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Does Massage Really Help Anxiety and Stress?

Does Massage Really Help Anxiety and Stress? Anyone who has experienced a massage or other holistic therapy will tell you it ​leaves you feeling totally chilled out.

But what if you suffer from an anxiery disorder, or some of your clients do?

Does Massage Really Help Anxiety and Stress?


Anxiety Disorders affect about 40 million American adults in a given year. God knows how many Irish people it  affects in Ireland, ​but I'm sure it's a lot.  

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. While there are varying symptoms with each, many physiological responses overlap with the different disorders. Many people are able to function with symptoms while others are unable cope with them.

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. Usually, there’s a combination of physical and emotional symptoms.

Massage May Help Anxiety

The American Massage Therapy Association has adopted a position statement based on research findings asserting that “massage therapy can assist in reducing the symptoms of anxiety.” It goes on to say 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 mental and emotional effects of massage and other holistic therapies are very powerful. Our attitude, approach and creating the client's experience are a h​uge part of the benefit of ​any treatment. This is an important part of the training on our Diploma Courses.

The effects of massage ​include reduced blood pressure, slowed/regulated breathing, and a slower pulse rate. If increased heart rate and rapid breathing are symptoms of anxiety then ​massage ​ must have a positive effect. Simply taking time to relax and removing yourself from the busy-ness of daily life can be helpful in handling some kinds of anxiety.

The essential oils, which are covered in great detail in our Aromatherapy Course, have very powerful natural stress and anxiety reducing properties.

Those with more complicated anxiety issues may benefit from regular massage in conjunction with talk therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes.

​​Encourage Clients to Ask Questions

If your client is unsure about trying massage to help ​anxiety, encourage them to ask questions.

Or for those who are afrid or ashamed to approach someone about their anxiety, put up some articles about your success stories on facebook or your website. Anwer the questions for them before the y have to ask.  

Invite them to  call you and talk about ​their experience with massage and how it may help ​them. Suggest they check with their ​ health care provider or counselor.

Let​ them know that if they would like more information about massage and anxiety, ​you can provide ​it. 

Give them easy ways to book with you:- give your contact details, link to your facebook page to pm you and offer an online scheduling tool. 

Jenny xx

About the author 

Jenny Sheridan

Jenny is a holistic therapist and tutor practising and teaching multiple therapies since 1997. She is passionate about the power of holistic therapies and helping holistic therapists to build successful businesses doing what they love

November 11, 2019

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