How Massage Therapy Can Help PTSD

PTSD is a serious condition that causes insomnia, feelings of detachment, chronic pain, fatigue, flashbacks and nightmares. It can happen to anyone who has suffered a trauma, and as many as 70 percent of adults in the United Sates have undergone a trauma severe enough to cause PTSD.

massageResearchers have found that PTSD is a real medical condition caused by imbalances in brain chemicals triggered by emotional stress. For those who are suffering from PTSD, massage may provide relief from the condition. With the help of a massage therapist, combined with other modalities, many patients have been able to overcome PTSD and move forward with a normal, fulfilling life.

Massage Therapy Encourages Relaxation and Reduces Other PTSD Symptoms
People suffering from PTSD tend to struggle with relaxation. The trauma and stress they experience lead to chronic muscle tension, which can be difficult to release. Massage therapy can help improve circulation and release that tension to promote relaxation. It also promotes the release of stress-fighting neurotransmitters and hormones, helping to reduce the effect of the stress hormones a PTSD sufferer has in abundance. Patients struggling with insomnia may notice that their sleep cycles are reset after ongoing massage therapy. By triggering the body’s relaxation response, the massage therapy treatment breaks the fight or flight cycle that a PTSD suffering is trapped in.

Massage Therapy Sets the Stage for Additional Therapies
Massage therapy may not provide a cure for PTSD, but it can set the stage for other treatments, like talk therapy. Massage improves circulation, relaxation and sleep patterns, so the patient is able to open up to other types of therapists to get to the root of the issues causing the PTSD.

If you or someone you love is struggling with PTSD, massage therapy can help bring healing and relief. If you are a massage therapist, consider learning more about how to the considerations to make in order to help clients struggling with this common issue, providing them a new lease on life.


NC Massage School offers individualized training in the art and science of therapeutic massage for an advanced-level professional career, continuing education and personal growth. We believe in a holistic approach that encourages students to explore personal development of mind, body and spirit in a small, supportive environment.


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