Stress is an inevitable part of life, but people experience it in different ways. Whether through a chemical imbalance or through simply not knowing the skills to decrease and deal with stress in a healthy way, people suffer with various mental and physical symptoms related to this high level of stress. What many people may not know is that regular massage therapy can be a tremendous help in dealing with anxiety and depression and there are specific massage techniques used with great success.
According to the Mayo Clinic, research suggests that more than 90% of illness is a result of stress. The goal is to decrease the physical and emotional stress to improve overall health and well-being. A basic 1-hour massage achieves two important things in dealing with stress: massage lowers cortisol and increases serotonin. Our bodies produce cortisol in response to stress and it is believed that a 1-hour massage can reduce cortisol by up to 30% and then increase serotonin by 28%. Serotonin is one of the body’s anti-pain mechanisms. Boosting the body’s ability to produce it can help you fight off pain as well as feelings of anxiety and sadness.
Research also shows that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S. with more than 40 million adults suffering from anxiety. A skilled massage therapist has as many as seven bodywork modalities to choose from to help clients deal with anxiety and depression. Popular modalities include:
- Cranial Sacral Therapy
- Lymphatic Drainage
- Myofascial Release
- Polarity Therapy
Each of these modalities gives therapists the opportunity to go beyond just working on right muscles but allows them to get into the tissue and sense movements in energy and muscle contraction. If you find yourself struggling with anxiety and/or depression, talk to your therapist as well as your doctor. Your trained therapist can offer a drug-free option to help you work through the mental and physical manifestations of the feelings and emotions you are experiencing. Schedule an appointment today and begin to find the relief you have been searching for.