Massage, depression and anxiety.
Stress can hurt. Real, actual, physical pain. Studies show that depression and anxiety can lower your pain threshold, potentially making minor aches and pains into major problems. You may have noticed this first hand when your neck pain or headaches started getting worse when your job (or family) gets more stressful. Another common symptom of mood and anxiety disorders is something called somatization, a phenomenon where the body produces physical symptoms like pain, stiffness, and digestive issues as a manifestation of stress.
No, it does not mean that the pain is “all in your head” either. The pain is real, and it’s not something that you can just ignore or thing your way out of. It is a situation that for your pain issues to be resolved, it will also require you to deal with the psychological factors that are causing or exacerbating it.
The other side of that coin, is that pain can cause mood and anxiety problems. People with chronic pain are more likely to suffer from depression. Pain can also change how a person deals with stress. If your low back is constantly in pain, it’s harder to deal with daily stressors that also need to be handled.
It’s difficult to answer which came first, the stress, or the pain? However, the good news is that dealing with one will help the other. Reducing stress is an awesome way of addressing chronic pain. Getting your pain under control is an excellent way of reducing your stress!
It’s important to use massage therapy as a complementary treatment. If you have chronic pain that won’t go away, make an appointment with a physician. They can run diagnostic tests and refer you to any necessary specialists. Likewise, if you have more stress than you can handle, or if you’re in a funk that just won’t lift, going to talk to a therapist can also help.
There are also activities that have shown to be beneficial for both pain and stress. Light to moderate physical activity can be beneficial for many pain disorders, as well as being very effective for a wide variety of mood and anxiety disorders.
Research has shown to be beneficial for many pain conditions, including arthritis, chronic low back pain, headaches, and fibromyalgia. It has also been proven to be effective for both depression and anxiety, demonstrating immediate and long-term benefits!
Admitting you may need help is not a weakness. Love yourself, be kind to yourself. Talking about depression and anxiety may be hard, but it’s worth exploring. There are professionals that can help and massage can be an excellent complement to their treatments.
Schedule your massage appointment to see how it helps you control stress and anxiety while reducing your pain!