The Touch Research Institute, located in the University of Miami School of Medicine, conducted a study with over 500 subjects of all ages with a documented history of depression/anxiety. During the study, each of the subjects had their cortisol (stress hormone) levels measured before and after massage. When the study was completed, the finding were each of the participants who had regular massages were able to reduce their stress level measurements by more than 50%.
The power of touch is something I have addressed before, here on my blog. I would put forth if you have never actually seen the difference in people’s demeanor after they have had a relaxing massage, then this information can seem like so much baloney. But it’s not.
Believe it or not, the difference is immediately apparent in men and women or children, who come to me full of anxiety and stress. Combined with essential oils that promote calm and a relaxing massage, people are so relieved and relaxed when they get up from my table. Before their massage, you can see the tension in their faces and I can feel the pain radiating from their bodies. And children, they are the most fun to massage, because they hide nothing. Every emotion is on display. Most of the kids are initially more curious then anything, but what’s amazing is even the most fidgety of children simply fall limp after a while and just let me work on their muscles. People will ask me, Val, what’s a kid got to be stressed about? Well, they have plenty.
Stress doesn’t just come from your job or worrying about money. For Children stress comes from parents, from sports, from siblings, from other children in school. children are trying to learn their place in the great, big, sometimes scary world. For those who are just a little bit different from their peers, the stress is compounded. They can’t understand why the others won’t play with them, or why they are poking fun at them.
Anxiety can ruin a person’s life. So, yes, massage can help with that, but there also needs to be other mechanisms in place to help dispel the anxiety in the first place. I am not a licensed therapist of an MD, but I do know if you have a person, big or small, who is dealing with stress, do your best NOT to add to it. Keep affirmations of love and praise utmost on your minds and good things will come out of your mouth. Don’t criticize that person, but find ways to help them feel better. And, a walk and a regular massage will do wonders at keeping those stress stomach aches at bay.