There can be little doubt that the UK faces an explosion in anxiety and depression resulting from the worry and isolation of the Covid lockdowns. One of the earliest large-scale studies (3,000 adults, six weeks into the first lockdown), carried out by the University of Nottingham and King’s College London found 64% of participants reporting symptoms of depression and 57% reporting symptoms of anxiety.
As the pandemic now finally seems to be winding down, we’ve seen so many clients coming back who have desperately missed the comfort of human touch. Re-opening after the first lockdown, we saw customers for whom their massage was their first physical touch since lockdown began, with even handshakes and hugs having been avoided.
From birth we are all finely attuned to the sense of touch. Research shows that skin-to-skin contact between a mother and a new-born baby provides a multitude of benefits for both baby and parent. The necessity of touch follows us to the ends of our lives, and we all heard the heart-breaking photos of families unable to the hold the hands of loved ones dying with Covid.
The long-term deprivation of touch – such as during the pandemic – could also cause those mental symptoms to manifest physical symptoms. We have written before about cortisol, the stress hormone. Cortisol maintains the body in ‘fight or flight’ mode, with muscles tense and primed to run or fight, heart rate raised, and digestion de-prioritised. Massage can help fight the mental cravings for human touch, as well as the physical muscle tension that comes from elevated cortisol levels.
So if you feel you’ve been missing human touch, or you’re just feeling anxious or tense, why not come to our new shop in Holborn and enjoy the power of a good massage.