Massage Therapy Can Help Those Who Suffer From PTSD

March 3, 2016

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Not Only Affects One Psychologically, But Physically


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is the possible after effect of witnessing, or participating in, a traumatic event. PTSD is most commonly symptomatic in those returning from war.


“The event often includes physical and/or psychological harm to an individual or a loved one. Triggers of PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or man-made disasters, accidents, or military combat,” writes Dixie Wall, a contributing writer for Massage Today.


“Evidence demonstrates that massage therapy eases suffering caused by this disorder and assists in the recovery process,” she writes.


Symptoms of, and Massage Treatments for, PTSD


Wall suggests that symptoms PTSD include: flashbacks and/or nightmares, avoidance/numbing, a feeling of estrangement from others, hyperarousal/hypervigilance, and a feeling of constantly being in danger. She adds that other common symptoms include: sleep disturbance, physical pain, irritability, depression, suicidal thoughts, and no longer feeling at home in one's body.


“Traditional treatment includes pharmacology and psychotherapies, cognitive behavioral programs, exposure therapies, and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR),” she writes. Cognitive behavioral treatments include: psychoeducation, anxiety management, exposure and cognitive restructuring.


“Alternative medicine, massage and bodywork, along with traditional methods, can help victims of PTSD in the recovery process,” she writes, adding that in the hands of a well-intentioned therapist, massage for clients with PTSD acknowledges and helps to restore the most basic human needs of safety, trust, control, self-worth and intimacy.


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Verified by Nick Gabriele.