Melbourne Combined Natural Therapies do not recommend that any form of massage or natural therapy be the sole form of treatment for anxiety disorders. Remedial massage can however be a very powerful addition to an anxiety sufferer’s treatment strategy.
Remedial Massage And Anxiety
Anxiety is a very common problem. Statistics show that 9.7% – 14% of Australian adults are affected by anxiety disorders in any 12-month period. The severity can range from mild right through to life threatening (where the individual is barely able to function). There are many different forms as well as triggers that start it.
Aside from the mental and emotional side of anxiety, sufferers often experience physical issues. The most common cause of muscle discomfort from anxiety is muscle tension. In a stressful or anxious situation the muscle is shortened or contracted and this can lead to dull and/or sharp pains, mental and muscular tension often occurs simultaneously. Heightened levels of the stress hormone cortisol can also increase your sensitivity to pain.
Anxiety may also change the way we sit and stand and how often the amount we stretch and exercise. It’s not uncommon for those with anxiety to be fidgety or move quite differently from the way they normally would.
Many people suffering from these conditions also exercise less, eat and sleep poorly and are often improperly hydrated. All of these things can cause physical symptoms and as a result exacerbate the anxiety creating a vicious cycle.
So Where Does Remedial Massage Come In?
Obviously remedial massage has the ability to make people feel more relaxed, but the research suggests a lot more than that.
UMEA University in Sweden conducted a study where they measured blood pressure, glucose and insulin levels before, during and after remedial massage. They also documented how the subjects felt after the remedial massage session.
In addition to the improvements reported by study participants, they found that remedial massage reduced anxiety among the participants and also reduced stress. The research showed a decrease in blood pressure and participants found it easier to breathe. Interestingly skin contact seemed to be one of the most important parts of the remedial massage as the treatment was found to have less effect when the therapist wore gloves.
Remedial massage was found to activate an area in the brain called the pregenual anterior cingulate cortex. This area is linked to sensations of happiness and enjoyment, according to UMEA University. Touch is now believed to be important in many other medical situations, from premature babies to patients recovering from surgeries.
If you would like to add remedial massage to your treatment regime we would first recommend visiting your GP before booking in for treatment. In addition to remedial massage therapy, the doctor may suggest certain medications, psychotherapy or counselling.
Melbourne Natural Therapies recommend Southgate Medical Centre; you can visit their site here.
Melbourne Natural Therapies
03 9645 9923
Remedial Massage | Myotherapy