As psychology and medicine uncover more about human nature, biochemistry and physiology, we gain new insights and vocabulary to describe the complexities of both the human mind and body. A lot of studies have come from the fact that traditional medicine worked on intuition alone and our modern methods of applying the scientific method and principles are interested in finding out what truly is and what truly isn’t appropriate for helping people remain healthy in their daily life. It’s long been a part of traditional medicinal thought that therapeutic massage and deep tissue massage can help people relax, but is there any reason to believe it? First, we should look at what anxiety is.
GAD, or General Anxiety Disorder, is described by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) as a a ‘persistent and excessive worry about a number of different things. People with GAD may anticipate disaster and may overly be concerned about money, health, family, work or other issues and individuals who suffer from it may find it difficult to control their worry, even when there is no apparent cause for concern.’ It can be debilitating in a very dull way, making concentration on tasks at hand difficult and for more extreme cases can cause someone what could best be described as a ‘life paralysis’, where simply getting out of bed to face whatever the day holds a difficult process. It produces heavy amounts of stress which in turn can raise blood pressure and cause other physiological issues such as tense and tired muscles.
According to the ADAA, 6.8 million adults, or 3.1% of the US population, suffer from GAD with women twice as likely to be affected. The disorder can come on gradually and is, as of now, thought to be a combination of biological factors, family background, and life experiences. Particularly stressful experiences have been found to have the highest correlation to causes, but currently, there is no strict definition of causes as they differ from person to person.
Several studies recently looked into the effects of massage on anxiety, among other issues. Therapeutic massage has existed for at least 2,500 years, with its first records originating in China and it carries with it historical baggage of having not been looked at with the objective scientific eye. Recently, however, researchers at the University of Miami followed 37 breast cancer patients who received massage therapy or received ice and heat therapy or deep tissue massage and found that those in the massage group reported feeling less depressed, angry and had more energy. A University of South Florida study in high blood pressure patients who received a 10-minute massage three times a week for three weeks lowered their higher number by 11 points.
Furthermore, a meta-analysis of more than a dozen massage studies conducted by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine concluded that therapeutic massage relieves depression and anxiety by affecting the body’s biochemistry. The study, which included more than 500 participants with depression, anxiety, and other stress-related issues, were measured for their stress hormone cortisol before and immediately after massage. The studies revealed that massage reduced their cortisol levels by up to 53%. Cortisol is also known to drive up blood pressure and blood sugar levels and suppress the immune system. Therapeutic and deep tissue massages also showed to be linked to an increase in serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters that help manage anxiety and depression.
It would definitely appear so! While more studies need to be conducted, as well as more studies into anxiety and it’s causes, the current indications show that simply taking a few minutes to relax have a deep tissue massage or even ice and heat therapy can do wonders not only for your stress levels, but for your actual health and ability to maintain a healthy mindset so you can face the day with courage and energy.
Contact Modoma Today To Schedule a Medically Integrated Massage
If you are suffering from anxiety issues and other stress-related problems, a massage may be something that can help you. While seeking a mental health specialist is recommended, a Medically Integrated Massage which is similar to a therapeutic massage from our expert staff can act as a great, non-pharmaceutical supplementary to living a healthier life. It’s also extremely amazing feeling and just that alone will put a smile on your face.
Sett up an appointment with a certified masseuse who can massage away your anxieties. Try our $49 Introductory Massage Package today!