Category Archives: Mentall Wellness

Massage for Mental Wellness

Massage for Mental Wellness

Image result for massage for anxietyJanuary is Mental Wellness Month! Did you know that massage therapy can have a significant impact on your mental health? We all worry about things in our life from time to time. But if constant worry bcomes a chronic condition that interferes with your health, happiness and life, it’s time to do something abou tit. Help is on the way – with massage therapy!

GAD. Generalized Anxiety Disorder.  According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 10 million Americans suffer from GAD. Symptoms range from mild worry about everyday concerns to crippling panic about imagined catastrophes. Other symptoms of anxiety: shortness of breath, insomnia, chronic fatigue, muscular tension, irritability and inability to cope. GAD can lead to physical illness, as stress and insomnia lower immune resistance, making one susceptible to illness.

SAD. Seasonal Affective Disorder affects many people during the colder, darker winter months. The U.S. National Library of Medicine notes that “some people experience a serious mood change when the seasons change. They may sleep too much, have little energy, and may also feel depressed. Though symptoms can be severe, they usually clear up.” Massage affects brain chemistry in such a way that depression symptoms diminish and are replaced with improved mood and a feeling of well-being.

Depression. Another psychological condition that can negatively impact physical health, depression may exhibit these symptoms: headaches; insomnia; muscle tension focused in one region, such as the jaw or neck; lymphatic congestion due to lack of activity; digestive problems; tender points; hyperventilation; and cold, clammy skin, especially hands and feet.

How can massage help with anxiety and depression? There is significant evidence that massage therapy is effective in the management of GAD and depression. Massage is one of the best antidotes for stress, because it:

– Stimulates the production of endorphins (“feel good” hormones), while simultaneously reducing cortisol (stress hormone).

– Calms the nervous system, induces relaxation and promotes a feeling of well-being.

– Relieves pain

– Increases awareness of muscle tension.

– Regulates the breath and heartbeat to the rate that occurs in sleep.

– Induces mental alertness and improves concentration.

– Promotes restful sleep.

While massage therapy may not be a cure for anxiety and depression, it can offer relief from symptoms, and can be a crucial component in an effective treatment that integrates medication, bodywork, counseling, exercise and nutrition.

Massage Therapy in Recovery from Alcohol Addiction

Massage Therapy in Recovery from Alcohol Addiction

Image result for massage therapyIn recognition of April as Alcohol Awareness Month, we offer information on the benefits of massage therapy for treatment during recovery from alcohol addiction.

In the early stages of recovery from alcohol addiction, patients often experience an uncomfortable conflict between their body and mind – with the mind knowing treatment is necessary, while the body still craves alcohol. Therapeutic massage help bridge that gap, as a powerful component in an integrated treatment plan.

Integrating massage into a substance abuse program is advantageous in all stages of recovery: withdrawal, detoxification and abstinence. Medical management of alcohol and drug withdrawal during detox often is not enough to prevent relapse.

Massage treatment reduces the tendency to relapse. General Pharmacology reports that massage therapy increases beta-endorphins in the blood by 16 percent. Alcohol decreases production of endorphins. While the neurochemistry regains normal balance, this is the recovering addict’s most likely time to relapse. ­­­

Research at The Touch Research Institute/Univ. of Miami, has documented the physiological effects of massage, including: massage’s ability to reduce cortisol levels; and the ability of massage to decrease anxiety, depression, agitation and cravings.

In 1998, the Touch Research Institute published findings that a regular massage regimen increases dopamine levels. The fact that massage therapy stimulates dopamine production and decreases cortisol levels makes it highly effective in a standard detox program.

The Touch Research Institute/Univ. of Miami, has documented the physiological effects of massage, including: massage’s ability to increase levels of epinephrine, a “happy” hormone responsible for a sense of contentment, well-being, even euphoria! 

On a psycho-emotional level, part of recovery is learning to identify and manage situations and feelings that trigger alcohol use. Regular massage sessions can aid the client’s awareness of the stressors that trigger alcohol consumption. Being conscious of these patterns is a step toward recognizing and healthfully addressing emotions associated with cravings. Emotional release can commonly occur with massage, providing a safe, non-threatening way to manage stress and emotions without the aid of drugs or alcohol.

On a spiritual level, the deep relaxation from massage can provide a still inner place for patients to become aware of their spiritual needs. Recovering addicts have reported a new appreciation of life when they can simultaneously be present, feel good and be substance-free.

Massage has the unique ability to affect all levels of our being – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. As a valuable component when integrated into treatment, massage helps recovering alcoholics succeed in their recovery.

Massage Reduces PTSD Symptoms in Military Personnel

Massage Reduces PTSD Symptoms in Military Personnel

Image result for massage for veterans dayIn honor of Veterans Day, we offer special promotions and fees for active and veteran military personnel suffering with PTSD. According to a recent article in Science Daily, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms can be reduced with professionals use of healing touch and massage therapy.

PTSD symptoms include a variety of stressful emotional responses including re-living the original trauma through flashbacks and nightmares.  Those suffering from PSTD also are prone to insomnia, irritability, and intensified emotional reactions.  Others appear to be emotionally numb; some deal with the disorder by avoiding people or places which may remind them of the original traumatic situation.

Active duty Marines took part in a two-year trial.  Participants had at least one PTSD symptom based on pre-screening.  Over a three-week period the group that had received both the healing touch and guided imagery showed a marked improvement in PTSD symptoms as a result. The control group received the usual treatment for PTSD.  One investigator stated that the results – beyond being significant statistically – showed that those receiving the healing touch therapy actually had their symptoms reduced below that required to be diagnosed with PTSD.

At Pacific Massage Services, we are honored to help veterans and military personnel suffering with PTSD. Please call us to learn more about how massage can help with this life-altering diagnosis! 808.885.4459.