Anxiety Problems? Get a Massage
Massage has been used for many centuries as part of medical treatment for a variety of health problems. And we all know how a good massage can help ease our tension after a long day at work. So it makes sense that massage is now being used as a tool to treat anxiety.
Massage therapy is best known for its physical benefits. Regular massages are often prescribed for athletes who have been injured, patients with certain types of chronic pain, and those with repetitive stress injuries. It’s also a popular treatment choice for fibromyalgia patients. But more and more doctors are prescribing massage for anxiety and related problems.
In most cases, massage is used in conjunction with other types of therapy rather than as a replacement for it. It can complement anxiety drugs without any danger of interaction. It’s also a good choice for those who are unwilling to use drugs that could be addictive. A combination of herbs, therapy and massage can be used to treat anxiety without potentially dangerous chemicals.
How Does Massage Reduce Anxiety?
One characteristic of anxiety is that it causes the muscles to tighten. Tight muscles can cause pain or even injury. If this occurs, it will contribute more anxiety to that which we are already experiencing. It’s a vicious cycle, but one that can be broken. Massage can loosen up those muscles, and that alone can help relieve anxiety in the short term.
Massage has also been found to reduce levels of stress hormones. These hormones are rough on the body and mind, and are major contributors to anxiety. It isn’t completely clear how massage lowers their levels, but the important thing is that it does. Regular massage can help keep stress hormone levels low, providing long-term anxiety relief.
Where to Get a Massage
Physicians usually recommend that their patients visit a licensed massage therapist. A licensed therapist can determine which type of massage is best for you, and he will be experienced in providing beneficial massages. But sometimes this just isn’t practical. Your insurance may not cover it, or you simply might not have time to get regular massages.
There are some options for those who can’t visit a massage therapist. One is to have someone you know give massages. Your spouse might be willing to make a massage a part of your evening ritual, and it can even help bring you closer together as a bonus. Massage chairs can be of benefit as well. It’s also possible to massage yourself to a certain extent. While getting a massage from a professional is best, there’s little danger in trying it at home as long as you don’t have any medical conditions that counterindicate it.
Although massage might not cure your anxiety on its own, it can go a long way toward helping you manage it naturally. Talk to your doctor to see if massage therapy might be right for you.
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