Will Massage Melt Your Anxiety?
Anxiety is a normal, healthy emotion that we all experience from time to time. In fact, it's one of the things that keeps us safe and helps us to thrive. It can also be triggered by certain experiences or situations, like being in a crowd or driving on the freeway. But some people have anxiety disorders, which are more severe and may cause them to worry about things most people wouldn't even think twice about.
Anxiety is the feeling of worry, nervousness, and uneasiness.
Anxiety is a normal human emotion. It's not the same as depression or fear, though you might experience anxiety alongside those feelings. Anxiety can also be different from panic attacks, which are intense periods of fear that occur suddenly and without warning--they're usually accompanied by physical symptoms such as increased heart rate and shallow breathing. Some people may experience difficulty concentrating or trouble with
Anxiety isn't always negative either: it can help us prepare for challenges ahead or motivate us to take action when we need to (like in sports). However, when your anxiety becomes excessive and/or interferes with daily life (like being unable to sleep at night), then it may be time to explore treatment options.
Anxiety disorders are more common than people realize.
An estimated 40 million adults age 18 and older in the U.S. have an anxiety disorder, which is about 18% of the population. Anxiety disorders include panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), social phobia, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and phobias such as specific phobias like fear of flying or heights.
How Massage Helps Manage Anxiety
Great news! Regular massage is an outstanding way to help manage anxiety. Massage is clinically proven to:
Reduce cortisol (your body's stress hormone)
Alter EEG activity (measure of your brain's activity...massage literally changes your brain's performance!)
Increase production of serotonin and dopamine
Improve functioning of parasympathetic nervous system (the "relax and restore" part)
reduce sympathetic nervous system activity ("fight or flight"
promote mental & physical relaxation
Other tips to manage anxiety:
reduce, limit, or eliminate caffeine and alcohol consumption (both are a trigger for anxiety)
get adequate and quality sleep
exercise regularly (even a short walk is helpful!)
break big tasks down into small steps - if showering and getting dressed is too much, just sit in the shower. If washing all the dishes is too much, just wash one dish.
practice mindfulness - "stop and smell the roses". If your world is overwhelming, take some time to decompress and slow down to be present in an activity that you enjoy, even if you start with just 5 minutes.
In summary, anxiety is a normal and healthy emotion that can be helpful in certain situations. But when it becomes excessive or overwhelming, it can affect your ability to function normally in everyday life. If you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety, please talk with a professional who specializes in helping people with this disorder get better so they can live a more happy and fulfilling life! If you're open to experiencing the difference massages can make in managing anxiety, please contact Kinetic Restoration to book a massage in Virginia Beach or Moyock!