Can Massage Relieve Anxiety?

Can Massage Relieve Anxiety?Many people suffer from anxiety as a result of our busy lives, demanding jobs, and familial duties. The increasing stress of our everyday lives often leaves people with anxiety about what is next without the appropriate or healthy means to cope with that. There are medical diagnoses for anxiety (there are various types in the DSM diagnostic manual) and some medications, but nothing that is a surefire cure and really not much that helps for the long-term. Furthermore, one of the most popular medication classes, which constitutes the majority of anxiety-related prescription fills, can cause addictive behavior and has in the past ruin lives due to drug-seeking behavior. All in all, we just don’t have any great treatments for anxiety when it comes to drugs, particularly for those who suffer long-term.

There have been many studies and people who are seeking more options for the growing body of patients suffering from this ailment. Amongst the studies, some are looking at behavioral techniques to control the symptoms rather than drugs. Things like massages come in to play here. Some data and case studies suggest that a professional message therapist can help reduce the muscle tension that is often associated with anxiety and in turn, lead to relaxation. Part of this is due to the relaxing sensations that result from the mechanical procedures, but there appears to be a chemical change brought about by massages too. Studies have shown increases in hormones oxytocin and serotonin as a result of massages. These can help lower blood pressure and elevate the level of happiness that a person feels and in turn rid them of that crushing feeling of anxiety.

When the body is relaxed, the synergies in regards to wellness and health are almost endless. The fact that massages might be a powerful weapon against anxiety is getting a lot of attention from researchers and clinicians alike. Future research will almost definitely look at massages and the outcomes associated with them, particularly in gold standard studies known as randomized controlled trials (RCTs). If the data show that massages are superior to placebo in reducing anxiety, then they are almost definitely going to make it into the treatment paradigms of established health-related professions and may offer doctors a new tool (which is ironically a very old tool) in an area with a very large unmet medical need. So the answer to the question “can massage relieve anxiety” may well be yes.

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