Anxiety and anxiety disorders seem more widespread than ever before. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S. It’s estimated that 40 million adults in the U.S. have an anxiety disorder, yet only around a third seek treatment.
Treating and managing anxiety isn’t easy. You must try several different methods and techniques to relieve anxiety before finding something that works. For anxiety management, one approach that could work is getting a massage.
A massage for anxiety relief can benefit people with anxiety disorders a lot. How often you should get a massage for anxiety will vary, though.
Let’s dive more into what exactly anxiety is and how often you should get a massage for anxiety.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is characterized as a feeling of dread, fear, and restlessness. When you experience anxiety, you might notice an increased heartbeat, sweating, and tension.
Anxiety can pop up anywhere. Sometimes you might feel anxious if you’re waiting for a phone call from your significant other. Other times you might feel anxious if you have to do a presentation at work. Even something like going to the gym can give people anxiety.
Anxiety disorders are conditions where you experience anxiety constantly. Anxiety doesn’t go away over time and is more likely to worsen. Your thoughts can become overwhelming and hard to control, negatively impacting your daily life.
There are several types of anxiety disorders. Some of the most common are generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, or phobias. Usually, a health care provider has to diagnose if you have an anxiety disorder.
How do people manage anxiety?
Managing anxiety takes a lot of time and patience. There isn’t a one size fits all cure. Additionally, even if you treat your anxiety disorder now, there’s a chance it could pop up later in life.
Many people will often engage in activities that may temporarily relax them but can worsen their anxiety. This can include drinking alcohol, taking recreational drugs, and eating junk food. It’s best to avoid these methods.
Some of the main treatments for anxiety disorders are psychotherapy, medications, or both. A common form of psychotherapy known as cognitive behavioral therapy can help people learn to change how they react to things that give them anxiety. On the other hand, medications such as anti-anxiety medicines and certain antidepressants can help manage specific anxiety disorders.
Sometimes adopting a healthier lifestyle helps. Some people find their anxiety lessens when exercising regularly, working fewer hours, taking breaks and vacations, and eating a healthy diet.
Massage for anxiety
When adopting a healthier lifestyle to manage anxiety, many people choose to incorporate massages. Massage therapy for anxiety can help people relax and reduce their stress levels.
Massages help promote the body’s production of serotonin and dopamine. When these chemicals are released throughout the body, you tend to feel happier and less anxious.
Other massage benefits, such as body pain relief, can help alleviate tension in the body, a common symptom of an anxiety disorder. Massages can also help with insomnia, another symptom of anxiety disorders.
The type of massage you get to ease your anxiety will vary. For example, some people might choose a Swedish massage while others prefer a deep tissue massage. Each offers a different benefit to help with anxiety management.
How often should I get a massage for anxiety?
Now, you shouldn’t use massage therapy in place of doctor-recommended treatments like psychotherapy. However, you should consider getting a massage for anxiety as part of your anxiety management.
You may not experience the immediate benefits after getting one massage. Generally, you will have to get several massages to really enjoy the benefits.
You may then ask, “How often should I get a massage for anxiety?” Finding the magic number for getting massages is tricky, and it’s no different when getting massages for anxiety. Usually, a weekly massage is recommended. However, some people might benefit from two weekly massages, and others may only need one bi-weekly.
Everyone’s needs will be different. It’s a matter of figuring out what works for you and your anxiety management.
Moving beyond your anxiety
Anxiety can be tough to grapple with. It can often feel like it’s in complete control of your life. However, you can move beyond your anxiety.
It takes great effort, but you can find relief from anxiety. Getting a massage for anxiety can help too. Remember, you owe it to yourself to live a happy and healthy life.