I do not know how you feel about getting massages, but I love them. Not a week goes by without a massage. And if I cannot afford one, financially or I am just short on time, I always make sure to give myself a massage at home. You may wonder how that is possible. Well, that is what you will find out next. Now let's discuss what the best massage for anxiety is!
Can Massage Help Relieve Your Anxiety?
For years now, massage therapy has been used as a primary method to induce relaxation and relieve anxiety. While there are many other proven benefits as well, this remains the main benefit that massage therapy has to offer. Massage is also my primary relaxation method, as well.
Research published in 2014 has discussed the many beneficial effects of massage for both our body and mind. As the researchers suggest, getting regular massages can help with the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, among other conditions. It can also improve our focus, reduce cortisol levels, and activate the parasympathetic nervous system. Massage can even enhance our immune system, which is so essential in these uncertain times that we now live in.
Multiple studies have shown that massage is an effective anxiety-relieving technique. Psychiatric patients, cancer patients, and patients with a generalized anxiety disorder are only some of the groups of people successfully treated for their anxiety symptoms with the use of massage. If you wonder what the best massage for anxiety is, I have a couple of recommendations for you to try out.
The 5 Best Massage That Helps Reduce Anxiety
1. Swedish massage
If you have never gotten a massage before, I recommend starting with a Swedish massage. Swedish massage represents a gentle full body massage. It is also one of the most popular massages out there. Swedish massage is perfect for anyone who has a lot of gathered-up tension in their muscles and is struggling with muscle tightness and pain.
The very first massage that I ever got happens to be Swedish massage. One of the most incredible things that I love about Swedish massage is that you can easily do it at home. You will need to identify any sore points and later treat them by using a massager. The one that I would recommend is the Sonic Mini Quiet Massage Gun. In my opinion, this is the best massage machine that will get your money worth.
2. Aromatherapy massage
The anxiety-relieving benefits of aromatherapy are widely known. Aromatherapy massage combines the best of both worlds. During a session of aromatherapy massage, your masseuse will apply diluted essential oils on your skin. At the same time, they will use an essential oil diffuser to allow you to inhale the essential oils.
This is a trick that I have learned from my masseuse. Nowadays, whenever I feel anxious, I like to use my favorite essential oil diffuser. Lavender, holy basil, jasmine, and chamomile are some of my favorite ones. I recently purchased the Ultimate Aromatherapy Diffuser & Essential Oil Set, so now I have all of the essential oils that I need to soothe my anxiety from the comfort of my home.
Speaking of relaxing at home, you have to try acupressure. Acupressure is an easy and effective way to relieve anxiety. During acupressure, you apply mild to moderate pressure on selected acupoints. There are about 361 acupoints on our bodies. But do not worry – you do not need to know all 361 of them. The ones that I would recommend applying pressure to are the following ones:
- Acupoint: Bl-10 (Other Names: Urinary Bladder-10/Tian Zhu/Celestial Pillar), which you will find if you were to palpate the depression on the lateral border of your trapezius muscle. Apply mild pressure for 10-15 seconds on both sides.
- Acupoint: PC-6 (Other Names: Pericardium-6/Nei Guan/Inner Pass), which is located about three finger breadths below your wrist. If you feel dizzy and nauseous during a massage, stimulating this acupoint afterward will help relieve some of the nausea. Apply mild pressure for 4-5 seconds, preferably by using your thumb. Do not forget to stimulate both acupoints.
- Acupoint: GB-21 (Other Names: Gallbladder-21/Jian Jing/Shoulder Well) is located on your shoulder. To apply pressure to it, pinch your trapezius muscle and then apply mild pressure in the middle of it. 4-5 seconds is more than enough to properly simulate this acupoint.
If you are not too eager on the idea of applying pressure on your own, then you may want to invest in some quality ear seeds. The ear seeds represent an effective way to practice at-home acupuncture. A product that I would like to recommend is the Multi-Condition Ear Seeds Acupuncture Kit. The kit comes with 600 ear seeds, tweezers, a probe, and of course, a placement chart. Using the chart, you can locate where exactly you need to place the ear seeds. Then, you simply wear them a couple of days and feel as your anxiety improves. In fact, I am wearing mine as I am writing this!
And my favorite at-home massage has to be reflexology, especially foot reflexology. I love to get a nice, relaxing foot massage during the period since it helps relieve a lot of the pain and anxiety that I am going through during that time. For anyone who does not know what reflexology is – Reflexology is an alternative practice during which the practitioner applies pressure on specific pressure points on our feet and hands.
Speaking of foot reflexology, I want to address an issue that I keep stumbling upon. Many gout patients are wondering is foot massage good for gout. Some are even fearing – "Can massage cause gout?" So, I thought that I should clear the air. Massage can help reduce the inflammation and speed up the recovery process. Of course, massage should be avoided during flare-ups to prevent the worsening of the symptoms. But as a gout patient, there is no other reason you would want to pass on getting a relaxing massage.
I find foot reflexology very relaxing. You may want to schedule a session at a professional practitioner at first. Then you can apply the same techniques at home. Since there are many possible pressure points on our feet, buying yourself some reflexology socks may seem like a good idea. These socks come with a colorful map printed on the sole to make identifying the different pressure zones a lot easier.
5. Chair massage
If you have a lot of tension located in your neck and shoulders, then I would recommend scheduling a chair massage. This is also a perfect choice for anyone who feels uncomfortable lying fully naked on a massage bed. During a chair massage, you will remain fully clothed. You will sit on a special massage chair while the masseuse treats any pressure points on your neck, shoulders, and back.
Precautions While Doing Massage That You Should Know About
And lastly, here are some precautions that my masseuse has taught me.
- Do not schedule a massage during a fever. Getting a massage with a fever can only make your fever worse. It can also trigger nausea and vomiting. If you happen to have a fever, call in, and reschedule your appointment for a more appropriate time.
- Do not get a massage if you feel nauseous. Massage and nausea do not go well hand in hand. If you happen to feel nauseous in any way, please do reschedule your massage appointment.
- You can get a massage with high blood pressure. It may sound odd, but just because you have hypertension, that does not mean that you do not get to enjoy massage. You can even use foot massage to lower blood pressure while relieving the anxiety and stress at the same time.
- Proper head positioning is a must. The first massage that I remember getting was done by my friend. I was lying on my couch, and she gave me a Swedish massage. At that time, she was at the beginning of her training to become a masseuse. So, naturally, she did not know everything that there was to know about proper head positioning. In the end, I got a relaxing massage and a blurry vision.
As we researched it, it seems that blurry eyes after the massage is a common issue. And it all has to do with proper head positioning. Whether you are a client or a masseuse, make sure that you have proper head positioning before proceeding with the massage.
While some are researching stuff like "Does massage reduce belly fat?" you are using your time for better things. Your questions on the best massage for anxiety have led you to me, and I am happy to share my knowledge on the topic with you. After all, I am a long-time client that has had her share of massages and even at-home massages. So, I am hoping that you will try out at least one of the best massage for anxiety and reduce your stress levels efficiently.
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