Pathologies, Massagethan, and Contraindications Part 3 Depression – By Vanessa Ragains

Last week we reviewed Rheumatoid Arthritis and how Massage therapy can aid in relief. Since each person deals with RA differently, it is important for communication from the client and therapist to be clear to avoid an increase in discomfort for the client. This week’s topic is Depression. Such a common term we hear today. Let’s discuss how a person who deals with Depression can benefit from Massage therapy. If you, or someone you know is suffering from Depression, I hope that this information can provide another alternative route to living a healthy life.

Pathologies, Massage, and Contraindications Part 3 Depression

Depression: This is a term used to umbrella a number of mood disorders that can result in intense feelings of sadness, guilt, and hopelessness.


  • Sad mood
  • loss of enjoyment for life
  • disappointment in oneself
  • hopelessness
  • irritability
  • change in sleeping habits
  • thoughts of suicide

Depression is a serious situation that needs to be dealt with delicately. A traumatic life situation or shift can trigger these feelings. Being able to distinguish whether this will indeed pass or if the person needs professional help is necessary. Even though Depression is not completely understood, they have found a common neurotransmitter imbalance. This imbalance causes a misfire of certain chemicals. Usually, this requires the use of medication to restore the balance between brain communication and increase the chemicals functionality.

Massage Risks: Massage does not cause any risks with patients who are diagnosed with depression. However, if the client is taking medications, they may feel the need to reduce or no longer take the recommended medications prescribed to them. Massage therapists should then urge their client to speak to their physician to discuss reducing medications.

Massage Benefits: They say the reasons are unknown, but Massage can support a client with decreasing feelings of anxiety, and support the client in dealing with daily stressors of life.

My Opinion: I believe that Massage should be recognized as a way for people to reverse depression. I personally have suffered from depression. With this diagnoses came medications, more feelings of self-doubt, sadness, and never feeling good enough. Knowing how massage can support depression, I would have gratefully taken this method of recovery over multiple meds any day. I was fortunate to recover with the support of family and friends. Taking a look at my life, I realized there were other areas I was neglecting such as my nutrition and leading a healthy lifestyle. I ate fast food, candy, snacked on chips, and soda. Once I switched to never eating fast food, cut out the candy, soda, and other unhealthy food choices, my mind began to shift. Becoming aware that I have more control than I realized for my own choices I was able to increase my self-esteem. This lead into a roller-coaster effect of creating health in all aspects of my life. Depression is a scary place to be. Seek support from family and friends. There are professionals who can support you during this time. I would like to suggest doing your own research on how to deal with Depression in a noninvasive sort of way, like using Massage Therapy. My hope if that our society sees the benefits of using Massage as a healthy alternative to treating Depression.

Is there a Pathology you would be interested in reading about? I would love your suggestions on certain pathologies that you may need to see in the breakdown. Check back next week for our next discussion on Pathologies, Massage and Contraindications!

Thank you for taking time out of your day to read my blog. I am looking forward to reviewing common and uncommon Pathologies that we may encounter on our journey of being a Massage therapist. For all you awesome clients out there, I hope you learn why massage can actually be contraindicated with certain pathologies and precautions you and your therapist need to take.

I LOVE YOUR QUESTIONS!! Please feel free to ask me a question or comment about what you read today. Looking forward to hearing from radical Folks like yourself!


All this information come from one of my must-have books for the massage career: A Massage Therapist Guide to Pathology. 5th Edition Author: Ruth Werner



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