Massage therapy and other natural health modalities are sometimes so focused on the physical aspects of treatments that’s it’s easy to overlook the scientific evidence for its benefits to mental health.
The benefits of Massage Therapy for anxiety disorders is becoming harder to ignore as more medical journals are supplying research and uncovering how it helps mental health as well as physical health.
Massage therapy’s benefits to anxiety becomes especially interesting as more and more research shows how common anxiety is becoming. The Huffington Post recently reported that as much as 18 per cent of the population suffers from some kind of anxiety disorder and that anxiety is one of the most common paediatric psychological disorders.
The main root of Massage Therapy’s benefits to anxiety disorders comes in its manifestation in physical symptoms.
The common connection between mental and physical symptoms is simple: life throws a curve ball, you get worried/stressed/anxious. Your body reacts by tensing up and then comes the headaches, tight shoulders, stiff neck etc. Its a nasty cycle that we all have experienced.
The relaxation aspect to Massage Therapy seems to be the most beneficial for the actual mental symptoms. Whereas the variety of modalities that are offered by a massage therapist (sport massage, deep tissue, trigger point release etc.) generally help with the physical symptoms.
Kelsey Armstrong, RMT