Long term stress and anxiety have a detrimental effect on the health of an individual. A range of illnesses and conditions have been attributed to stress, including eczema, migraine, digestive complaints, high blood pressure, heart disease, back-ache, muscular pain and depression. Stress can come from a number of sources, including the workplace, personal relationships and family life. Anxiety is closely related and is characterised by faster breathing, sweating, phobias and even panic attacks.
With stress and stress related illnesses on the rise, taking steps to manage what can become a debilitating illness is vitally important to maintain a healthy mind and body. If stress and anxiety have been present for a long time, then it’s unlikely that one activity alone will solve the problem. Having said that doing something is better than doing nothing.
It goes without saying that a healthy diet and regular exercise bring real benefits for someone suffering from stress. Exercise need only be a walk, the important thing is that it happens on a regular basis, ie most days. Relaxation techniques can also be helpful, but many people suffering stress find it difficult to relax without additional support. Massage can be really helpful for this.
Massage is an effective method of relieving stress and anxiety, and is renowned for its therapeutic effects – especially when combined with aromatherapy oils. With stress and anxiety on the rise, people are looking for non-medicinal alternatives to relieve their symptoms. Massage is one such therapy that has proven effective for a range of conditions, and is well worth exploring.
How can Massage Help Stress and Anxiety?
One of the primary goals of massage is relaxation, so the calm it brings to stress and anxiety sufferers is particularly beneficial. Using a qualified and experienced massage therapist is essential to realising the full benefits of massage. Check that your therapist is registered with the Federation of Holistic Therapies.
The type of massage you have should be tailored to your condition and a professional therapist will always do a full consultation on your first visit to get a good understanding of your medical history, your lifestyle and your symptoms before putting together a treatment plan, normally between 4-6 weeks.
Aromatherapy provides a valuable alternative to the psychotropic drugs and muscle relaxants commonly used to treat anxiety. Any of the sedative oils can be helpful,including Bergamot, Clary Sage, Camomile, Frankincense, Juniper, Lavender and Ylang Ylang to name a few. In choosing from such a wide range the therapist will be able to use her expertise to create a blend tailored to the individual. In addition to the consultation, the individual’s preference for the smell of different oils is taken into consideration. The client will often instinctively pick the very oil that most closely corresponds to their present state, and this can often be very revealing. For, although all these oils fall under the heading of sedative, there are subtle differences in their properties and effects, which may make one more appropriate than another in any situation.
Obviously, the caring approach of the therapist counts for a great deal in helping with anxiety, and massage with essential oils should be the basis of treatment because it will allow reassurance, care and concern to be expressed in the most direct, non-verbal way.
The Benefits of Massage
- Diminished muscle tension
- Enhanced circulation
- Reduction in the production of stress hormones
- Enhanced mental alertness
- Reduction in nervous tension, anxiety and depression
Further information on treatments