I love my work; every day brings a new challenge to the table and shows me what massage therapy is truly capable of doing.
Take Anxiety; it's been our companion for the last few years. It's kept us up at night, kept us away from one another, and has caused many of us to be isolated and alone. There is a disconnect from one another, and more importantly, we have lost who we are because of it.
There are many benefits to massage therapy, from physical ailments to mental. So let's talk about why massage therapy would help someone with anxiety. What happens to us when we are anxious?
When I get Anxious, I feel nervous, jumpy, sick to my stomach, insomnia, headaches, a feeling of being "stuck," just so overwhelmed that I don't want to be around another soul for miles! My body physically doesn't feel good; I ache, my posture is terrible, hunched over and cramped, my neck and shoulders are stiff, and my lower back always seems to be a wreck. In short, I am a ball of a jittery mess.
So why massage therapy for anxiety? I can give you the exact answers any other massage therapy website will provide for you.
Decreased heart rate
Improve immune system
Release endorphins and balance hormones
Increased Vagal Tone
OK, this is great, but what does it all mean? More importantly, how will it make me feel?
As a massage therapist, increasing the Vagal tone is what is important; why? The Vagal nerve means "wanderer" in Latin; it is also the longest nerve in the body. It connects to many organs, and it's in control of your "rest and digest" Having your Vagal tone up means your body can recover from stress and anxiety much faster.
With massage therapy, the Vagal tone will improve through different modalities. A licensed
massage therapist would stimulate the Vagus nerve by massaging several specific areas of the body. Foot massages (reflexology) have improved vagal modulation and heart rate variability and decreased the “fight or flight” sympathetic response. Massaging the carotid sinus, an area located near the right side of your throat, can also stimulate the vagus nerve to reduce seizures. There is also Battlefield Acupressure in the ear using Neurostimulators, which has also drastically increased Vagal tone.
There are many benefits to receiving massage therapy when done by a trained licensed professional. Talk to your doctor about your anxiety and ask if massage therapy is right for you.