Massage Therapy Helps Anxiety

Massage Therapy can help with Anxiety, which like depression, can be a debilitating condition that is little understood by those close to us. We all experience anxiety in life, but for those with anxiety disorders the anxious feelings never go away and may continue to get worse over time. This constant anxiety eventually begins to interfere with work, school, relationships and even our ability to perform basic activities of daily living. 

Massage Therapy

neck-massageResearch is still in its infancy, but there is evidence that massage works for a wide variety of everyday ailments.
Massage has been around for thousands of years, but it is only recently that researchers have begun to study its effects scientifically. Their aim? To find out exactly what it is about massage that makes us feel so good, and whether it lives up to its claims …
Anxiety and stress relief
“Massage is still woefully under-researched, but the best available evidence suggests that, among other things, it is effective for anxiety and depression,” says Edzard Ernst, professor of complementary medicine at the University of Exeter and author of Trick Or Treatment: Alternative Medicine On Trial. “It works through relaxing both the muscles and the mind, which it is thought is achieved through an increase in blood flow and levels of endorphins [feel-good hormones] in the brain.”
There is little evidence to show how long these effects last for, but it does seem massage can give you a mood boost or help you through tough times by temporarily relieving stress and anxiety.
Relieving back pain
Bad backs plague millions of us every year. A study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal compared methods of treating chronic lower back pain: it found that massage was the most effective treatment in terms of reduction in pain and anxiety, and increase in function.
“The emotional effects of massage play a huge part in the relief of chronic pain,” says physiotherapist Liz Paddock, who specialises in musculoskeletal and women’s health. “Living with pain can seriously affect people’s ability to relax – being touched is fundamental to our wellbeing and it helps sedate the nervous system. Your skin is packed with sensory receptors and touch is an important way of modifying pain signals – that’s why, if you hit your elbow on something, you instinctively rub it.”
 Getting a good night’s sleep
Studies so far only relate to children, but show good results for improving sleep. Researchers at the University of Warwick compared nine studies and found that (gentle) massage by parents on children under six months could have a positive impact on sleep patterns, crying, mother-baby interaction and levels of stress hormones, which can disrupt sleep.
Soothing headaches
Rubbing your temples is an instinctive way to try to relieve a headache and it seems that body massage can also help. It decreased the occurrence of headaches, sleep disturbances and symptoms of distress, and increased serotonin (a chemical that affects mood and sleep) levels in adults with migraines in a study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience. Other studies showed similar results.
Researchers believe that two mechanisms could be responsible. Firstly, the increased serotonin could help relieve the headache (many existing headache medications increase serotonin levels). Secondly, the increased hours of sleep and fewer night wakings may lower levels of substance P – a neurotransmitter responsible for pain.
Restoring mobility
Whether you’ve damaged a muscle from a hard tackle playing football or just while painting the ceiling, sports massage has been shown to be helpful for muscle repair. For example, research shows that it increases the blood flow in the capillaries of the muscles. “Blood is nutritious for muscles and assists healing,” says Spencer McGawley, director of the Sports Massage Association. Other studies suggest that sports massage techniques can stimulate the release of biochemicals such as prostaglandins. These are essential for tissue healing.
And again, the positive psychological aspect plays a part. A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine showed that the perception of fatigue was less when a 20-minute massage was given between two intense bouts of cycling, despite no actual difference in power produced

Here you can learn more about Massage Therapy 

13 Wonderful Ways to Use Epsom Salts

Epsom salt—who knew that such an uninspiring ingredient could inspire such devotion? Epsom salts have amazing health benefits–here are 13 ways to use Epsom salts, including a relaxing bath, a face scrub and a hair volumizer. It’s also a miracle cure-all, helping to remove splinters and reduce swelling of sprains and bruises. One ingredient really does fit all!

1. As a relaxing Magnesium Bath Soak – Add at least 1 cup of epsom salt to a warm bath and soak for 20 minutes.
2. Body Aches– Add 2 cups of epsom salt to a warm bath and soak for at least 20 minutes to help relieve muscle sprains and for a transdermal magnesium boost. 
3. Facial Wash– Add a pinch of epsom salt to your usual face cleane for a skin exfoliating magnesium boost. 
4. Smooth skin- Mix 1/2 cup epsom salt with 1/4 cup olive oil and scrub skin in the shower for healthy and smooth skin. 
5. Foot Soak- For a concentrated magnesium boost, add 1 cup of epsom salt to a hot foot soak and soak for 20 minutes. 
6. Magnesium Foot Scrub– Make a homemade magnesium scrub for a boost of magnesium and super soft skin.
1 cup of epsom salt
1/4 cup olive oil or almond oil
1 teaspoon liquid soap (optional, but makes the texture smoother)
10-15 drops of essential oil of choice – optional

7. Volumeizing Hair Mask– Combine equal parts of conditioner and epsom salt and leave on hair for 20 minutes. Rinse well and let air dry for thicker hair. 
8. Help Kids Sleep Better– Add a cup to kids’ bath water before bed to help them sleep peacefully..
9. Itchy Skin or Bug Bites– Dissolve a tablespoon of epsom salt in to 1/2 cup of water and cool. Spritz on itchy skin or apply a wet compress to help relieve itching. 
10. Minor Sunburn Relief- Use the same ratio in the itchy skin relief above and spritz on to minor sunburns to help soothe them. 

11. Headache relief– There is evidence that soaking in a soothing epsom salt bath may help relieve headache. 
12. Splinter Removal– Soak in concentrated epsom salt water to pull out a splinter.

Interesting facts about massage

Did you know massage is probably the oldest and simplest form of healthcare?
It is depicted in Egyptian tomb paintings.
It is mentioned in ancient Chinese, Japanese, and Indian texts.massage-therapy

The ancient Greek physician Hippocrates describes the practice of anatripis or “rubbing up.”

Massage is scientifically shown to be effective treatment for the following conditions:

– Cancer-related fatigue
– Chronic low back pain
– Frequent headaches
– Post-operative pain

Therapeutic massage is increasingly being promoted by healthcare providers to their patients.
Almost one in five adult Americans (19%) report discussing massage therapy with their doctors or healthcare providers. Of those 19%, more than half (58%) said their doctor strongly recommended or encouraged massage.

More than half of massage therapists (63%) receive referrals from healthcare professionals.
Massage is beneficial for infants, children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly.

– Babies fall asleep faster when massaged than when rocked, and they stay asleep rather than waking the moment Mom tiptoes away.
– When massaged regularly, children suffering from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and autism experienced decreased pain, decreased anxiety, and decreased inattentiveness.
– Massage therapy can help to partially restore mobility to the elderly afflicted with Parkinson’s disease and arthritis, and can also reduce levels of anxiety, depression, and the effects of loneliness.

Reap the benefits of massage as it helps all your body’s natural systems function efficiently. Massage is effective in relieving a broad spectrum of symptoms People with a wide variety of conditions, ranging from insomnia to tendinitis to asthma to high blood pressure, receive relief from therapeutic massage. Massage can help us feel less stressed, boost our immune system and increase our mental alertness. Studies have shown massage to reduce heart rate, lower blood pressure, increase blood circulation and the flow of lymph, relax muscles, improve range of motion and increase the body’s natural painkillers.
massages1The most immediate and most noticeable response to massage is relaxation. Not only does relaxation feel wonderful but it also serves an important physiological purpose: when your body relaxes, the functions that heal and restore your body are allowed to take place. Your muscle tension releases, blood flow and hemoglobin levels increase, cellular nourishment and detoxification accelerate, lymphatic flow improves. Your stress and anxiety levels decrease, your immune system is stimulated, body awareness improves, mental alertness increases and depression diminishes. A sense of well-being emerges.

Make Massage a Habit
As with exercise, massage has the greatest benefit when you receive it regularly. The more “practice” you give your body’s systems at functioning in a stress-free and efficient manner, the more “skilled” your body becomes at functioning optimally under challenging circumstances. Whether weekly, semi-weekly, or monthly, a program of regular massage will help your body maintain its overall health.

Massage can help with:

Stress Massage is one of the best known antidotes for stress. Reducing stress gives you more energy, improves your outlook on life, and in the process reduces your likelihood of injury and illness. Massage can also relieve symptoms of conditions that are aggravated by anxiety, such as asthma or insomnia. 

Painful or Tight Muscles
Massage can relieve many types of muscle tightness, from a short-term muscle cramp to a habitually clenched jaw or tight shoulders. Some massage techniques release tension directly by stretching, kneading, and compressing your muscles. Others techniques work indirectly by affecting your nervous system to allow your muscles to relax.

Delayed Muscle soreness
After vigorous exercise, a buildup of waste products in your muscles can leave your feeling tired and sore. Massage increases circulation, which removes waste products and brings in healing nutrients.

Pain or Tingling in Arms or Legs
Muscles can become so contracted that they press on nerves to the arms, hands and legs, causing pain or tingling. If this happens, a massage to release the contracted muscles can bring relief.

Massage can help heal injuries that develop over time, such as tendonitis, as well as ligament sprains or muscle strains caused by an accident. Massage reduces inflammation by increasing circulation to the affected area, which removes waste products and brings nutrients to injured cells. Certain massage techniques can limit scar formation in new injuries and can reduce or make more pliable the scar tissue remaining around old injuries.

Prevention of New Injuries
By relieving chronic tension, massage can help prevent injuries that might result from putting stress on unbalanced muscle groups or from favoring or forcing a painful, restricted area.

Joint Pain or Restriction
Besides releasing tight muscles that can restrict joint movement, massage works directly on your joints by improving circulation around them and stimulating the production of natural lubrication within them, relieving pain from conditions such as osteoarthritis.

As massage releases restrictions in muscles, joints, and surrounding fascia, your body is freed to return to a more natural and healthy posture. Massage can also relieve the contracted muscles and pain caused by abnormal spinal curvatures such as scoliosis.

Improve sleep
Not only can massage encourage a restful sleep—it also helps those who can’t otherwise comfortably rest.
Also, if you’re a new parent, you’ll be happy to know it can help infants sleep more, cry less and be less stressed, according to research from the University of Warwick.

Relieve headaches
Next time a headache hits, try booking a last-minute massage. Massage decreases frequency and severity of tension headaches.
Research from Granada University in Spain found that a single session of massage therapy has an immediate effect on perceived pain in patients with chronic tension headaches.