Anxiety and Massage

anxiety and massage

Anxiety, stress, insomnia, depression.  These things can make everything else in life so much more challenging.

The mind is powerful. Chemical balance and imbalances do matter. Regardless of how you feel, we want you to feel better, live better, and if it’s affecting your physical activity – then move better too!

Caring touch delivered in a therapeutic way in a safe environment is powerful too.  I’m sure you’ve probably heard the story of the babies in a science experiment a long time ago who were deprived of human touch but given everything else they need to survive… they didn’t do so well sadly.  I don’t think that changes as we get older.  One of the beauties of massage is that it is human touch (unless of course, it is a massage chair or some other tool..).  Everyone I have spoken to says, “It’s not the same.” if they’ve used a massage tool of some kind; even self-massage isn’t the same! Don’t get me wrong, those tools are still really helpful to manage tension and I promote the use of them.  But there is something irreplaceable about a good massage from a good therapist.

Let’s talk a bit about the chemicals in your body. 

“Oxytocin acts as a chemical messenger and has been shown to be important in human behaviours including sexual arousal, recognition, trust, anxiety and mother-infant bonding.  As a result, oxytocin has been called the ‘love hormone’ or ‘cuddle chemical’.”

Low oxytocin has been linked to depressive behaviours.  Studies have been done which show that massage increases oxytocin levels. [1]

Low levels of the brain chemical serotonin can also contribute to feeling depressed, anxious, or having difficulty sleeping.  Serotonin helps balance mood and regulate digestion.  Then there is dopamine which has that positive, rewarding effect on the brain. When levels of dopamine are low it is associated with poor focus, lack of motivation and energy. Studies have shown that massage can help increase dopamine and serotonin by almost 30%!

While increasing these positive brain chemicals, massage also helps decrease the amount of cortisol (a stress hormone) in your body.  This is important because although cortisol is good and helpful for short-term situations where your body needs to respond to a stressful situation, a long-term release of cortisol can impact on immunity (a.k.a. healing and fighting off disease!), increased blood pressure, and the ability to maintain a healthy weight.

If you are feeling lethargic and your goal is to renew energy, be able to focus better and feel better, then I would recommend a shorter massage time for you.  30 minutes can be enough time to help pick up your mood without leaving you totally zonked.   If you have had trouble sleeping, are struggling with stress and really need time to recover mentally and physically then I would recommend a longer treatment to allow your body to go beyond the initial stimulus and enter into the relaxing effects of massage.

Written by – Anna Zayas – Remedial Massage Therapist

Sources:

[1] Massage increases oxytocin and reduces adrenocorticotropin hormone in humans
Neurohormonal Effect of Massage Therapy
Oxytocin
Cortisol decreases and serotonin and dopamine increase following massage therapy 
How Massage Affects Your Mood

 

 

 

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Our Response to Covid-19

This page is up to date to our best knowledge, however, this is a rapidly evolving situation so we apologise for any potential delay in updating this information.

We want to reassure all our patients that we are following stringent infection control procedures in our clinic, and screen all people coming into the clinic, to exclude any patients that have any signs or symptoms consistent with Covid-19, as well as screening any patients that should be in isolation ie recently returned from overseas, or have been advised to isolate due to recent exposure with a known Covid-19 patient.

All our staff have now completed the Department of Health Covid-19 Infection Control Training.

What are we doing to minimise risk?

  • Screening patients for risk factors over the phone or through text messages before they attend appointments. Those with risk factors or symptoms are advised not to attend & to seek medical advice.
  • Hand sanitiser station at the front of the building must be used before you enter.
  • Following stringent infection control measures within the clinic. This includes
    • Disinfecting all beds, door handles, EFTPOS machine before and after each patient use.
    • Linen changed between each patient and commonly touched surfaces through the practice are cleaned regularly throughout the day.
    • Minimising the distances between clients in the waiting room- some chairs are outside undercover.
  • We have advised our team members not to come to work if they have cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • We are following all Department of Health recommendations for our type of business.

On the 30th March 2020 – the Australian government issued a statement that “People aged over 70, aged over 60 with pre-existing conditions, or Indigenous people aged over 50 should stay home wherever possible for their own protection.”

The decision to come in for physiotherapy treatment really is an individual one – if you feel that your treatment is medically necessary, and are comfortable with the risks of leaving your home and coming to physiotherapy, then rest assured that when you attend our physiotherapy clinic, we are following our strict infection control processes and doing everything we can to minimise your risk whilst in our care. However, we completely understand if you are not comfortable with coming in for treatment.

TELEHealth Consultations

We are offering telehealth consults and home visits (where suitable) for patients who cannot attend our clinic.

Read more about TELEhealth Consultations here.

Staying Healthy

  • Wash your hands often (and for 20 seconds) with soap and water
  • Cough into your elbow or use a tissue to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • Social distancing practices – Avoiding close contact with others, such as touching, including shaking hands
  • Limit contact with people who are sick, and stay home if you are sick and encourage employees to stay home when sick
  • Get 7-8 hours’ sleep a night to help your immune system stay strong
Please stay safe and take care of each other!

We are monitoring the situation very closely and will make adjustments to our business as we are further informed. Our priority is the health & well being of our patients and our staff. Thanks for your understanding.

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