Anxiety is a state of uneasiness caused by worrying about possible future misfortune. But this dictionary definition doesn’t tell you how rotten it feels to be anxious.
Or how expensive it is: the Conference Board of Canada estimates that anxiety costs the Canadian economy $17 billion per year.
Or worst of all, that anxiety tends to lead to more anxiety, unless you’re proactive about managing it.
Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce the frequency and intensity of anxious moments, including regular massage therapy treatments.
Research shows massage therapy reduces anxiety
Studies indicate massage therapy can reduce anxiety, even when people are experiencing chronic pain, illness, anxiety disorders, and psychoactive drug withdrawal. Due to this research, the American Massage Therapy Association’s official position is “massage therapy can assist in reducing the symptoms of anxiety.”
Massage therapy reduces feelings of anxiety by:
- Lowering the stress hormone cortisol
- Reducing pain
- Relieving muscle tension and soreness
- Activating the pregenual anterior cingulate cortex—the part of the brain where we experience feelings of happiness.
If you feel anxious more often than you’d like to, you’re not alone, and you’re not at the mercy of these feelings. You can manage your experience with some simple and relaxing self-care methods.
5 self-care treatments for managing symptoms of anxiety:
- Professional massage – Get a relaxing Swedish massage or deep tissue massage every few weeks or each month. We can help you with that!
- Self-massage – Give yourself a massage at home. Use your hands, and for those tight or hard-to-reach areas, use a foam roller or a tennis ball. If you prefer the no-pain, no-gain approach, use a lacrosse ball.
- Healing touch – Enjoy the healing power of touch by giving and getting hugs. Virginia Satir, a pioneer in family therapy, boldly stated, “We need four hugs a day for survival. We need eight hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.”
- Stretch – Start each day with a 7-minute stretch routine—here’s one from Dr. Oz—to wake up and relieve muscle tension.
- Breathe – Practice deep breathing exercises when you feel anxious. Dr. Andrew Weil recommends taking 4 breaths using the 4-7-8 technique: inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds and exhale for 8 seconds.
Feeling anxious is stressful—and unfortunately stress causes wrinkles—but you don’t have to feel this way. We’re here to help. If you’d like some relief from anxious feelings, give us a call to book a relaxing massage.
Feel great, look great with Hand & Stone Massage & Facial Spa.
Massage. Facials. Waxing. At Hand & Stone, our registered massage therapists will relieve tension, soothe tired muscles and ease headaches. Interested in our facial services? We know radiant, healthy skin reflects how you look and feel. Hand & Stone’s facials are performed by certified estheticians and we are proud to offer Dermalogica®, YonKa and Diego Dalla Palma products so you can enjoy a bright, beautiful complexion between regular appointments.
We’ll help you look and feel your best, affordably! Call today to schedule your appointment! We’re open 7 days a week with extended hours and gift cards are available for all occasions. Contact us today!