How Massage Treatments Can Help With Your Anxiety
It can be difficult to find relief from chronic anxiety, especially if you don't like taking medications. One natural treatment that may help is massage. You could feel results in as little as one session, but to get ongoing relief, you'll probably need massages on a regular schedule. Here's how massage helps you deal with anxiety.
One reason many people like to get massages is because they are so relaxing. To help promote relaxation, the massage studio you go to will probably have a very soothing atmosphere that will help lower your anxiety level. There may be soft music playing in the background and dim lights. Your therapist may even incorporate aromatherapy to relax you further. Simply being in a quiet setting can help calm your body and mind and give you momentary relief from your anxiety.
Even though you may not realize it, you probably hold tension in your muscles when you are anxious. You may have sore knots in your neck and shoulder area. When your muscles are tense, you can't relax completely. Your massage therapist will knead your muscles and work out all the tightness. When your body is fully relaxed, it is easier to relax your mind and stay calm once your therapy session is over. In addition to kneading your muscles, your therapist may apply scented oils onto your skin with long strokes using the palm of his or her hand. This technique is called effleurage, and it helps melt away any tension or stress held in your body.
One of the reasons massage is beneficial for anxiety is that it affects the neurotransmitters and stress hormones in your body. Massage has been found to lower cortisol, which is your body's stress hormone. In addition, it increases the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which are natural mood elevators. Massage may help bring these natural body chemicals back into balance in a gentle way that doesn't have undesirable side effects.
When you make an appointment to get a massage, be sure to tell your therapist you're seeking treatment for anxiety relief. Since there are several types of massage and various types of techniques used, you'll want to receive body movements that induce relaxation, relieve stress, and enhance your feeling of well being. You may get fantastic results after your first session, or your anxiety may keep you from fully relaxing until you've had a few treatments and feel comfortable in your surroundings and with your therapist. Since massage is natural and not harmful, there is no risk in adding it to your treatment program for anxiety if you are in good general health. If your anxiety is caused by a serious medical condition such as cancer, you may want to ask your doctor if massage is right for you, and if so, be sure to let your massage therapist know about your illness so your treatments can be adapted to your condition.
For more information, contact Inner Harmony Center For The Healing Arts Inc or a similar location.