While everyone will experience some degree of anxiety, those with an actual anxiety disorder will experience intense and prolonged feelings of distress and uneasiness, often for no apparent reason.
Anxiety refers to an internal response that includes fear, apprehension and worry, often without understanding the underlying reason for the feelings. It is often accompanied by physical sensations such as palpitations, chest pain, sweating and/or shortness of breath.
Anxiety can be very debilitating and can vary in intensity from person-to-person.
Anxiety disorders are treatable. The Touch Research Institute has conducted over 100 studies on the positive effects of massage therapy on a variety of health conditions. Studies show how massage reduces levels of anxiety and decreases stress hormones.
In one study, decreases in levels of anxiety were compared between a group of adults who received chair massage and another group was were simply asked to sit in the massage chair for 15 minutes. The study revealed those who received the chair massage had lower levels of anxiety and an increase in mental alertness following the massage (Field, et al., 1996).
Another study showed that massage therapy decreased the anxiety, depression and stress hormones of children who survived Hurricane Andrew (Field, et al., 1996)
Massage therapy can provided much needed relief for sufferers of anxiety, either alone or as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. If you suffer with intense or prolonged symptoms of anxiety, be sure to consult with your physician before beginning any course of treatment.
It is always advisable to consult with a physician for any medical condition.