After the year we’ve had, everyone is carrying a bit more anxiety than they’re used to. As pandemic restrictions continue to lift and more people are getting vaccinated, daily life is bound to resume some form of normal sooner than later. While some may jump for joy at the opportunity to get back into the office and resume their social calendar, many people may struggle with new and recurring feelings of generalized anxiety. It’s important to know that you are not alone — that everyone has braved unprecedented times — and that it’s okay to take readjustment slowly. Part of taking time to readjust slowly is making sure to take the time for self-care. You may have developed coping techniques at home during quarantine, but in-person treatments are becoming more and more accessible.
Massage therapy is a gift you can give yourself. You can relax while a knowledgeable massage therapist works out your tightest knots and tends to your aches and pains. In addition to the physiological benefits, massage can be an amazing tool for stress relief.
What Is Anxiety?
Everyone knows the feeling of their heart racing, palms sweating, and mind wandering. Feeling anxious is different from having chronic anxiety. Generalized anxiety disorder has affected nearly 7 million Americans, and it’s no secret that this year has been challenging for everyone from a mental health perspective.
People with anxiety have symptoms that interfere with their ability to complete daily tasks. People with generalized anxiety tend to struggle with:
- Feelings of being on edge
- Frequent fatigue
- Mood swings or irritability
- Difficulty focusing and feeling restless
- Muscle tension
- Poor sleep quality and insomnia
How Massage Therapy Can Help With Anxiety
Typically, people who struggle with anxiety will seek out talk therapy, medication, or some combination. However, as advocates do work to remove the stigma around mental health, alternative treatment methods have grown in popularity for the treatment of anxiety. While massage therapy is not a substitute for traditional therapy or medication, it can complement your treatment plan well.
According to the Mayo Clinic, 60 minutes of massage therapy can lower your cortisol levels by up to 30%. After 12 weeks of regular massage therapy, many individuals were able to see a marked reduction in the severity of their anxiety symptoms.
You may think that massage therapy is a temporary benefit, but many people report feeling better for weeks after receiving a really good massage. Not only are massages relaxing and calming for the mind, but massages can help relieve some of the physiological symptoms associated with high-stress levels and frequent anxiety.
Regular massage therapy can help you minimize insomnia symptoms, improve your sleep quality, relieve muscle tension, and soothe your aches and pains.