Massage therapy may be prominent as a method of relaxation, but its benefits go way beyond that. Numerous studies have shown that massage can be useful in countering a wide variety of ailments ranging from sleep apnea and sciatica pain to more severe problems like heart diseases and high blood pressure.
Massage Therapy can also have various benefits for our psychological health; it can relieve day to day stress and can be a handy tool in combating anxiety. So, the short answer to the question in the title is, yes, Massage Therapy does help in reducing anxiety.
What is anxiety?
In simple words, you can say that anxiety is the body’s natural response to stress. However, stress is normal to some extent, and everybody feels anxious from time to time, for instance, when they have an exam or a job interview.
When we talk about anxiety as a psychological condition, we are referring to generalized anxiety disorder, which is an exaggerated form of normal anxiety, and it is like a chronic condition. People affected by Generalized Anxiety Disorder feel anxious and stressed all the time, which can be very bad for their health.
According to statistics, GAD affects around 6.8 million Americans, and women are twice as likely to be affected by it as men.
Treatment of Anxiety:
Anxiety is most commonly treated by Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and anti-anxiety medications. Though CBT is a handy tool for its treatment, pharmaceutical anti-anxiety pills can have many dangerous side effects, which is what alternative treatments are considered for fighting anxiety.
Massage has been proven to be one of the most effective alternatives to medications. When performed in combination with CBT, it can be a very viable treatment for Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
According to recent reports from the Mayo Clinic, a 60-minute session of massage can contribute to a 305% decrease in your stress levels.
In a recent study published in the journal of depression and anxiety, it was discovered the participants who were massaged regularly for 12 weeks experienced an average 50% decrease in their anxiety symptoms. Furthermore, the symptoms remained low for a considerable time even after the massage therapy ended. Therefore, regular massage can be used as a long-term solution for anxiety.
Apart from the calming effects, massage is also very useful in counting several symptoms of anxiety. For instance, Massage therapy can be beneficial in countering insomnia and sleep apnea. However, getting a massage therapist to help you sleep every night is not that easy.
Therefore, you should consider investing in a massage chair. You can find many amazing robotic massage chairs that can help you sleep better. Moreover, massage chairs can also help you relieve muscle tension, which is another common physical symptom of anxiety.
The effect of massage therapy on stress:
Experts agree that chronic stress is the primary cause of Generalized anxiety disorder, and studies have also shown that massage is beneficial stress countering tool. Apart from decreasing the levels of cortisol in our body, massage can also trigger the release of Dopamine, which is also known as the pleasure hormone. Moreover, massage lowers your heart rate blood pressure, which also helps in preventing stress, and ultimately anxiety as well.
Other treatments for anxiety:
Though massage is one of the more enjoyable natural treatments for anxiety, there are some different natural ways in which stress and anxiety can be countered. For instance, acupuncture, yoga, exercise, and even adjusting your diet and abandoning bad habits like drinking and smoking can help you combat anxiety.
In conclusion, anxiety is a severe disease, which if left unchecked, can lead to terminal illnesses, and prove to be detrimental for your career and quality of life. However, massage is a very effective way to counter anxiety; so, give it a try.