The Emotional Benefits of Massage Therapy Healing
More than just a fluffy, feel good treat for the body, the benefits of massage can go far beyond relieving pain and muscle stiffness. Therapeutic massage can also help relieve depression and anxiety while freeing your body of pent up emotions that can harbor themselves deeply in skin tissue. Did you know that negative energies and emotions are a leading cause of stress—a condition now recognized as a leading cause of chronic health conditions that can result in premature death? Fortunately, science backs both the physical and emotional benefits of massage therapy, especially when you play an active role in your sessions.
The Biomechanics of Therapeutic Massage & Emotional Health
After reviewing more than a dozen studies on the emotional benefits of massage performed at the University of Miami’s Touch Research Institute, the conclusions were clear. Through its effects on the body’s biochemistry, massage stimulates serotonin and dopamine levels which can alleviate depression. One study indicated that cortisol—an anxiety driven hormone known to cause weight gain—decreased by more than 50% after therapeutic massage. However, massage can also help free us of many emotional blockages that we subconsciously harbor throughout the body.
Negative Emotions Get Trapped Inside More Than Our Minds…
Emotions are designed to flow through meridians through the body. Pleasant emotions, such as laughter, seem to move freely, while negative ones tend to suppress themselves in tissues as we resist letting them flow through us. This blocks pathways that can lead to a variety of emotional and physical ailments. Everyone holds these ‘stressors’ in different places in the body, such as their shoulders, abdomen and in lymphatic zones such as the armpits and inner thighs.
A truly gifted holistic massage therapy healer will recognize these zones, and you may too, with a variety of physical reactions—spontaneous crying, uncontrollable laughter, shaking, and even cursing may spew from you as they are released by the treatment. This is completely normal as the recipient may experience a range of emotions like grief, anger, and sadness. However, this is one of the primary emotional benefits of massage: to allow you to let go of negative, non-serving emotional blockages. Old wounds are often naturally healed, bursts of clarity or insights may occur, resentments disappear, and the body’s aura and dynamic energy flow can return to balance. By facing those underlying issues causing energy blockages, one is ready to progress into a High Vibrational Lifestyle and a greater state of wellness and completion in mind/body/spirit.
How to Maximize the Emotional Benefits of Massage
Before scheduling a massage, be sure to look for someone with years of experience within several holistic modalities such as performing chakra activation and release techniques. The goal of an emotional release massage is to guide you to a natural state that allows trapped emotions to free themselves and ultimately dissipate on their own. However, you must be also be prepared to be an active healer in your treatments to get maximum results…you can’t just lie there and enjoy the pampering. Your healer is likely to ask you to do several things during therapy.
As your healer senses blocked emotional energies, they’ll ask you to focus on your breathing and visualize the negative energies flowing out of your body along with the flow of their hands. Either silently or vocally you might ask yourself, “How much can I let go of today?” During more vigorous release techniques you might be encouraged to let out any howls of pain or make noises that help cleanse and open the throat chakra and the heart chakra, releasing pent up emotions. As old memories or emotional issues flood back to you, imagine them dissipating and flowing out. Be completely open in your willingness to heal and be a conscious part of the process.
Does Massage Really Work for Emotional Healing?
My healer talks to me for a few minutes prior to each treatment, which is how she reads my aura, gets a sense of my energy, and assesses my mindset. During this assessment, she once asked me how I felt about these sessions. When I replied, “I believe they are helpful,” she shook her head and said, “Stephanie, you can’t ‘believe or have faith’ in anything…as the manifestor of your own reality–you must ‘know…’
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