Anxiety Disorders affect about 20% of Australian adults (3.2 million) in a given year. Anxiety is described as a feeling of dread, fear, or apprehension often with no clear justification. Most people experience symptoms of anxiety at one time or another, but for those with a disorder, normal daily life is often interrupted and limited.
A few common anxiety disorders are panic disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), social phobia (Social Anxiety), and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). While the symptoms vary with each one, many physiological responses overlap with different disorders. People also respond differently to various symptoms, some finding it easier to cope with daily life and others having trouble functioning within society in any meaningful way.
Some disorders manifest with physical symptoms like sleeping problems, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, nausea, sweating or dry mouth. Others are purely emotional, denoted by excessive, unrealistic worry, feelings of panic, fear, and uneasiness. Most sufferers demonstrate a combination of physical and emotional symptoms.
Massage may help anxiety
Due to the large number of sufferers there have been several studies conducted into the effects of massage on those suffering from anxiety disorders. Based on clinical studies massage therapy can assist in reducing the symptoms of anxiety and that massage may reduce symptoms of anxiety in women in labor, psychiatric patients, cancer patients, patients with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, children with illnesses, and many more types of clients.
The effects of massage therapy include reduced blood pressure, slowed/regulated breathing, and a slower pulse rate. If increased heart rate and rapid breathing are symptoms of anxiety could massage therapy may have a positive effect. Simply taking time to relax and removing yourself from the busyness of daily life can be helpful in handling some kinds of anxiety.
Although massage may be helpful in treating symptoms of anxiety it should be a part of your treatment, used in conjunction with clinical care by your doctor, talk therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes.
If you are unsure about trying massage to help your anxiety, ask questions. Call me and we can talk about your experience with massage and how it may help you. Check in with your health care provider and your therapist or counselor. (Be sure to let me know if they would like more information about massage and anxiety, I can provide that!)
When you’re ready, we’ll schedule an appointment and you can see firsthand how massage may help you.