Multi Award-Winning Mobile Therapist Hayley Snishko Launches Her ‘Massage4MentalHealth’ Campaign Hayley Snishko is a multi award-winning mobile therapist and current holder of the BABTAC Mobile Therapist of the Year 2022.
This month sees the launch of Hayley’s campaign Massage4MentalHealth. An initiative that aims to raise awareness of the benefits and results that massage therapy has on mental health. This is a subject close to Hayley’s heart due to her own experiences; both personal and professional.
Massage being used as a tool for healing is rooted in ancient history. Civilisations from the East and West found massage could help heal injuries, relieve pain, and prevent illnesses. Even the great Julius Caesar was said to have massages everyday to ease nerve pain. As humans, we seek touch when we’re in pain. And more people are seeking complementary and integrative therapies to treat symptoms of depression and anxiety. Hayley has also noted that post-pandemic, there’s been a large increase in men seeking massage therapy as a tool to boost their mental health.
So why, despite its long history and proven benefits is massage therapy overlooked as a treatment for mental health?
Hayley’s aim is to change the perception of massage therapy and raise the profile to be seen as a credible treatment for those suffering with mental health. Hayley says, “I have been a Massage therapist for over 14 years and have thousands of hours of hands-on client experience. Therefore I feel I am perfectly placed to launch this major campaign to support people suffering with mental health.” She added, “I am determined that Massage4MentalHealth will raise the profile of massage, as not only a holistic therapy, but as a compelling treatment to people suffering with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues.” Hayley said, “The approach and philosophy of a well-trained massage therapist complements conventional psychiatric care and can be an important additional treatment in treating patients. A respectful and collaborative approach to their care may truly help people living with mental illness and drastically improve their quality of life.” Home Sanctuary – www.home-sanctuary.com
There are several scientific research studies that looks into the effectiveness of massage therapy for treating mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Plus other health issues like fibromyalgia and even breast cancer. The effects of massage therapy on anxiety and depression have been documented by respected researchers including Moyer, Rounds and Hannum. The general conclusions of a Meta-Analysis of their combined research shows that statistically massage therapy is clinically effective in the treatment of mental health.
Meta-Analysis Results concluded: • Participants in studies who received a single massage treatment were more likely to experience a reduction in state anxiety, blood pressure and heart rate, than participants in the comparison groups. • Significant reduction in trait anxiety and depression were achieved in those participants who received a course of massage treatments. • Cortisol levels (linked with reducing stress), immediate assessment of pain, and negative mood showed no statistical improvements. • Considered together, these results indicate that massage therapy may have an effect similar to that of psychotherapy.
According to research by Targ et al published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, women with breast cancer are at risk for elevated depression, anxiety, and decreased natural killer (NK) cell number. Stress has been linked to increased tumour development by decreasing NK cell activity. Research results showed that immediate massage therapy effects included a reduction in anxiety, depressed mood and anger. The longer term massage effects included reduced depression and hostility. The conclusion was women with Stage 1 and 2 breast cancer may benefit from thrice-weekly massage therapy for reducing depressed mood, anxiety, and anger. As well as enhancing dopamine, serotonin, and NK cell number and lymphocytes. According to research conducted by Brattberg published in the European Journal of Pain; the effect of connective tissue massage in the treatment of individuals with fibromyalgia demonstrates that a series of 15 massage treatments with connective tissue massage conveys a pain relieving effect of 37%, reduces depression and the use of analgesics, and positively affects quality of life. It concludes that as long as there is a lack of effective medical treatment for individuals with fibromyalgia, they ought to be offered treatments with connective tissue massage.
Hayley says, “This is such an important year for me as the Mobile Therapist of the Year and I truly want to drive awareness for Massage4MentalHealth. I want to use my personal and professional experiences to maximum effect while I have the platform to do so.” She added, “I need to inform as many people as possible suffering with mental health of this alternative treatment as well as educating other massage therapists and medical professionals that Massage4MentalHealth is a credible alternative.