5 Ways Massage Therapy Can Help With Anxiety

Every year, anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults in the United States aged 18 and older, that is 18.1% of the population.

From cognitive behavioural therapy to medication, there are various treatments for anxiety disorders. For those looking to add a more holistic health treatment to their anxiety, there are ways massage therapy can help with anxiety.

Understanding Anxiety Disorder

There are 7 classified anxiety disorders:

  1. Separation Anxiety Disorder
  2. Selective Mutism
  3. Specific Phobia
  4. Social Phobia
  5. Panic Disorder
  6. Agoraphobia
  7. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Symptoms Of Anxiety Disorder

At some point in our life, we all must have experienced anxiety and it is natural. It only becomes an issue when it starts to interfere with our daily life without any reasonable stressors.

Anxiety affects everyone differently, but common symptoms include:

  • Problems in sleeping 
  • Muscle tension
  • Irritability
  • Excessive worry
  • Nausea
  • Panic attacks

Now that you know about anxiety disorders, it’s time to learn how holistic health massage therapy helps anxiety?

Massage Therapy for Anxiety Relief- The Power of Touch

We humans are social creatures who long for physical touch in all stages of life. We think that as we get older, this need dissipate, but it doesn’t. Anxiety disorders often lead to feelings of isolation and in an isolated state, we typically get less physical contact, which worsens symptoms.

Touch is incredibly powerful. It is one of the primary ways to release oxytocin. Also, touch is mutually beneficial as you can’t touch without being touched.

1. You feel connected

Physical touch helps strengthen relationships, and also helps connect strangers. You feel connected and secure with your massage therapist while you’re receiving a massage, which helps release endorphins, that are beneficial for people dealing with isolating thoughts.

2. Promotes better sleep

Massages help people fall asleep easier, by reducing cortisol and lowering heart rate. It also helps experience longer periods of deep sleep reducing the neurotransmitter associated with pain.

3. Improved immune system

Massages can help keep you healthy. It increases the activity level of the body’s white blood cells that work to fight the viruses. 

4. Decreased heart rate and blood pressure

Massage therapy helps relax the body and the mind, so the blood pressure and heart rate slow down during a treatment helping you relax and stay relaxed.

5. Releases endorphins and hormones

While receiving a massage, your body releases hormones- dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin. They are helpful hormones that help reduce the symptoms of anxiety, making you feel balanced and centered.  

So, do massages help anxiety? Yes

Overall, how massage therapy can help with anxiety is getting regular massages does not cure an anxiety disorder but can manage through various methods of holistic health treatments that are specific to your unique condition.

If you are experiencing several symptoms of anxiety lasting for at least three months, consult a holistic health practitioner for holistic health treatment options.

Tackle Your Anxiety With These Grounding Techniques

dealing with anxiety

Have you ever noticed, when you are anxious, you are either rummaging about the past or worrying over the future? You get so caught up in your thoughts that you feel you are literally living them.  You’re not alone as dealing with managing anxiety is more common than you think.

Grounding techniques can be a big help as a holistic approach to dealing with your  anxiety.  The grounding techniques force you to focus on now, centering around your present, giving your mind and body the time it needs to calm down.

There are a lot of grounding techniques you can try as a holistic approach to dealing with your  anxiety.

Tackle your anxiety instantly with these steps!

  1. Hold on to an object

A smooth stone, a small toy, a pillow- choose an object that comforts you and is handy. Hold on to it while you’re drifting away in your thoughts. Try to focus on the feel of the object, the texture, the look, the shape of it.

  1. A warm cup of tea or coffee

Pour your hot beverage in a cup and hold it in your hands while it is still warm. Notice how the warmth coming out of it feels. Enjoy your cup sip by sip so you can appreciate every mouthful.

  1. 5-4-3-2-1

This method requires you to focus on all of your senses. Take a moment to list all the things, visualising the details so you enjoy talking about it and experiencing it.

  1. Five things you can see
  2. Four things you can feel
  3. Three things you can hear
  4. Two things you can smell
  5. One thing you can taste

4. Talk about your favourites

Make a list of your favourite things- movies, flowers, destinations, colours, meals- it could be anything. If you run out of one category, simply move on to another.

5. Full-body meditation

Bring awareness back to your mind and body. You either sit or lie down to practice.

  • Close your eyes & focus on your breathing
  • After giving it 30 seconds, shift the focus slowly to all parts of your body starting from the top with your head to going down all the way to your feet.
  • Notice the sensations, pressure, tingling- see if they feel bad or good.
  • As you focus on one part, try to relax it and then move on to another.
  • Once, you reach the bottom, start from there to go to the top.
  • Continue the cycle till you feel calm and relaxed.

  1. Detach yourself from the panic

Talk to yourself, remind yourself of the now, narrate the reality of who you are and where you are at that moment. Add some facts to your self-talk so they act as a mantra. The idea here is to detach yourself from the stress that is triggering the attack.

The next time you feel the onset of anxiety, try any of these grounding techniques as a holistic approach to dealing with your  anxiety.  For more information and help on how you can tackle your anxiety feel free to ask a vetted holistic health practitioner and seek treatment suited to you.