Massage & Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Massage & Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

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In light of recent ANZAC commemorations Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, has been a subject of much discussion in the news. However, it is not only service personnel returning from international conflict who suffer from PTSD.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event or a series of ­– either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms can include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. The sad fact is that trauma is all around us. Millions of people are currently dealing with the condition, and the majority of cases go untreated.

It has been estimated that 70% of the adults have experienced a trauma severe enough to result in PTSD. These events can be military combat, emergency services, a terrorist attack, natural disasters, violent crime, abusive relationships or horrific accident. Of those who have gone through such an event, about 8% of men, and 20% of women will go on to develop PTSD.

Many people who experience traumatic events have difficulty adjusting and coping for a while, but they don’t necessarily have PTSD — with time and good self-care, they can usually get better. PTSD is a complex disorder, with long ranging consequences. Generally PTSD symptoms may start within three months of a traumatic event, but sometimes symptoms may not appear until years after the event. These symptoms cause significant problems in social or work situations and in relationships. PTSD symptoms are broadly grouped into four types: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, or changes in emotional reactions.

For more in-depth information about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder visit South Pacific Private

When trauma survivors do seek treatment, the mainstream methods of medical care involve multi discipline therapies with psychiatric care and often prescription drugs to ease anxiety, depression and sleepless nights.

Many of those who are seeking help with PTSD prefer alternative or natural approaches to ease some of burdens of the condition. Massage therapy is a recognised adjunct to the psychiatric process. Massage enables the mind and body to enter a state of deep relaxation. Once we’re able to achieve relaxation, we can more easily re-enter that state and have it relay into the long-term. This will seep into every aspect of life, allowing us to heal and find peace of mind.

How Can Massage Help?

The symptoms of PTSD are the result of imbalances in brain chemicals triggered by emotional stress. These chemicals, including neurotransmitters such as serotonin, affect behaviour, feelings and cognition. By reliving the traumatic event, people with PTSD are always in a heightened state of anxiety. The brain is unable to turn off the “Fight or Flight” response, and their bodies are constantly flooded with stress hormones that cause not only emotional but physical pain, as muscles are constantly tensed for action. Massage therapy can not only relax tensed muscles and ease the physical pain; they can trigger the body’s relaxation response, breaking the cycle of fight or flight.

A study on the effects of massage shows us what’s happening within the brain post-massage. The 2005 study proved positive changes in biochemistry following massage therapy. This included reduced cortisol and increased serotonin and dopamine. By decreasing the clients’ cortisol levels with bodywork, a client can reduce the constant feelings of hyperarousal and danger. By increasing serotonin and dopamine in the brain, an ease of suffering and anxiety is felt.

You can download the study here in PDF format.

Sexual abuse victims have also overcome their PTSD symptoms with the help of massage in combination with psychotherapy. The Journal of Bodywork and Movement conducted a study to examine the effects of body-oriented therapy, alongside psychotherapy, for women in recovery from childhood sexual abuse.

The experiment involved eight 1-hour weekly sessions of body-oriented therapy, a combination of bodywork and the emotional processing of psychotherapy. The study examined changes in somatic and psychological symptoms, and the subjective experience of the intervention using a mixed method approach. Qualitative results revealed the positive impact of body-oriented therapy on sense of inner security and psychotherapeutic progress.

Full study summary here.

With survivors of sexual abuse, it’s not only about enabling them to enter into a relaxed a state, but also encouraging their association of human touch as a positive experience. The more often they receive professional tactile treatment such as massage, the more often they can mark off yet another positive experience in their subconscious, helping to outweigh any fear and overcome active avoidance in being touched.

Massage therapy is an excellent addition to a combined approach for an overall treatment plan for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Once a person is able to relax through massage, circulation improves, sleep patterns can return to normal, and a more relaxed person is more open to other modalities such as talk therapy that can help them resolve the issues at the root of his or her PTSD.

Sources:
http://www.integrative-healthcare.org/mt/archives/2005/07/the_therapeutic.html
http://www.epigee.org/mental_health/ptsdtreatment.html
http://www.southpacificprivate.com.au/treatment_PTSD


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12 Things A Massage Therapist Knows About You After An Hour

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Sure, we expect massage therapists to ease muscle tension and help us work through injuries. But that hour on the table reveals a lot more than just the stress we’ve asked them to soothe. We talked to a few massage therapists to find out just how much they can tell about us and our health.

1. You love big purses.

If your body is tighter on one side, a therapist knows that you shift more onto one leg while standing (this happens with women who carry purses predominantly on one shoulder). Glutes, hamstrings, and quads will be tight, and you’ll also have an unnatural pelvic tilt.

2. You have a desk job.

The signs? A weak lower back, as evidenced by one hip being higher than the other. People who sit in front of a computer all day also have tight glutes and legs.

3. You’re a stomach sleeper.

This sleep position leads to extra strain on the neck, and massage therapists can feel the tightness.

4. You do a lot of driving.

Sitting behind the wheel leads to a far-forward posture. People who spend a significant amount of time commuting by car will often exhibit hunched shoulders because of this.

5. You’re injured.

If you have an acute injury, therapists can feel heat and inflammation. Chronic injuries show themselves in the form of dehydrated muscles that feel tight. And with repetitive motion injuries, tendons and muscles will feel wiry like guitar strings.

Read complete article from source … prevention.com


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Benefits of massage

5 Hidden Benefits of a Good Massage

Aside from the fact that a good massage makes you feel better, what are some of the other benefits to this practice? As a longtime advocate for massage, I decided to delve into its not-as-well-known aspects to see what else it offers beside a well-spent hour on the table. What I discovered are the following five hidden benefits of a good massage. Massage loosens muscles Being in physical therapy for a recent low back pain episode means I’m working muscles that have not seen regular activity for some time. That results in soreness that proves I’m doing things right, but it’s also a little uncomfortable. While the therapy starts with dry heat and then massage before exercise, I also find that getting a good massage at times other than during physical therapy helps loosen those tight, sore muscles.

Continue to read from Source: World of Psychology


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Gallery is the go!

Category : EC News , Stories

A.D. created a gallery space this year by converting her unused garage. Turns out that it’s not only an extra space for the family to chill – but it’s a perfect place for a massage.

“I didn’t know where I could have a massage until I remembered the gallery. I must say I did feel a little strange having all those faces looking at me – but they’re familiar friends now.”

We can provide you with a massage anywhere in your environment! As long as it’s large enough for a massage table, private enough for your security and the temperature is appropriate enough for your comfort.

“When my session finished off with that gentle traction on the neck, I felt a metre taller. The scalp massage and the magical hair pull really capped it off! I felt aligned and reconnected.”

Like A.D., you can enjoy the ease and convenience of experiencing an Enhance Connections massage in your own personal unique space. Visit our home page for a Free Guidebook to assist you in creating your relaxation space.

While you’re there, why not book your massage for when you want it – and we’ll do the rest!


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Bring balance to your life

More Australians are recognising the advantages of a preventative approach to their health and wellbeing. We are more conscious about the need to be in control of our own health decisions and how we can address

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