Are massages good for anxiety?
They can help in 3 ways!
Therapeutic massages have been practiced for thousands of years to treat anxiety.
That’s mostly because we are social creatures who thrive off touch and connection. You might have already heard about the Harry Harlow’s psychological study with baby monkeys? You haven’t? Ok, cute story alert!
The monkeys that were raised by the warmer and more nurturing surrogate monkey mother grew up happier and better adjusted in their adult lives. This study told us a lot about the importance of physical touch in infants but it also showed that as we get older, this need does not dissipate.
There are many forms of anxiety and they all lead to feelings of isolation. When we are in an isolated state, we’re usually reaching for less physical contact which can worsen the symptoms. Try to look at it this way; by receiving a massage you are not only enjoying the powerful impact of touch, but you are also helping the therapist because both parties receive the same cortisol-reducing and heart-rate slowing effect. It’s like an hour-long hug! So don’t feel guilty for pampering yourself and always look for ways you can make your everyday life happier and healthier. Let’s find out how massage will help you get more of those precious good days!
Stress is an inevitable part of life and it’s almost impossible to avoid it but that doesn’t mean you should toss and turn all night not being able to stop your mind from racing.
Massage provides a nurturing place for you to relax, refocus and to find clarity. It can even
generate confidence and enhance your self-image and self-worth! In just an hour your levels of cortisol decline by 30 percent, and serotonin increases by an average of 28%. This effect boosts your body’s ability to fight off anxiety and feelings of sadness but it also helps you fall asleep easier. And it’s more than likely that you’ll experience longer periods of deep sleep.
Pro tip: Ask your therapist to use essential lavender oil.
Bad sleeping habits and constant feelings of stress and tension often lead to a damaging effect on the immune system. Massages can help keep you healthy by increasing the activity level of the body’s white blood cells - the cells that work hard to combat viruses. Researches from Cedars-Sinai concluded that participants in a Swedish massage group experienced significant changes in lymphocytes, which help our bodies to fight disease. They’ve also shown that
Regular massage not only feels good, but it also makes you healthier - especially if you have problems with blood pressure. Massage therapy relaxes your body and your mind, the heart rate slows down and the decreasing in heart rate can help you relax and stay focused.
But be careful if you have high blood pressure. Since massage can affect circulation, patients with any kind of heart disease should always check with their physician first.
While receiving a massage, your body is releasing hormones that can help reduce the symptoms of anxiety. From dopamine to serotonin to oxytocin – get ready to welcome hormones that will leave you feeling balanced and centered. Relaxation has a number of benefits but the most important benefit is a reduction of stress hormones. This reduction can improve your cognitive function; decrease headaches and migraines improve your immune system and reduce abdominal fat. It’s a win-win deal, right?
Regular massage therapy can help you manage anxiety in order to have a more functional and calmer everyday life. It’s not a cure, but it’s a powerful tool that is not only effective but also deeply relaxing and comforting. It’s an enjoyable way to have more good days!