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How Massage Therapy Supports Healing

Massage therapy in London is more than just an effective means of self-care and can play an important role in a holistic approach to healing. Incorporating massage therapy into your overarching mental health treatment plan can help accelerate your path to recovery, enhance the effectiveness of other treatment methods, and provide fundamental support in the healing process.

What Is Massage Therapy?

Massage therapy is a component of integrative medicine that can be used to help treat both medical and mental health conditions.

A massage therapist provides a relaxing and recuperative experience by kneading and rubbing the soft tissues of your body, which can not only produce a feeling of physical relaxation but also provide substantial stress relief.

London massage therapy at APN is part of a holistic model of healing, meaning it is just one of many components of your overall treatment plan. While massage therapy alone may not be sufficient to bring about recovery from a mental health disorder, it can play an important role in helping you through treatment.

You may find that massage offers relief from your mental health stressors and is a beneficial and rewarding method of self-care.

Massage Therapy Techniques

Healing with massage therapy can happen with any one of several different massage techniques. With London massage therapy at APN London, you can choose from several different styles of massage or consult with your massage therapist about what might be best for your specific concerns.

Deep Tissue Massage

Deep tissue massage is a technique that uses firm pressure to target ligaments, tendons, muscles, and connective tissues to help relieve tension. This style of massage can help increase blood flow to tissues deep within the body and may help improve symptoms of pain, tension, or soreness.

This style of massage can be particularly beneficial for:

  • Athletes or those who engage in intense physical activity
  • People experiencing chronic pain
  • Those with long-term injuries
  • People recovering from surgery or injury

Research has shown that reducing physical pain can, in turn, reduce the burden of mental health symptoms. This makes deep tissue massage therapy in London an excellent adjunctive treatment in a holistic model of health and well-being.

Swedish Massage

A Swedish massage is a gentler, full-body massage designed to promote relaxation. While this style of massage can still produce significant relief for people experiencing soreness or tension, it focuses less on pressing deep into the tissue and more on superficial tissue closer to the surface of the skin,

Swedish massage uses long, relaxing strokes, circular motions, and careful kneading to promote a feeling of relaxation and to improve circulation. It is often recommended for people new to massage therapy or those who are simply looking for stress relief and relaxation.


Reflexology is a technique that targets specific regions on the feet and hands to offer healing with massage therapy. By applying pressure to specific points on the extremities, people can find significant and targeted relief from a number of physical and mental health concerns.

Lymphatic Drainage

Lymphatic drainage massage is a style of massage therapy specifically meant to help your body reduce swelling. Certain medical conditions can cause a buildup of fluids normally regulated through the lymphatic system. This leads to painful swelling, often of the legs and arms, called edema.

When the lymphatic system fails to collect these fluids, a lymphatic drainage massage can help guide fluids away from muscle and tissue and back to your lymph nodes, providing immense relief from the pain and sensitivity caused by edema.

Relaxation Massage

A relaxation massage is the most straightforward of massage techniques, meant to specifically help you unwind and find relief from stress. Relaxation massage is a practice of self-care, providing you with the space to relax, enjoy, and take your mind off of the worries of the day.

This style of massage is excellent for people experiencing stress from mental health symptoms, mild muscle tension or soreness, or anyone interested in finding new ways of healing with massage therapy.

Mental Health Benefits of Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is about more than physical relief and relaxation. It can be an excellent component of an overall treatment program for mental health, as it has numerous positive benefits on several mental health outcomes. The benefits of massage therapy in London for mental health fall along three key lines:

Helping Alleviate Physical Pain

Pain is frequently associated with a number of mental health concerns — particularly chronic pain. For instance, a recent investigation has shown that while depression affects just 5% of the general population, 30-45% of people who experience chronic pain have a co-occurring depression diagnosis.

The relationship between pain and mental health goes both ways: people who are experiencing a mental health disorder are more likely to develop physical pain symptoms, and those with chronic pain are more likely to develop mental health challenges.

As such, achieving a holistic sense of recovery should require that both pain and mental health symptoms be addressed. Starting London massage therapy is one way of approaching this from a pain-first perspective: helping people manage the symptoms of pain can, in turn, reduce your mental health symptoms.

Providing Stress Relief

If there is one thing that massage therapy is universally recognized for, it’s the relaxing and calming feeling that it can bring. Massage is one of the most commonly recommended methods of self-care, and it can be a great way to unwind and find relief from the stress you face on a day-to-day basis.

Finding relaxation is stress relief. And when you’re living with a mental health disorder and are on the path to seeking recovery, chances are high that you have several stressors that could be relieved.

However, massage therapy extends further than symptom relief alone. Most people elect massage therapy because they enjoy the experience. Finding what brings you pleasure and enjoyment in your recovery is a critical component of holistic well-being, and it is why so many of our clients come back to massage therapy again and again.

Deepening the Mind-Body Connection

Emphasis on the mind-body connection is a key component of many of the most successful, evidence-based therapeutic techniques in use today, including:

  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy
  • Acceptance and commitment therapy
  • Dialectical behaviour therapy
  • Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy

Particularly if you are dealing with a mental health challenge, such as anxiety or substance use cravings, learning to connect to the here and now through physical sensations can provide immediate, tangible relief from your symptoms. There’s no better way to connect to your body than through massage therapy.

Massage therapy is an inherently somatic experience that encourages you to put your worries to the side and focus on the physical sensations you experience in the moment. And while this can provide immense relief while you are meeting with your massage therapist, it also provides training for how to build your mind-body connection in your everyday life.

Fitting Massage Therapy into a Holistic Health Model

Massage therapy alone typically isn’t enough to bring about recovery from a mental health challenge. Instead, it is just one component of the holistic health model that we use at APN London. It is meant to enhance your recovery rather than be the sole source of it.

Our holistic approach to healing recognizes that no mental health challenge occurs in a vacuum and that treating the person rather than just the condition in isolation is often the surest and most effective path to lasting and worthwhile recovery.

As such, massage therapy is often used in conjunction with a number of evidence-based and alternative therapy approaches, such as:

  • Individual Therapy: You can meet one-on-one with a trained clinician to receive targeted psychotherapy for your unique challenges
  • Lifestyle Psychiatry: Emphasises how lifestyle changes can be incorporated into your overall mental health treatment plan
  • Personal Training: You can receive coaching and guidance on how to improve your physical health and reap the mental health benefits of exercise in return
  • Nutrition Therapy: Focuses on helping you develop nutritional plans that align with your holistic health goals
  • Ketamine-Assisted Healing: A unique approach to helping people overcome treatment-resistant depression, generalised anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and a number of other mental health concerns
  • Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (DTMS): a direct approach to treating mental health conditions which creates targeted electrical impulses in brain regions associated with mental health disorders

All of these options and more are available as part of APN’s integrated treatment packages, designed to not only help you overcome the symptoms of mental health disorders but also learn to thrive in your new life in recovery.

Start Treatment at APN London

When you’re ready to begin effective, holistic treatment to overcome your personal challenges, reach out to the team at APN London by calling 0203 984 7699 or by filling out our confidential online contact form. Our team can help guide you toward the right level of care for your needs, the right treatments to fit your lifestyle, and the best complementary and integrative treatment options to enhance your experience.


  • “Chronic Pain and Mental Health Often Interconnected.” Psychiatry.Org – Chronic Pain and Mental Health Often Interconnected, 13 Nov. 2020,
  • Vadivelu, Nalini et al. “Pain and Psychology-A Reciprocal Relationship.” Ochsner journal vol. 17,2 (2017): 173-180.