As the most common mental illness, about 18% of American adults suffer from some form of anxiety. The question then arises, can massages help ease anxiety symptoms?
Massages help the body to relax which in turn can help let go of anxious and fearful thoughts. They help to relieve muscle pain and tension, improving circulation while increasing flexibility. Areas of the body that were once closed off, shut down, stiff and stagnant can now begin to experience adequate blood flow traveling to those areas with the help of massage.
More oxygen getting into these areas and the brain, the more relief you will find from anxiety symptoms.
The uncomfortable physical symptoms that are experienced during anxiety such as shortness of breath, accelerated heart rate, excessive sweating and chest pain are all relieved during massage. Massage therapy can have an opposing effect on the body by eliciting the relaxation response, reducing tension, lowering heart rate and generally making a person feel calmer.
Mental Benefits of Massage
- Less anxious thoughts
- Tamed fight-or-flight response
- Lower tension and more feelings of calm
A research team at Emory University studied the effects of Swedish Massage on 47 patients with generalized anxiety. The participants received two Swedish massages per week for six weeks. Using the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale, a common framework for measuring anxiety severity, they were able to report a significant reduction in symptoms present for as many as six weeks after treatment. Researchers recommended massage therapy as a complementary and alternative therapy for generalized anxiety patients.
Many people with anxiety symptoms can also reduce the severity of their symptoms by engaging in activities that help increase focus on the present moment.
The practice of Mindfulness may be one of the reasons why massage therapy and bodywork is so effective at increasing a person’s overall mental health. Studies on the practice of mindfulness have noted it’s positive application for a wide range of conditions, from fibromyalgia to anxiety and even depression.
While we’re on the topic of massage therapy and mindfulness, Eckhart Tolle, an internally recognized expert on mindfulness, recommends paying attention to all five senses. During a massage session, the five senses are easily able to be tuned into.
The feeling of the massage sheets on your skin, the feeling of the oil and the power of touch, any lingering fragrance in the air such as essential oils and other aromatherapy, the temperature of the air or temperature of the table warmer below your body, the sounds that you hear in the massage ranging from the gentle music playing in the background to the sounds happening inside and outside of the room, the color of the walls or colors that you might see behind your eyelids.
Because sense perceptions happen in the moment, those with anxiety symptoms can “reset” their mental and emotional habits by deeply feeling their immediate experiences. This practice leaves little room for the mind to wander to past regrets and future troubles.
If you are needing a complete reset, mentally and physically, we are so here for you!
Therapeutic massage, deep relaxation massage and energy healing are all services that we have for you here when life happens. All of the massage therapists and energy healers at Heal. in Altamonte Springs will take such great care of you. Leave your worries at the door and allow us to take care of you!
We’re here for you, just a phone call or email away.
407-300-5364 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy Relaxing. <3