a major ordeal.

Katie xx

30 thoughts on “Massage … For Depression?”

  1. I loved this post the first time round Katie 🙂

    I am a great believer in massages, though the first one was when I was well into my 40s and the masseur, though very professional and pleasant , was a stunning young lady in her 20s. Awkward enough for a woman indeed, but for a middle aged bloke, and a shy one, it was somewhat nerve-wracking. I have since been rather more than my wife has – and she got me that first appointment. I am there again saturday.

    The girls at the salon do vary a lot in their approach. The firmest one (involving elbows) is coincidentally called Katie. My ‘usual’, Carol, has become a friend. Only once have I felt uncomfortable but that was because one of the ladies had a very light touch which, shall we say, subconsciously pushed my buttons… I am just glad I was face down.

    I have thankfully never been persuaded to get anything waxed 😉


  2. Had to laugh! Sorry! But, massage…wonderful thing, and just a head massage can really lift you. I used to give head and shoulder massages, also hand massages, regularly where I used to work. They were extremely popular!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. SO glad you are back. If anyone yields or is “shamed” based on poor knowledge of mental health issues, then we’ll never see a world where our children will feel able to say “I’M NOT OK RIGHT NOW” and as a mother that thought is horrifying to me. You discussing these things is CRUCIAL. Unfortunately, I fear there’ll always be people ignorant and intolerant enough to scream “unstable!”, “unsuitable!”, “crazy!”, but it’s our responsibility to speak louder for that reason so that the world we leave for our children to grow up in and navigate becomes a kinder and better informed place. And of course this is why I speak up about addiction and recovery – precisely to in whatever little way I can ensure that it’ll be easier for the next person to ask for help and not be labelled as some weak or otherwise despicable person. The world will always unfortunately be inhabited by bullies – mean, bitter and twisted people who feel a need to destroy others because they themselves feel rotten inside – but we can do our bit to show there is a better and kinder way to be.

    Wow – I clearly feel very strongly about this. 🙂 Well, I am like you a mother and it’s hugely important to me to raise a child who knows empathy, the power of understanding and knowledge and who doesn’t grow up to judge. There.

    As for massage… I can’t bear it! I’m too ticklish for starters, just cannot cope!!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! Yes my feet are ridiculously ticklish … makes me squirm just thinking about it! Thanks so much for your support and kind words .. you’re a superhero! Will be back next week with proper internet so looking forward to normal service being resumed! Coffee?! Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Katie- you’re a brave woman. I had my first massage a year ago. The practioner commented afterwards “you get stressed a lot?” I said yes. He said “your back too hard. too hard.” But I felt so much better than before I went in. BUT I am not ready for the waxing. I hear it is super painful. Unless it kept hair away for a year…I’m not sure it is worth the pain.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Just on my way back to France. On my to do list is to hit the spa town’s near us on a regular basis in my new 2CV. Massages are just wonderful. In fact in the past they have solved my back issues, helped allieviate depression and given my body a much needed chill out for the rat race. Waxing….do my own but actually prefer razors. I have hair that should be put in the record books for speed growth. Waxing ends up weekly and that’s just took eyewatering so often!

    Liked by 1 person

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