It’s a Road

By Karrie Osborn
[Editor's Note]

Everyone is going through some level of stress, discomfort, even trauma, as a result of these past few months. And we’ve still got some hard months ahead. But there is no doubt we will forge our way through.  
How can we continue to help each other along this arduous road? How can we help ourselves? The first step is to recognize that we’re not alone. The path forward may be rocky and uncertain, but we must remember that others are walking with us and will be there if we stumble. There are many resources we can look toward to help us navigate this road, and now is the time to use them. For some, massage might well be one of those resources—a safety net we all could use right now.
We already know that coming out of a massage is like letting the drama and stress of our lives fall off us like beads of water. We come out renewed and refreshed, ready for the next thing life throws at us. In the throes of depression and grief, massage can do even more. It is a physical manifestation of caring—a human connection that can pull us out of despair. Its ability to help realign the body-mind dynamic is unparalleled. Some have even called a massage session an hour-long hug.  
Research shows that massage helps with our mental and emotional well-being by reducing the production of cortisol—the hormone produced in response to stress—while increasing serotonin and dopamine—the neurotransmitters that reduce depression. But the value of massage to our mental and emotional well-being is also about the human connection. Being present for another is amazing medicine in and of itself.
Wherever you find yourself today—on the rocky patch of road where depression has its grip on you or coming out the other side and practicing good self-care to heal the wounds—massage has a place in your journey.