Massage and Anxiety
by Dr. Carlo Carandang, MD
Does Massage Work to Help Get Rid Of Anxiety?
What Is Massage?
Massage is the working on the body with pressure from the hands, fingers, forearms, and elbows. A certified massage therapist has in-depth knowledge of the anatomy of the skeletal muscles, and the therapist works to relieve tension in the muscles, and addresses the pain and anxiety associated with such tension. Massage promotes well-being and is relaxing.
Does Massage Work?
Preliminary research indicates that massage may have a clinically important effect on anxiety.1-2 Regardless, massage is helpful for self-care, and takes you away from your distressing worries. With massage, the focus is on the relief of muscle tension. And muscle tension can represent the physical manifestation of anxiety, so relief of muscle tension may lead to the relief of anxiety.
Massage may induce some soreness in the muscles, especially if much muscle tension was involved. This soreness may be caused by the lactic acid that is released, especially with deep tissue massage. To remedy this, soak in a hot bath filled with Epsom salts, after your massage.
Massage is only for adjunctive treatment, and is not meant to be a sole treatment for anxiety. Also, massage therapy sessions can be costly. However, massage is helpful for self-care, and is relaxing and promotes well-being.
When massage is combined with a self-help treatment such as Anxiety Protocol, and with a natural supplement treatment such as Kalmpro, it can provide a more predictable, consistent, and complete treatment for anxiety.
- Effectiveness of therapeutic massage for generalized anxiety disorder: a randomized controlled trial. Sherman KJ, Ludman EJ, Cook AJ, Hawkes RJ, Roy-Byrne PP, Bentley S, Brooks MZ, Cherkin DC. Depress Anxiety. 2010 May;27(5):441-50.
- Light pressure massage for patients with severe anxiety. Billhult A, Määttä S. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2009 May;15(2):96-101.