Did you know that since October 2001, there have been approximately 1.64 million U.S. troops deployed for Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom in Afghanistan and Iraq? According to RAND, 18.5 percent of those men and women returning to our country meet the criteria for either Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or depression.
PTSD sufferers have a hard time letting go of the trauma that they experienced. When the brain is triggered, they are forced to relive that experience over and over again. The symptoms of PTSD are flashbacks and nightmares, difficulty sleeping, feelings of detachment or distance, and chronic pain or fatigue.
People who suffer from PTSD are always in a heightened state of anxiety because they are constantly reliving their traumatic experience – causing their bodies to remain in a state of fight or flight.
How massage can help
People who suffer from PTSD are often hyper-aroused, have difficulty relaxing, and often time have an underlying fear and mistrust of people. Massage can do a number of things to help relieve all of these symptoms.
It provides relaxation
A good massage therapist can help the body relax by actually triggering the body’s relaxation response. This breaks that fight or flight response and helps the person relax. Once they are able to relax, circulation improves and sleep patterns can return to normal.
It improves biochemistry
There was a study done in 2005 by the University of Miami School of Medicine that showed positive changes in biochemistry after massage therapy was performed. This included reduced cortisol and increased serotonin and dopamine. The positive changes in biochemistry resulted in reduced feelings of hyperarousal and ease in anxiety and suffering.
It increases confidence
Another benefit of massage is the confidence a massage therapist can help reestablish for the PTSD sufferer. Many people who suffer from PTSD have a fear and mistrust for others. Because of the professional nature of massage therapy, there is a relationship of trust that can be built between a massage therapist and PTSD sufferer that can translate to increased confidence and relaxation in social and physical interactions.
Massage is also an excellent stress management tool. Let’s not forget the family members of military personnel who endure stress while their loved ones are away from them!
Now through July 4th, we are offering a 15% discount to military personnel, veterans and military family members who present their military I.D. at any of our three locations.
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