Massage therapy – or aromatherapy – is a well-known treatment for various injuries like strains, muscle soreness and a myriad of sports injuries. It is a certified medical practice which relaxes the body through physical manipulation of the muscles. Despite general cynicism around the subject, it is proven that aromatherapy can do wonders for your overall wellbeing. This is no longer just a luxury for the manically stressed: massage therapy is available for everyone for any purpose.
There are many different types of massage therapy with differing benefits and outcomes. The most common ones are: deep tissue massages which use slow, hard strokes to ease strain deep in your muscles, sports massages that help prevent injuries as well as soothe them with a variety of different techniques and there are even massages that help with headaches and pregnancy, such as the Indian head massage and the prenatal massage.
But how does this help with my mental health?
A fully qualified registered massage therapist has stated that “massage therapy is an excellent tool in treating anxiety, depression and insomnia because it helps your body to relax, which in turn helps you to destress.” However, one cannot rely on aromatherapy alone and this does have to be partnered with counselling and medication – but massage therapy can help a great deal.
Therapists will apply several techniques, but the most common one the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). This operates under the belief that the body has energy channels: if these channels are blocked then it is believed that it can cause emotional illness within in the mind. EFT can help with fears and phobias, anxiety, depression, insomnia, trauma and even panic attacks. Using a technique called tapping, EFT eases the blocked energy channel by simulating the meridian or tension spots. (Tapping uses the fingertips to neutralise emotional energy blocks). Therapists will often reassure the patient orally to further the calming process. This combination is said to eliminate the tense energy channels and leave the patient feeling both emotionally and physically refreshed. Thousands of people globally have already benefitted from this practice.
A technique called Kinesiology, similar to EFT, is proven to help with self-confidence and self-motivation through a series of treatments such as muscle testing/monitoring. Kinesiologists will manipulate and place the patient’s limbs in a contracted position and apply pressure to find stress points on the body. They will then work the knots out to relax the patient both mentally and physically.
When dealing with anxiety, it is said that lavender oil is best to help with relaxation. There have been small scientific studies that suggest that massage therapy does benefit this particular mental disorder very well. It is also said to help poor sleep patterns or insomnia; again, lavender oil or chamomile are regarded as strong sleep aids. While there is not definitive research on this, it is also beneficial for nausea and itching.
So holistic treatment does wonders, despite general criticism and negativity.