Anxiety & Depressive Moods
Given the stresses of modern life, it is normal to experience occasional anxiety and depressive moods. However, people who suffer from persistent thoughts of worry and/or feelings of despair can find themselves overwhelmed by daily tasks and often unable to cope.
The relaxing effects of receiving regular bodywork far exceed mere pleasure, and can aid individuals in coping with and managing anxiety and depression. Bodywork elicits a relaxation response, resulting in decreased heart rate, lowered blood pressure, stress reduction, and increased energy. Moreover, the calming and tranquilizing effects of the treatment are highly beneficial to people in states of duress. When emotions are left unresolved over long periods of time, or when they result from a particularly stressful or traumatic event, they can become causes of illness. Emotions can also result from an imbalanced flow of energy. Thus, emotions can be the cause or the symptom of a disorder. Receiving regular bodywork restores the healthy flow of energy, providing balance to the body and mind. Research has repeatedly shown significant decreases in levels of anxiety and depression in individuals receiving regular bodywork. In these studies, decreased levels of anxiety and depression persisted for weeks following the sessions. Additionally, a study conducted by the Touch Research Institute showed that levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with the stress response, decreased following massage. By providing a space to relax, let go of the day's worries, and reconnect with breath and body, bodywork can help you return to a grounded state when anxiety arises. In doing so, receiving regular bodywork treatment helps to counteract the damaging physiological effects of stress, anxiety, and depression on the body and, most importantly, helps prevent these states from occurring.
Self Care Techniques:
Like most health concerns, anxiety and depressive moods reflect an imbalance in the body's systems. Hence, it becomes essential to bring awareness to one's whole body by evaluating dietary patterns, genetic predispositions, sleep habits, posture, stress levels and other lifestyle components, such as physical activity, emotional responses, and overall sense of wellbeing.
Your body is a unique entity, thus your treatment should be tailored specifically to your needs. You should always seek the advice of your health care practitioner to guide you along the path of optimal wellness.
Recommended Lifestyle Changes:
Make exercise a core component of your life, as it raises the levels of mood-enhancing neurotransmitters in the brain, releases muscle tension, improves sleep, and reduces levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, contributing to a calming effect. These changes can improve symptoms of sadness, anxiety, irritability, stress, fatigue, anger and hopelessness.