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Stress is a part of everyday life. Most people experience some level of stress or anxiety on a daily basis. When stress, anxiety or depression becomes overwhelming, evaluation and treatment from a physician may be needed.

A treatment plan and medication prescribed by a physician can help a client who is suffering from high levels of stress, anxiety or depression. Left untreated, these conditions can cause physical illness.

As part of an overall treatment plan, in conjunction with a physician, massage therapy can help a client who is suffering from these conditions. A massage session can help to significantly lower cortisol, the stress hormone that is produced in the body. When cortisol levels decline, serotonin levels increase. Serotonin is one of the body’s pain relief mechanisms, and can cause the body to feel better and help to lift mood.

Lowering cortisol and increasing serotonin helps to boost a client’s body to fight off pain, anxiety and feelings of sadness. Decreasing physical and emotional stress is critical to improving a client’s overall health and well-being.

Massage therapy provides emotional balance in a client’s life. The emotional aspect of massage can actually be just as valuable as the physical benefits received from a massage session.  A massage session provides a safe place for a client to relax, refocus and find clarity. Massage can help a client increase awareness of his or her mind-body connection. In addition, massage therapy is able to grow generate confidence, self-image and self-worth.

Comforting touch during a massage session may be the only caring touch that a client receives depending on his or her life circumstances. This helps to fulfill the basic need for human contact. Massage therapy sessions provide clients with a nurturing and safe place to rest and recharge, both mentally and physically.

Massage therapy is not intended to be a replacement for medical treatment for depression, anxiety or stress. Massage can help to complement the medical treatment that clients are receiving for these conditions.  Massage therapy can be an effective part of treatment, helping clients to find relief, empowerment and establish a healthy mind-body connection.

©The Academy of Massage Therapy and Bodyworks
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