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Mental Health: Depression, Anxiety and Stress

Updated: Apr 12

Written by Bonnie Rose Aherin, L6 BTEC, ACMT from

Depression? Anxiety? Stress?

I love to shout from the rooftops how massage therapy can have a great effect on mental health. Through the research I conducted over a 12 week study, I have data to show the positive results on symptoms of mental health: depression, anxiety and stress. Being able to add to the research pool for complementary health and wellness has been empowering as an advocate for the massage industry in the UK.

Organizing research from others and myself for the process of writing my dissertation for the BTEC level 6 from the Jing Institute of Massage and Complementary Medicine, was a two year process in a four year journey to advance my career as a Clinical Massage Therapist. I am pleased to announce that this work will continue at Knotsology.

Throughout 2024, I am happy to help you book in sessions for your mental health: depression, anxiety and stress through Knotsology's Clinical Massage treatments and yoga therapy. This will be available both in the Knotsology clinic in Dunfermline, Scotland and globally through online wellness sessions. With Knotsology Online you can participate in 1-to-1 sessions, pre-recorded content and access to online Knotsology resources.

What I loved about doing the research study over 12 weeks was seeing the great results at the end and see how I can help and work with people from anywhere in the world.

Want to be included in that group?

Read on to find out how to participate this summer!

Mental Health & Massage: Depression

Depression? Anxiety? Stress?

The term 'depression' is now more prevalent in discussions surrounding wellbeing, reflecting a growing awareness and dialogue on mental health. Each person's journey with depression is deeply personal and unique, shaped by a combination of factors, and differs between individuals. Indeed, there exist several distinct types of depression, which can stem from either chemical imbalances in the brain or significant life events (DeNoon, 2008).

The symptoms of depression can be profoundly distressing, often impairing daily functioning and overall well-being (Park and Zarate, 2019). Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns in 2020, there has been a noticeable uptick in individuals seeking assistance or educating themselves about mental health symptoms. This increased awareness underscores the importance of addressing mental health concerns in our communities.

According to recent estimates, approximately one in three women and one in five men will experience a major depressive episode by the age of 65 (Dattani, 2022). These statistics highlight the prevalence and significance of depression as a public health issue, emphasizing the need for accessible resources and support systems as well as continued research.

In the realm of managing depression, massage therapy can offer a holistic approach to complement traditional treatments. The gentle pressure and nurturing touch of massage can provide comfort and emotional support, fostering a sense of connection and well-being. Additionally, regular massage sessions may enhance self-awareness and mindfulness, empowering individuals to better cope with the challenges of depression and improve their overall quality of life.

Mental Health & Massage: Anxiety

Depression? Anxiety? Stress?

Anxiety might be a familiar feeling for some, while for others, it remains a concept that's not entirely clear. Similar to depression, anxiety manifests differently in each person. While one individual may grapple with a specific set of symptoms, another may experience an entirely distinct array of manifestations in their daily life.

For instance, anxiety encompasses a spectrum of emotions ranging from mild unease to intense fear, with symptoms varying in severity. It can be a key feature of conditions such as panic disorder and various phobias (NHS, 2018). Understanding these nuances is crucial in recognizing and addressing anxiety effectively.

Complementary therapies like massage can also play a beneficial role in managing anxiety. Massage therapy has been shown to promote relaxation, reduce muscle tension, and decrease levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. The soothing touch and rhythmic movements of massage can help calm the nervous system, fostering a sense of peace and tranquility. Plus, regular massage sessions have been linked to improvements in mood and overall well-being, making it a valuable adjunctive treatment for individuals navigating the challenges of anxiety.

Mental Health & Massage: stress

Depression? Anxiety? Stress?

While not everyone may live with depression or anxiety, stress is a universal experience that touches each of our lives at some point, to varying degrees. Stress is a biological response to both internal and external stimuli and can manifest in various forms and intensities. As Yaribeygi et al. (2017) note, its impact on the body can range from mild disruptions in homeostasis to severe, life-threatening effects. Finding a way to manage stress is key.

Looking at complementary health and wellness practices such as massage therapy and yoga offer effective tools for relaxation and stress management. Massage therapy, with its soothing touch and targeted techniques, can release muscle tension, promote circulation, and induce a deep sense of relaxation, thereby mitigating the physiological effects of stress. Similarly, yoga combines physical postures, breathwork, and mindfulness practices to reduce stress levels, enhance resilience, and cultivate inner peace. Both massage and yoga provide individuals with valuable opportunities to tune into their bodies, quiet the mind, and restore balance, offering holistic approaches to navigating the complexities of stress in daily life.

Interested in your own results from participating in Knotsology's offerings of clinical massage and yoga therapy for helping your management of mental health symptoms?

The Effects of the Online Jing Method™ of Advanced Clinical Massage on Mental Health in Adults

Knotsology & Mental Health: Depression, Anxiety and stress

Is massage and yoga therapy beneficial for everyone and every type of body? Yes. Within both industries, there exists a diverse array of massage therapists and yoga teachers, each offering different approaches and techniques tailored to individual needs.

As an Advanced Clinical Massage Therapist, I often encounter clients seeking relief from chronic pain, which is closely linked to mental health. It's evident to me that assisting clients in managing their chronic pain and mental well-being must remain a primary focus at Knotsology. My aim is to empower individuals to live better by nurturing their own healing and promoting holistic health.

The waitlist is over and you can now message me for online sessions. Begin your journey with Clinical Massage & Mental Health using the Jing Method™

"If you need help for a mental health crisis or emergency, you should get immediate expert advice and assessment." – NHS

Need mental health support?

Free listening services

There are free services that offer confidential support from trained volunteers.

"You can talk about anything that's troubling you, no matter how difficult"

  • Call 116 123 to talk to Samaritans, or email: for a reply within 24 hours

  • Text "SHOUT" to 85258 to contact the Shout Crisis Text Line, or text "YM" if you're under 19

If you are under 19, you can also call 0800 1111 to talk to Childline.


Written by Bonnie Rose Aherin, L6 BTEC, ACMT from

Bonnie Rose Aherin, L6 BTEC, ACMT

Bonnie Rose Aherin, L6 BTEC, ACMT

Bonnie Rose Aherin is an Advanced Clinical and Sports & Rehab Massage Therapist and Yoga teacher located in Dunfermline, Scotland. With Knotsology, she focuses on the management of chronic pain and mental health: depression, anxiety and stress. With Yoga therapy she aids her clients in movement, stretching and breathwork.

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