Massage & Anxiety
The importance of having massage as an assisted therapy to psychoanalysis can be simplified into one main point, the physiology of an anxiety attack. To understand why we can use massage to help treat anxiety you must first understand what happens during an anxiety attack. Signs such as higher blood pressure, increased heart rate, respiratory rate, etc. all signify an anxiety attack. Thus, why not counteract these signs with a therapy that physiologically brings down heart rate, respiratory rate, and high blood pressure, aka massage therapy.
A large part of this key point is high blood pressure, when an anxiety episode takes place this will cause high blood pressure which will cause the threshold level of baroreceptors to lower. Baroreceptors are found within the walls of arterial vessels, they control vasoconstrictors and vasodilators. The extent of their sensitivity can affect how easy it is for an inner or outer environment to irritant to trigger an anxiety attack. The more of these episodes you have the more sensitive your baroreceptors become, which in turn makes you more susceptible to having another anxiety attack. To be clear, people with a high threshold will be capable of withstanding an inner or outer environmental change, whereas people with low thresholds will have a harder time adapting and will therefore have a less stable nervous system.
Massage Therapy is the answer to breaking this cycle. Through a long term plan therapeutic plan of stress management and stress relief the baroreceptor threshold can be reset, therefore making the threshold higher, which will in turn lower the chances of being triggered as easily.