Clinical depression and sleep disorders: which comes first?

Clinical depression and sleep disorders: which comes first?

That's the topic of our discussion today as we delve into the realm of clinical depression, specifically major depressive disorder.

It's akin to the age-old question: "What comes first, the chicken or the egg?" In this case, does clinical depression precede sleep disorders, thus triggering them? Answers vary, with psychiatrists providing different perspectives from endocrinologists, and further distinctions arising from other clinical fields such as physical rehabilitation and neurology. Each specialty offers its unique viewpoint and approach to treatment.

As a medical massage practitioner, I understand that both sleep disorders and clinical depression often stem from stress, serving as its side effects. My primary strength lies in my ability to balance autonomic activities, a crucial aspect in alleviating these conditions. Stress doesn't just affect mood; it triggers a cascade of negative reactions, leading to various disorders and diseases. Understanding the mechanisms of stress on the human body is paramount in my practice, as I work from within to address external symptoms.

I urge you to listen attentively to the two short presentations I produced 13 years ago, which delve into stress management:

Free Self Stress Management Lesson (Theoretical Part 2) (

Free Self Stress Management Lesson (Theoretical Part 3) (

Stress debilitation, stemming from heightened sympathetic activities, accounts for 75 to 90% of annual visits to primary care physicians, encompassing a range of stress-related illnesses. Essential hypertension, tension headaches, foggy brain, dizziness, anxieties, clinical depression, and muscular pains are among the manifestations of stress-related disorders.

I firmly assert that in the realm of stress-related illnesses, medical massage emerges as the most effective methodology, surpassing even antidepressant medications, due to its ability to sustain results without adverse side effects. Sympathetic reaction/increase of stress hormone secretion at the time of my video presentation on the mechanism of stress debilitation, I attempted clearly to explain the reason for stress-related increase in stress hormone secretion, which in turn causes a chain of negative biological imbalances such as a decrease in the amount and activities of serotonin in the brain, clinical depression, suppression/blocking of neurotransmitters, decrease in dopamine releases, etc. In the end, stress triggers excessive production of oxidative burden and free radicals, leading to cardiovascular diseases and more.

Brief physiological effect of massage on the human body:

The main power of massage therapy lies in reflexive therapy. By mobilizing skin, connective, and muscular tissue, we stimulate the mechano-receptors, which in turn release action potentials/impulses. Through neurological pathways, these electrical impulses stimulate motor and vasomotor centers. As a reflex, or involuntary reaction of organs and systems to original stimuli, the body responds by expressing positive changes such as muscular relaxation, vasodilation, reduction of blood pressure, reduction of stress hormone production, etc. As you could understand, we have an opportunity and power to address the initiator of all the chain of negative effects of stress, which is the increase of stress hormone secretion (cortisol and adrenaline).

In another presentation from 13 years ago, I discussed various sources of stress, including emotional baggage, which poisons memories and erodes our quality of life and health.


It is impossible to separate the body and mind. Those who have been massage therapy practitioners for a long time sometimes witness clients’ emotional releases. Clients might cry, shake, demonstrate painless muscle constriction, or complain about a sensation of cold with the room temperature of 75°. Some report crying after the treatment. Usually, these releases happen when we apply kneading techniques to specific areas of the body. We call these areas “bookmarks” of emotional memories, stored somewhere in the brain.

While a student, I was told that everyone, even patients who are not crying out, releases this emotional garbage due to massage stimulation. When treating cases of anxieties, depressions, chronic pain, phantom pains, chronic pains, it is extremely important to clean up this emotional garbage. Empirical data/theory “body cells carry emotional memory exists a long time; I am familiar with and have used this knowledge for at least 50 years. Of course, every textbook, every professor clarifies for us: “body cells cannot carry memory because body cells don't have a brain to remember; it's stored somewhere in the brain; body cells carry bookmarks.”

Today, Melzlack‘s neuromatrix theory of pain and anxiety explains much more about the phenomenon of central sensitization of pain, emotions, etc. When we spend 50% of a procedure time on kneading, the human body reacts to original stimuli with multiple positive changes in functions of organs and systems. Therefore, during numerous repeated treatments, we achieve an approximate balance of sympathetic and parasympathetic activities. To understand the process and mechanism of how we are releasing emotional garbage. Referring to you to short explanation of the physiological effect of massage on the human body .

As far as I know, back in the nineteen-seventies, our professors, MDs, and PhDs used to teach us that unless emotional garbage is cleaned, it would be practically impossible to get to the desired stabilized health. Practicing for 48 years, it became clear from treatment room experiences that by creating an action potential, somehow, from the areas of somatic bookmarks, we stimulate and awaken reactions - emotional releases.

From 2005 empirical data: “body cells carrying emotional memory” was clarified by scientific. professor Melzlack‘s neuromatrix theory of pain and anxiety, explaining much more about the phenomenon of central sensitization of pain, emotions, etc. repeating from physiological effect of massage on human body descriptions:” When we spend 50% of a procedure time on kneading, the human body reacts to original stimuli with multiple positive changes in functions of organs and systems. Therefore, during numerous repeated treatments, we achieve an approximate balance of sympathetic and parasympathetic activities, which is ultimate health.

Because all programs I am teaching hands-on, even with different technical approaches, are based on the same physiological effect of massage on the human body, a holistic approach in action is a fundamental part of medical and sports massage. Each of the programs, including but not limited to self-massage programs, fundamentally based on the holistic approach. for more information click the links below:

"Let's continue focusing on holism/body and mind approach, where the mind/brain is practically involved in every pathological development as well as in the healing process.

I have mentioned Melzlack‘s neuromatrix theory of pain and anxiety that explains the phenomenon of central sensitization of pain and negative emotions, what we are calling emotional garbage/emotional poison. Although sensitization of pain and emotional memory somehow interact, I believe we have to differentiate them for clinical understanding. I mean understanding should be specific. For example, phantom leg pain: the leg was amputated, but at the network of neurons/neuromatrix, which is like a memory box, the memory of long-time pain is recorded, and the brain generates pain in the leg that physically does not exist anymore. However, as I described in the physiological effect of massage, when at the time of massage we are massively generating the release of action potentials/electrical impulses, electrical charge that runs through the hypothalamus to the cortex, on this pathway, these impulses also massively stimulate the network of neurons/neuromatrix/brain, and delete these memories, stimulating cleanups of these memories, memories that used to generate pain, and the person stops experiencing phantom leg pain.

When we are addressing painful chronic conditions of the lower/upper back, etc., and successfully addressing causes of pain such as buildups of tension within muscles and fascia, trigger points, we consider sensitization of pain/memory of chronic pain and spend some extra treatments, performing 50% of time procedure kneading techniques to clean up this negative memory that can generate pain even when we successfully eliminated causes for pain. By the way, I believe if a person is suffering from a painful condition for 2 months or longer, we should consider it a chronic condition and consider sensitization of pain. Usually, after successfully providing additional numerous treatments, I personally switch to full-body medical stress management massage, eliminating memories. I would like to stress and repeat again, these brain/neuromatrix memories, if not cleaned up, if not stimulated out, this phenomenon of central sensitization, can generate pain without any objectives. Cleaning up the memory of chronic pain is a must-do in chronic conditions to sustain results.


Let's talk about emotional garbage. Since we can remember growing up, the network of neurons/neuromatrix/negative memory box collects everything: childhood disappointments, maybe a real emotional and/or physical trauma.Or It could be something not significant but young people’s interpretation, like a tragedy stored in the brain. It could be something forgettable, but the neuromatrix/negative memory box keeps these memories, and poisons our lives, causing anxieties, sleep disorders, tension headaches, and many other stress-related illnesses. This emotional garbage can be a significant source of stress, additionally to stressful routines. Full-body stress management massage cleans up this emotional garbage. None of us know how much emotional garbage a person accumulates. In order to stabilize, we have to receive at least 15 full-body medical stress management massage treatments and then be involved in maintenance.


Being it central sensitization painful chronic conditions cases ,or anxieties headaches, clinical depression, sleep disorders secondary to accumulation of emotional garbage/poisoning, constant conscious and subconscious fear for a future , where all this health conditions goes, is a tremendous fuel for neuromatrix/negative memory box activities. Full body stress management massage, suppressing this fears.


Allow me to share an excerpt from my article, with a link provided for further reading:

"Holism vs. Holistic Approach Welcome to the medical and sports massage educational page. For approximately the last 20+ years, healthcare professionals, alternative medicine practitioners, as well as the general public, have been discussing terms such as holism and holistic approach. In my strong opinion, in such discussions to avoid confusions, misinformation, misunderstandings, mislabeling, we must be more specific when it comes to holism and holistic approach. Although holism means an intimate interconnection and functional dependency of all organs and systems, for example the holistic approach of clinical psychologists is absolutely different than the holistic approach of medical and sports massage practitioners. In fact, when discussing a holistic approach, we must be sure to address the holistic approach of individual healthcare methodology."

In this article I have clearly explained why and how, full body medical stress management massage is the most powerful methodology in stress management.

As always, I welcome your questions and engagement.

Best wishes, Boris

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