As a registered massage therapist, and an individual who has lived with anxiety, finding ways to help others manage and relieve anxious energy has become a personal mission. So, how do you tell if you have anxiety?
Let’s explore this together.
I work with many clients who struggle with nervousness and unease on a daily basis. Generally, they walk into our Centre, head buzzing, shoulders held tightly to their bodies, disconnected from their breath and lower limbs.
Grounding is our first goal.
To bring their awareness down from their worried mind into their body so that they can become present. As we work, the sources of concern and agitation can often fade away. They are able to release whatever happened at work or at home that day. For an hour, they can allow the external world to manage without them.
For myself, anxiety felt like I was constantly vibrating, especially in my head. My shoulders felt as if they were wrapped around my neck and it was as though I couldn’t let go. It seemed as if I was on the edge of some impending surprise attack from who knows where.
It was a culmination of all the things on my “to do list” and a feeling that I was standing at the bottom of a mountain that I had to climb. However, I didn’t always recognize the feeling as anxiety. On my journey of becoming a massage therapist, I discovered I did not have to feel this way so often.
What Can We Do About Anxiety?
There are many options for dealing with a wound up mind and body, massage therapy is one of them.
Direct Benefits of Massage Therapy
Some of my clients describe their bodies as feeling like they are wearing clothing that is too tight. I use a type of therapeutic massage, called myofascial release, to stretch and loosen the connective tissue beneath the skin. It is gentle, feels great and provides much relief.
Massage therapy manually flushes toxins, such as lactic acid, out of your muscles and tissues so that they can be properly eliminated, freeing your body’s movement and giving a greater sense of ease. Often sore, nagging muscles lead to a disassociation from the pain we experience and, therefore, a subdued awareness of ourselves.
Massage therapy stimulates the endocrine system to release endorphins creating a cascade of “feel good” hormones.
Taking the time to release the stress of a long week or day, rebuilds your relationship to your physical body, thus allowing the possibility of knowing your personal limits of physical and mental endurance.
Get A Great Night’s Sleep
Beyond that, massage therapy can greatly increase your self-awareness and understanding of the sensations you experience physically. This allows you to be more pro-active in self care and can also serve as a relief, for example; to know that that pain in your arm is not an impending heart attack but simply a shortened muscle going into spasm.
Massage therapy can also benefit your sleep habits. Waking up on the wrong side of the bed is never an ideal way to start the day, and often we spend days or longer trying to catch up. Studies show that 40-60% of people experiencing insomnia show signs of anxiety.
After a massage my clients typically leave feeling calm, more focused and optimistic. It can be a relief to remember what being relaxed feels like. Sometimes, my clients are ready for a nap. A sleep or a nice hot bath which can be a great follow up to a good massage.
Break the Anxiety Cycle With Massage
Breaking the cycle with a relaxing massage can allow you to get back to your life with renewed energy. It is a safe place to let go of the stress you have been carrying around. More studies are proving that massage therapy is an effective, adjunctive treatment for relieving symptoms of anxiety and depression. The hour or hour and half that you spend on a massage table may be the means for you to disconnect from the bustling world outside of yourself, and to go inward into the sensations of relaxation into your body.
The process of relieving your symptoms of anxiety begins as you walk into Healing Connections – an environment that is all about your wellness.
In my treatment room, there is gentle music playing and a warm massage table. I will assess your present state through a short conversation, and then we can get to work. I will use all of my skills as a massage therapist to help you ground in the moment and be present to your body. When finished, you will be given a cool glass of filtered, ionized, alkaline water to help flush out the toxins.
I am always eager to offer further suggestions for self-care and future treatments. Know that you are not alone if you find yourself suffering from some of these symptoms of anxiety.
Be assured that there is a means to live without the constant anxiousness. Massage therapy is one of the effective ways to alleviate the states of anxiousness or anxiety.
If you would like to book with Joshua Carter specifically, you can find his schedule there. Or ask for Joshua if you are booking through the front desk, at 780-488-9779.
We look forward to working with you soon.