What are anxiety disorders?
Massage therapists know well that clients experience different kinds of emotions. Anxiety is one of the emotions that is hard to manage. When a client says that they are experiencing anxiety, the therapist should know how to interact and assess them professionally.
Depression and Anxiety Association of America has shared the following statistics:
- One of the common mental illnesses in the US affecting 40 million adults is anxiety disorder.
- Around 40% of people suffering from anxiety take homeopathic treatment or allopathic medications.
- Individuals with anxiety disorder visit doctors more often and may even get hospitalized to get treatment for psychotic disorders.
According to DSM-5 (Diagnostics Statistics Manual 5), 12 anxiety disorders are well-defined by medical practitioners. They are as follows:
- Anxiety due to concurrent medical condition
- Selective mutism
- Substance medication-induced
- Special phobias
- Social phobia
- Panic disorder or PD
- GAD or generalized anxiety disorder
Common threads among different kinds of anxiety
- Fear coupled with physical dysfunctions and anxiety can result in a fight-flight response.
- Symptoms remaining for more than four weeks.
- Interference with routine or daily activity.
- Unable to perform regular work activities.
How is anxiety associated with depression?
Depression and anxiety disorders are interlinked in the form of persistent depressive disorder and major depressive disorder. An individual suffering from depression:
- Complains of lack of sleep or restlessness
- May look withdrawn
- Shows fast changes in behavior and mood
- May have changes in appetite
- Will be fatigued
- Will have impaired cognition
These complications have chances to exacerbate anxiety conditions.
How massage therapists help individuals with anxiety disorders?
The massage therapist creates a safe and healthy environment for individuals with anxiety disorders. A session focused on calming the senses of the body helps in alleviating symptoms associated with anxiety. Along with massage therapy for anxiety, they create a space where the individuals would feel relaxed, soothing, and comfortable.
Lighting: They ensure to use a non-stimulating source such as a salt lamp to help in easing visual stimulus.
Listening: During the bodywork session, the therapist would hear the client’s concerns patiently. The client may share their experience during a somatic emotional response or a panic attack. The therapist should make sure to be neutral in terms of language like non-verbal and verbal. They have to listen empathetically without getting sensitively lost hearing their story. The therapist should be cognizant of creating an emotional bond with the client. They should use nonjudgmental, concise, and clear language. They should not focus on offering professional suggestions on the client’s social, business, and personal affairs.
Sound: The music should be free from the lyrics. It should be harmonic rhythms, melodic tunes, and slow-paced tracks. These are some of the best ideal options that help in making one relaxed and ease on the table.
As there are numerous sources and levels of anxiety, the massage therapist should have business cards of various professionals like counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers to help individuals with anxiety. Though massage helps in alleviating mental and physical sources of stress, psychological and emotional sources that are deep-rooted could be well handled with progressive clinical care. By offering options, the client can select the best practice as per recommendations.
Suggesting naturopathic or homeopathic remedies are helpful to a great extent. But you have to be careful when it comes to making particular claims about the effectiveness of those treatments. Certain natural treatments would not interact well with some anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications. So, ask the clients to get in touch with their health care professionals or doctors before consulting or starting natural remedies.