Reduce Anxiety With Massage
Posted by:Steven Baldwin
Its no secret that our daily lives can dictate our mood. Just as getting a promotion or planning a vacation can put a smile on our faces for days on end, things like workplace deadlines, family troubles, and financial worries can have a negative effect on our psychological well-being.
For those of you who love to treat themselves to a massage, weve got good news for you. Not only does your massage ease tense muscles and boost relaxation, but you can reduce anxiety with massage, lifting your mood in a way that permeates your body.
First and foremost, theres human touch. Countless studies have examined the benefits of touch, both as it relates to our development as children and how it affects our sense of the world as adults. Simple touch on a regular basis has been shown to lower blood pressure and increase the feel-good hormone, oxytocin both of which lead to a more optimistic attitude.
Another benefit people might not think about is the increase in self-awareness. Because of the speed at which many of us live our lives, we rarely stop to examine how our bodies are responding to everyday stress. Massage treatments give us a time-out in order for us to access the deeper layers of our well-being, says massage therapist Kristen Sykora. Just as we take our cars in for regular tune-ups, we too need maintenance.
Your Abcs: Always Be Careful
If you suffer from chronic anxiety, always check with your health care provider about possible treatment options. Your health and safety are paramount. And remember: A massage chair can be a very practical investment providing years of convenient massage therapy in the comfort of home. At Worlds Best Massage Chair, were always happy to discuss your needs and options with you. Chat with one of our massage chair experts today.
Massage Chair Therapy & Anxiety Relief: Body Massage Tips. , YouTube, 17 Apr. 2015, www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPDmWIT-lik. Henderson, Eric. Massage Chair Tips to Reduce Anxiety. Elite Massage Chairs, 4 Apr. 2016, www.elitemassagechairs.com/massage-chair-tips-to-reduce-anxiety/. Brault, Stephanie. Massage Chair Store Blog | Reviews, Discussion and Educational Articles. Massage Away Depression & Anxiety, 25 Mar. 2015, blog.massagechairstore.com/blog/massage-away-depression-anxiety.
Benefits Of Using A Massager For Anxiety
Did you know that stress can damage your muscles as well as your mind? While stress can be an adaptive response to danger, it can also increase your risk of disease. Long-term stress has been linked to anxiety, which can make it harder to relax and fall asleep. Even short-term stress can increase your risk of heart disease.
Fortunately, there are lots of simple ways to deal with stress. One of these is through massage therapy. Massage has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, which is why so many people turn to this therapy when they need a little relaxation.
Even if you dont usually think of massage as an anxiety remedy, it is worth looking into. Research has shown that a massage can have a number of benefits, including the following five.
Recommended Reading: Massage Places In San Francisco
What Type Of Massage Is Best For Stress And Anxiety
- Swedish Massage When youre looking for deep relaxation, you cant go wrong with a Swedish massage. Light, rhythmic tapping, and targeted rolling and kneading result in a clear mind and relaxed body.
- Deep Tissue Massage Deep pressing and kneading of the muscles releases knots and melt away tension. When done correctly, this massage is one of the most effective at reducing chronic pain and anxiety.
- Trigger Point Massage A well-trained massage therapist can find and release trigger points. Once released, pain in specific problem areas fades away, and clients can fully and deeply relax.
Casper’s Weighted Blanket And Sierra’s Oil Diffuser Promote Relaxation
Sarah is a freelance writer with a focus on health and wellness. She has written for publications like Women’s Health, Healthline, and Parents. She taught creative writing for five years, and has a bachelor’s degree in English from Southern Connecticut State University.
Steven Gans, MD, is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Christina Oehler is a commerce editor for Verywell Health. She has a degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has work published on sites like Health, Shape, and Brides.
We independently research, test, review, and recommend the bestproducts. Healthcare professionals review articles for medical accuracy. Learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
If you have someone on your shopping list who you suspect is struggling with anxiety, you may want to buy them a gift to let them know you’re there for them. But buying an anxiety-themed gift for someone withanxiety can be easier said than done.
You May Like: Where To Massage To Clear Sinuses
Benefits Of Massage Therapy
When performed by a trained professional, massage therapy is generally safe for most people. Youll find that it provides immediate gratification. You may feel relaxed and calm from the time your massage begins. You can combine it with more conventional treatment for depression, such as medication and psychotherapy.
Constant Stress Can Cause:
- Weight gain
- Heart disease and more.
Massage can help lower cortisol levels to help the body get back to normal. A five week study observed the affects a 15 minute chair massage had on 26 adults versus a 24 adult control group asked to relax in a massage chair for 15 minutes. The study used EEG before, during, and after the first and last sessions. Additionally, the groups performed math computations, POMS Depression and State Anxiety Scales, and tested cortisol level in saliva before and after the sessions. In addition to lowering cortisol levels, the results showed the massage group experienced increased alertness, increased speed and accuracy on math computations, lower anxiety levels, and lower job stress scores.1
Cortisol is not the only chemical that plays a part in stress. Norepinephrine is another stress hormone. Dopamine helps regulate attention, learning, and emotional responses and plays a part in the reward system. Serotonin plays a part in regulating mood. They all play a role in stress. Massage helps to lower levels of anxiety and depressed mood, increase dopamine and serotonin levels, and decreased norepinephrine.6
In general, research supports massage therapy as effective part of treating anxiety and depression. 1, 2, 3, 6, 7 So when you are planning how to reduce stress, consider making massage a routine part of your self-care.
For more information about Beacon Health & Fitness Massage, Research Citations:
Also Check: Osaki Os 3000 Chiro Massage Chair
Regular Massages Can Significantly Reduce Stress And Anxiety
Massage alters EEG activity, increases parasympathetic activity, and decreases cortisol levels
Massage is widely used in all cultures to evoke feelings of deep relaxation and reduced anxiety. The anxiety-reducing and mood-enhancing benefits of massage are probably related to changes in EEG activity, decreased levels of cortisol, and increased activity of the parasympathetic nervous system, which acts automatically to calm the body and brain during stress.
Numerous studies show that moderate pressure massage is more effective than light pressure massage for reducing pain associated with different medical problems including fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis. Moderate pressure massage also improves attention and enhances the body’s immune response by increasing the activity of natural killer cells. Functional brain imaging studies show that changes take place in many areas of the brain involved in regulating emotions and stress response including the amygdala and the hypothalamus. For an excellent review of the research evidence for massage therapy see “Massage Therapy Research Review” by Field .
Challenges to designing studies on massage
Massage is widely used for anxiety and has a strong record of success
Few safety issues
How Can Massage Help Stress And Anxiety
One of the primary goals of massage is relaxation, so the calm it brings to stress and anxiety sufferers can only be beneficial. Using a qualified and experienced massage therapist is essential to realising the benefits of massage. The type of massage you have should also be matched to the condition you are suffering from.
Find out about other effective natural treatments for stress and anxiety.
Originally published on May 20, 2010
Learn more about Swedish/Relaxation Massage here.Or find best practitioners of Swedish/Relaxation Massage near you.
You May Like: Massage Envy In Chester Nj
Improvement On The Hars
Over the 12 week treatment period, study participants in all groups experienced significant reductions in anxiety, as measured by the mean values of the HARS, with improvements still evident at the 26 week follow-up. . Similar improvements were noted in all groups for the other HARS measures–the percentage improving by at least 50% and the percentage whose symptoms had diminished to a HARS score of less than 8 . However, there were no significant differences in improvement among the groups at either 12 or 26 weeks for any of these measures. Nor did adjustment for baseline values, gender, age or income or the adjusted sensitivity analyses influence any of the results.
How Does Massage Therapy Help People With Depression
A team at the University of Miamis Touch Research Institute studied women with prenatal depression and found massage therapy and yoga were healthy for both them and their babies. Infants whose mothers engaged in massage and yoga treatments had higher birth weights and longer gestational ages . Their mothers reported decreased anxiety, depression, anger, and leg pain as well as healthier relationships. The researchers pointed out that massage therapy provides a natural alternative to antidepressants, which may cause side effects in some patients.
In a 2010 study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, a group of researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 17 research papers examining 786 study participants to learn more about the positive mental health benefits of massage therapy. They found massage therapy was significantly related to improvements in depression symptoms.
You May Like: Ultrasound Massage Machine For Sale
Gratitude Journal Edition 3
Space for goal and intention setting
Includes motivational stickers
Only 80 pages
Threaded binding may be prone to breakage
Journaling is a great tool to help walk someone through anxious feelings, according to Dr. Capanna-Hodge: Journaling and planners promote well-being because you are slowing down and processing events, thoughts, and feelings it can be a way to calm and clear the mind by releasing negative thoughts and feelings and increasing self-awareness to not just triggers but solutions.
This Gratitude Journal from Erin Condren was developed to help with reducing stress levels while promoting inner peace by providing the perfect place to keep daily gratitude in check. This journal, filled with high quality paper pages, includes six months of daily gratitude prompts and 30 day reflection spreads. It is also small enough to fit into a purse or one of Condrens larger day planners, also includes a bunch of stickers, and a gorgeous coverall for an affordable price.
The Physical Dimension Of Anxiety
But wait, there is more to it than just that. Most of us tend to hold our stress and tension in certain parts of our body. The neck and shoulders are by far the most common place for us to do that but they are by no means the only place. Tension can be held anywhere and we are all unique but other very common places it is held are: The face, jaw, chest, abdomen, hands and feet. Now, lets back track to why its so common for us to hold tension in the neck and shoulders. Take a look at the following image of a cat in a defensive position:
Are there any specific Massage Techniques for Anxiety?
One of the fastest ways to calm someone down who is anxious is with a good head massage. Slow consistent strokes of medium pressure working from the base of the skull up towards the forehead are great. Just five minutes head massage can work wonders for an overly stressed person. Massaging the hands and feet is also great to quickly relax a person. Again, the strokes should be medium pressure and very slow and consistent. Once the person is somewhat relaxed, one can begin to assess the state of the following muscles:
- Levator Scapula
- Pectoralis Major and Minor
Recommended Reading: Massage Green Spa Santa Barbara
What Therapeutic Massage Can Help With
Therapeutic massage is often used to help relieve muscle tension and pain. It may be used on its own, but it is also often used in conjunction with other traditional pain treatments. Therapeutic massage may also be helpful for helping people deal with symptoms of conditions including:
- Panic disorder
Therapeutic massage can help reduce muscle tension, which is why it may help relieve some symptoms that are associated with stress and anxiety.
Boost Your Immune System With Massages
Everyone can benefit from a boosted immune system, especially people who typically deal with several minor illnesses every year. A research group at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center discovered that a single 45-minute massage alters the human bodys immune response. Therefore, getting a massage weekly or biweekly is a great way to strengthen your immune system.
You May Like: Hand And Stone Massage Kent Station
A Massage Can Relieve Lower Back Pain
Whether you have chronic or acute back pain, a massage can help you find relief. A massage works by enhancing blood flow to damaged tissue. This blood helps transport oxygen and nutrients, which in turn nourish the tissue and promote healing. With improved circulation, waste products are more easily transported out of your system.
A massage also reduces tension in the muscles. Targeting the backs soft tissue allows muscles to relax and decreases pain and discomfort in the area. Trigger points build up tension without relief and lead to pain in the back and surrounding areas.
Giantex Car Seatback Massager
If you are looking for back relief when driving after a long working day, this massager is an excellent choice for you. It comes with ten vibrating motors, three-speed levels, and five modes, which play a significant role in their performance.
The massager/massage seat contains five massaging zones that you can choose from. Therefore, you will have a perfect massage for the waist, shoulder, back, thighs, and hips.
Featuring are ten vibrating motors that ensure that you have better blood circulation and lowered levels of fatigue. You will also feel I am an impressive release of anxiety and muscle pains.
More about the massager is that it offers a customized massage. You will appreciate the presence of 5 modes and three vibration strengths. You will, therefore, have a choice of the level that will satisfy your body.
The most beautiful thing is that you can choose a single zone or combine the zones of massage to have a customized massage. You can also choose the way you want your massage done.
Moreover, soothing heat therapy is very safe and secure to use. You will appreciate the response of the massage seats, which gets heated within two heating pads for just 30 seconds. It automatically shuts down after use for 15 minutes.
Another remarkable thing is that it targets your back and the hips. If you have sore muscles, they get perfectly warmed up and cooled. In cases of anxiety and depression, you will feel quick relief.
Don’t Miss: Best Heated Massage Office Chairs
Maintain Massage As Self
The wide-ranging advantages of massage are comprehensive and cumulativemeaning that the longer you maintain a self-care routine after treatment that includes regular massage, the longer the benefits from it will last. While regular, professional massages are certainly the most effective way to receive the benefits of touch, the good news is that you can take personal steps in-between your ongoing professional therapy and massage sessions in order to continue receiving these mind and body benefits.
Simple neck massages can not only relieve pain, but can reduce the chances of headache and feelings of stress after a long day. A basic foot massage with a golf ball can greatly help your fatigue if you are your feet all day, and a gentle temple rub before bedtime can help you sleep easy. Even just five minutes of quiet self-massage can have a great effect on your overall health and well-being, in conjunction with continued therapy to help maintain control over your depression or anxiety on your healing journey.
Though you may no longer be a newborn craving love or a young child needing affection, your need for physical contact never goes away. Its importance can sometimes get lost in the midst of struggle, pain, and difficult situationsbut massage and a commitment to building your mind-body connection through self-care can help you maintain a positive mental state after treatment and beyond.
Lead Image Source: Unsplash user Mathias Reed
Precautions Of Shiatsu Massage Therapy
Be sure to explain your goals and purposes with your massage therapist and let him or her know if a particular action makes you uneasy.
Additionally, meet with your doctor prior to receiving any type of massage if you have any health concerns or disorders.
Research study involving Shiatsu massage and anxiety is still in its early stages.
Almost all patient feedback endorses its application for a variety of health issues.
That being said, more extensive research is required.
For the most part, Shiatsu for anxiety is a safe method of treatment.
However, it is a good idea to avoid this therapy as well as other acupressure therapy if you have the following health conditions:
- You are pregnant – the reason being is that putting pressure on particular points may produce contractions.
- Avoid massage in the location of a cancerous tumor or if the cancer has spread to the bones.
- You have varicose veins.
- You suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, spinal damage, or a bone disease that could be exacerbated by physical adjustment.
Although massage therapy hasn’t been proven to heal depression or anxiety completely, it does help with the symptom reduction of both disorders.
Again, if you feel you are experiencing excessive bouts of anxiety, your first priority is to visit your doctor.
Your “fight, flight or freeze” mechanism should never be stuck in the “on” position.
Whichever treatment you choose, make sure it helps you to live a full and productive life.
You May Like: How To Get Massage Certificate