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How Massage Can Help With Anxiety


How Massage Can Help With Anxiety

Scott Lilleston

Can you recall the last time someone lovingly touched you? Perhaps it was a snuggle from your child before bed, a hug from your partner or even a simple handshake with a good friend.

How did this contact make you feel? What happened to your heart rate? To the pace of your breathing? Your energy level?

Throughout my many years as a massage therapist, I have witnessed countless examples of how the healing power of touch can leave a lasting positive impact on clients' nervous systems. I have also learned that the calming benefit of massage paired with a set of well-honed skills in gentle interventions is invaluable!

Massage affects more aspects of our mental and physical health than most people imagine. For example: when stress is elevated, it is felt by the body. In particular, our nervous systems will tend to stay in a hyper-aroused state. There is a residual effect on many other systems of the body as well that manifests as the physical symptoms of anxiety.

Massage calms the nervous system when it is stuck in a hyper-aroused state from stimuli and other triggers in our life. With massage, touch often gives the experience of  being “grounding”. Through touch, we return to our body, feeling grounded in the moment and allowing for a wider spectrum of feeling and sensation to flood our experience.

When you alleviate the physical patterns of anxiety through touch, you will find that your body returns to a state of balance and ease, and away from the constant fight or flight response we are all so accustomed to, particularly in this culture.

Massage provides a safe and nurturing opportunity for individuals to relax, refocus and find more clarity. It is a way of settling back into the body.

We can then explore the patterns that disrupt harmony and balance, and collaboratively work to minimize the unnatural state of heightened anxiety that is all too familiar to most people. With anxiety out of the way, imagine the possibilities of health, healing and inspiration!