The Compendium of Massage Therapy Best PracticesA Compendium Of Massage Therapy Best Practices

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The Compendium of Massage Therapy Best Practices

Massage therapy is as much an art form as it is a structured process. With countless modalities to work within, becoming a truly proficient massage therapist requires years of dedicated work and education. Whether you're a massage therapist or you simply want to improve the massages you give to your friends and family members, you've found a truly beautiful resource. Here, you can learn more about a wide range of massage styles and modalities, giving you new tools to use as you develop your own personal massage practice. With time and diligence, you'll see your massage skill grow to reflect your hard work.



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Can Massage Therapy Help People With An Anxiety Disorder?

If you have been diagnosed with a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), you may not only experience psychological symptoms, like feeling a constant sense of dread. You may notice physical symptoms as well. People with anxiety disorders may suffer from muscle aches, excess sweating, tiredness/insomnia, stomach aches, etc. Your doctor can help you manage your condition so that your anxiety isn't hindering your day-to-day activities. One treatment your doctor may want you to consider is massage therapy; take a look.

What Do Studies Say About Massage Therapy for Anxiety?

While researchers need to conduct more studies on the benefits of massage for mood disorders, Emory University reported a study that found that Swedish massage could significantly improve symptoms for people with GAD. And you don't even need to go for lengthy sessions to start feeling the benefits of massage. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science found that when employees had 15-minute massage breaks at work, their anxiety levels decreased.

When the body is constantly stressed, it may release too much cortisol and you may experience increased blood pressure; however, massage therapy can help regulate hormones and reduce anxiety and its related symptoms. For instance, one study found that massage could help postmenopausal women reduce their anxiety-related insomnia.

What Massage Modalities Can Help Anxiety?

There are many massage modalities that could help your anxiety; it's important to talk with your doctor and massage therapist about your goals and comfort levels. For instance, if you don't like deep pressure and/or you'd prefer a clothed session, then Swedish massage could be a good choice. Swedish massage is often a good fit for people who are new to massage since it is gentle and intended for relaxation purposes.

If your anxiety is causing you to experience deep muscle tension or aches and pains, then a deep tissue modality might be a good fit. During a deep tissue massage, a therapist will use slow strokes to release fascial adhesions and restore range of motion in connective tissues. Shiatsu massage is another modality that can provide a deeper stretch than Swedish massage.

If GAD is causing you to feel sick to your stomach, or if it's a byproduct of a related health condition—like fibromyalgia—then you may want to talk to your therapist about lymphatic drainage massage and/or craniosacral therapy. These modalities are gentle and mainly focus on making holistic improvements so that your anxiety doesn't exacerbate other symptoms. For instance, lymphatic drainage massage can improve the flow of lymph fluid, which is important for a healthy immune system. Craniosacral massage focuses on reliving nerve compression in the head, neck, and back.  

Whatever modality you try, you'll be able to enjoy a relaxing spa environment. Massage therapy sessions are usually conducted in a dimly lit room with calming music. You may have the option to add additional relaxing elements, like aromatherapy or hot stones, to make your session more comforting.

Reach out to a company in your area to learn more about massage therapy.