If you’re looking for natural anxiety treatments, I bet you haven’t considered massage. Here’s why you should.
Many people think massage is only good for treating muscle pain. And for sure, they may relax when they go to a spa day, but somehow we never really get as far as making the link into massage being one of the best natural anxiety treatments out there.
Having a massage has many physiological effects on our body, which not only improves our immune system but also gives the body what it needs to cope effectively with stress, thus reducing our anxiety and depression.
Just think about a time when you have received a great massage from a well-trained therapist. How do you feel when you get up off the table?
The effects of your massage aren’t just looser muscles easing a sore back. You feel calm, your breathing is slower and your blood pressure drops as your heart rate slows. These are proven physical effects of massage on these conditions, it is not a placebo.
Types of anxiety
The 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) classifies 7 official anxiety disorders of the mind:
According to the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), there are 7* classified anxiety disorders. Their effects can range on the scale from mild to debilitating.
*Separation Anxiety Disorder
*Social Phobia (fear of socialising or social situations)
*Panic Disorder (potential for panic attacks)
*Agoraphobia (increased heart rate when confronted with leaving the security of your personal space)
*Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) including obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Massage is an effective natural health remedy to all these and helps you stay naturally positive with a healthy and calm outlook without the adverse effects of some other psychological medications that dampen your neurotransmitters.
What are the best massage styles to act as natural anxiety treatments?
The Mayo Clinic reports a 60-minute massage can lower cortisol, the stress hormone, by up to 30 percent after just one session. This is because massage increases blood flow (and all the good stuff including serotonin) in much the same way exercise does. The issue is, that when you’re suffering with anxiety and depression, much as you may want to get out and jog around the block, the disorder prevents you from literally taking the next step.
It doesn’t matter what type of massage you choose.
You could have a soothing Swedish massage which relaxes the entire body, but if you’re struggling with tight muscles, then a deep tissue massage will help your anxiety and depression too. They have proven both complementary therapies to help you, so it’s down to you to determine your ideal choice. What’s better is that you can do this as your therapist works. If we find an area that you feel needs more pressure, then just say. We can adjust according to your needs.
It’s down to what you feel you need most.
A recent study published in the journal Depression and Anxiety found participants who received regular massage therapy for 12 weeks had a 50 percent reduction in anxiety symptoms. There wasn’t a need for the massage to be a particular style. What’s better is that these effects of massage as a natural anxiety treatment lasted. Their reduced anxiety symptoms were still 50 percent lower after 26 weeks. That’s six months without a massage session.
What’s better is that the calming effects of massage in dealing with anxiety disorder mean that symptoms such as muscle tension and sleep disturbances also improve.
It’s a win win.
Symptoms of anxiety that massage helps.
As we’ve said, massage benefits physiologically and easing stress. Anxiety is a mental health disorder that affects twice as many women as men down to the hormonal balance of the female brain composition. And it isn’t limited to an age. We see children as young as nine suffering with crippling anxiety and panic attacks right the way through to the older generation facing a single life for the first time.
If you have anxiety, you’ll worry excessively about anything. It could be one thing, or a whole host all at once. And this will be persistent, with you being preoccupied by worry more days than you aren’t.
This can manifest as you feeling restless, or on edge. It will often affect your sleep quality, patterns and result in you waking feeling like you’re still tired (insomnia). You could be easily fatigued over the course of the waking day. And you’ll often struggle to concentrate and being more irritable than is your disposition outside of being anxious.
All of this ties in with muscle tension that often creeps up on you if you’re suffering with panic slowly.
Massage is an effective natural anxiety treatment that you know is safe. The thing with many of the herbal supplements out there is that you don’t know how they work with what else is going on in your body. Much like the pills your doctor would prescribe, they are good at helping one thing. But it’s important to consider how this combination of supplements works with what is already in your body.
Many people will take magnesium. But, what is your current magnesium levels? Do you know? Because if you don’t you could easily overdose. Your anxiety and depression disorder may not be due to a lack of magnesium. And too much can cause serious side effects including irregular heartbeat, confusion and in extreme cases death. For sure, these are the worst cases, but you don’t have any of this uncertainty with a massage.
Plus a massage is a fast acting natural anxiety treatments. Remember the evidence-based research we quoted earlier. You feel better right after the massage and if you keep up with a course, then the effects are long lasting.
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