How Does Massage Help Emotionally?

Massage therapy provides numerous physical and emotional benefits that can improve overall health and wellbeing.

This article explores the therapeutic effects of massage and how it promotes emotional release and relieves symptoms of anxiety and stress.

Read on to learn why scheduling regular massage sessions is so beneficial for mental and emotional health.

Why You Should Consider Massage Therapy for Emotional Wellness

  • Massage therapy releases endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine, hormones and neurotransmitters that improve mood and promote relaxation.
  • Massage helps decrease cortisol, the stress hormone, along with muscle tension caused by ongoing stress.
  • Massage therapy activates the parasympathetic nervous system, the body’s natural “rest and digest” response.
  • Regular massage therapy can help relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  • Massage promotes mind-body awareness and emotional release.

How Massage Therapy Improves Emotional Health

Massage therapy offers numerous physiological and psychological benefits that enhance emotional wellbeing.

emotional wellbeing - concept illustration

Here’s how massage promotes emotional health:

  • Lowers stress hormones. Cortisol is often called the stress hormone. Massage therapy lowers cortisol levels, helping you feel less stressed.
  • Releases natural painkillers. Massage increases serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins. These neurotransmitters are the body’s natural pain-relieving and mood-boosting chemicals.
  • Activates parasympathetic response. Massage promotes the parasympathetic nervous system, which counters the “fight or flight” stress response.
  • Promotes emotional release. Massage can help release emotions trapped in the tissues, allowing you to process emotional pain and negative feelings.
  • Improves symptoms of mood disorders. Regular massage may help relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety. The emotional benefits can enhance mood and overall emotional health.
  • Enhances mind-body connection. Massage enhances body awareness and promotes mind-body integration. This mind-body connection is beneficial for emotional health.

Physical Benefits That Contribute to Emotional Wellness

As well as directly impacting moods and mental health, massage offers many physical benefits that can indirectly promote emotional wellbeing:

  • Relief of muscle tension, aches, and pains
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Improved circulation
  • Increased flexibility and range of motion
  • Better sleep
  • Pain relief

By addressing these physical issues, massage therapy helps you feel better physically and emotionally – so let’s look at a few of them:

Types of Massage That Offer Emotional Benefits

There are many styles of therapeutic massage to provide emotional benefits:

  • Swedish massage eases muscle tension and promotes deep relaxation. The soothing strokes improve circulation, flexibility, and sleep.
  • Aromatherapy massage uses essential oils to enhance mood, relieve anxiety, and invoke a sense of peace.
  • Deep tissue massage releases tension in the deep muscles and connective tissue to relieve chronic muscle pain.
  • Reflexology applies pressure to reflex points on the feet that correspond to areas of the body, including organs. This releases tension and improves mood.

How Often Should You Get Massage For Emotional Benefits?

Research shows the more frequently you receive massage therapy, the greater benefits you’ll experience.

Mayo Clinic suggests:

  • Weekly massage provides the most benefits.
  • Even monthly massage offers advantages.
  • Occasional or on-demand massage promotes relaxation and relief from muscle tightness.

Consider your health goals and schedule regular therapeutic massage sessions for optimal emotional and physical wellbeing.

10 significant emotional advantages of Massage Therapy

Here is a summary of the top emotional benefits of regular massage therapy:

  1. Lowers cortisol and stress
  2. Releases “feel good” neurotransmitters
  3. Activates parasympathetic “rest and digest” system
  4. Promotes emotional release
  5. Improves anxiety and depression
  6. Reduces symptoms of trauma
  7. Enhances mind-body connection
  8. Eases “pain-body” and muscle armoring
  9. Fosters a sense of nurturing and care
  10. Provides therapeutic human touch

Why Emotional Benefits Matter

Addressing emotional health is just as important as caring for physical health.

Unmanaged stress and unresolved emotional issues manifest in the body as muscle tension, headaches, poor sleep, and fatigue.

By releasing emotional blockages and soothing the nervous system, massage enhances emotional wellbeing. This promotes better mental and physical health.

Endorphins - illustration

Massage Promotes Overall Wellbeing

Massage therapy provides many benefits beyond relief from muscle tension, pain, and stress.

Regular massage can also:

  • Improve sleep quality
  • Increase energy levels
  • Improve range of motion and flexibility
  • Promote physical and emotional recovery from injury or trauma
  • Enhance sports performance and workout recovery
  • Improve posture and body awareness

By alleviating negative symptoms and enhancing whole-body health, massage promotes overall wellbeing.

Integrative Treatment for Improved Health

Massage therapy also complements other integrative treatments.

Massage combined with acupuncture, chiropractic, or physical therapy helps relieve pain, reduce muscle spasms, improve flexibility, and increase range of motion.

Integrating massage into your self-care routine enhances the benefits of other therapies for improved physical and emotional health.

Targeted Massage for Specific Conditions

Beyond general Swedish massage, massage therapists use specialized techniques to target certain health conditions:

  • Deep tissue massage alleviates chronic muscular pain and spasms
  • Trigger point therapy releases knots and tension in muscles and connective tissue like tendons and ligaments.
  • Myofascial release techniques gently stretch fascia to relieve fibromyalgia pain.
  • Manual lymph drainage massage stimulates circulation of lymph fluid to reduce swelling.

Talk to your massage therapist about the best techniques to address your particular symptoms and improve ongoing health.

Emotional Support for Improved Wellbeing

The caring touch and attention from a massage therapist offers emotional benefits. Human contact reduces feelings of isolation and disconnection.

Therapeutic touch helps satisfy the fundamental human need for caring connection.

The power of caring touch - concept illustration

Massage therapy provides emotional support that enhances moods, reduces symptoms of anxiety or depression, and promotes overall emotional wellbeing.

Relieve Stress Through Massage

Common stressors like work deadlines, financial worries, or relationship issues manifest physically as muscle tension, headaches, insomnia, and fatigue.

Massage therapy helps relieve stress and anxiety that get trapped in the tissues. So consider scheduling a massage to relieve pent-up tension and promote deep relaxation. 

Regular massage keeps stress from accumulating so you can better handle life’s challenges.

Final Thoughts

Massage therapy offers a multitude of benefits for the whole person, both physically and emotionally. It’s clear that regular massage sessions can enhance overall wellbeing in many ways.

Key takeaways

  • Massage therapy benefits the whole person – physically, mentally, and emotionally.
  • Integrate massage into your self-care routine for enhanced wellbeing.
  • Targeted massage techniques address specific health conditions.
  • Caring human touch provides emotional benefits and support.
  • Regular massage helps manage stress for improved health.

By integrating massage into your self-care routine, you can address specific health goals while also receiving the many benefits of therapeutic touch and caring support.

Massage therapy complements other integrative treatments for a comprehensive approach to health.

Beyond general Swedish massage for relaxation, many massage modalities target particular issues like chronic pain, limited mobility, high stress levels, or symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Communicate with your massage therapist about your health goals so they can recommend the most effective massage techniques.

The human touch and undivided attention from a massage therapist provides profound emotional benefits. Human contact is soothing, relaxing, and releases oxytocin, the “love hormone.”

Therapeutic massage satisfies the fundamental human need for caring connection. It’s emotionally supportive and enhances feelings of wellbeing.

By keeping stress from accumulating through regular massage sessions, you’ll be better equipped to handle challenges and live with more ease. Massage helps “reset” both the body and mind to reduce fatigue, muscle tension, and mental overwhelm from common stressors.

So to sum up, massage therapy offers a multitude of interconnected benefits: physical relaxation, targeted pain relief, enhanced mobility, increased energy, improved sleep, stress relief, emotional processing, and overall wellbeing. 


  1. Mayo Clinic: The Role of Massage Therapy for Mental Health: This article discusses the benefits of massage therapy for various mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and stress.
  2. Mayo Clinic Health System: Massage Helps Anxiety, Depression: This piece highlights the emotional benefits of massage, such as relaxation and stress reduction.
  3. Massage Therapy for Anxiety and Stress | Psychology Today: This article from Psychology Today explains how massage can reduce anxiety and enhance mood, possibly due to changes in EEG activity and cortisol levels.
  4. Massage and Emotional Wellness | This source provides evidence of the benefits of massage therapy for mental and emotional well-being, particularly for individuals with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other mood-related challenges.
  5. Benefits of Massage Therapy – Mayo Clinic Health System: This article discusses how massage is now widely recognized as an important tool in promoting mental and physical health.

Please note that while these sources are generally considered authoritative, it’s always important to critically evaluate any health-related information you find online.

Q: How does massage help emotionally?

A: Massage therapy can have numerous mental and emotional benefits. It helps to regulate emotions, decrease negative emotions like stress, and improve emotional well-being.

Q: What are the benefits of massage therapy?

A: Massage therapy promotes relaxation and can help with depression, physical symptoms, and overall emotional well-being.

Q: Are there any specific types of massages that are beneficial for emotional well-being?

A: Yes, therapeutic massages such as deep tissue or relaxation massages are often recommended for those seeking emotional relief and relaxation.

Q: How does massage therapy decrease negative emotions?

A: Massage helps to decrease the production of stress hormones, such as cortisol, and promotes the release of feel-good hormones, such as endorphins, that help improve mood and reduce stress levels.

Q: Does massage therapy help with depression?

A: Yes, research shows that massage therapy can help reduce symptoms of depression and improve overall emotional well-being.

Q: Can massage therapy benefit those with anxiety or stress-related issues?

A: Yes, massage therapy can be a beneficial part of managing anxiety and stress. It helps to decrease the physical symptoms of stress and promotes relaxation.

Q: What are some of the other emotional benefits of massage therapy?

A: In addition to reducing negative emotions and helping with depression, massage therapy can also help improve sleep quality and promote a sense of calm and well-being.

Q: How does massage therapy promote emotional well-being?

A: Massage therapy helps to regulate the body’s stress response by reducing the production of stress hormones and increasing the production of hormones that promote relaxation and happiness.

Q: Are there any studies supporting the emotional benefits of massage therapy?

A: Yes, research also shows that receiving regular massages can increase the production of white blood cells, which help to strengthen the immune system and improve overall well-being.

Q: Is massage therapy a pampering treat or a legitimate therapy?

A: While massage therapy can certainly be a pampering treat, it is also a legitimate therapy that provides numerous physical and emotional benefits. It is recognized as a reputable form of holistic healthcare.