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Would Physical Therapy Help with Anxiety and Depression?

The answer is, YES. Struggling with anxiety and depression can cause sufferers to withdraw socially and emotionally. It can interfere with work, school, relationships and even the ability to perform basic activities of daily living. Getting better can begin with these different types of physical therapy that can help by reducing cortisol and adrenaline and by increasing serotonin and dopamine. The sensation of touch can activate the skin’s pressure receptors. It can also have an impact on the relationship to your physical self, allowing you to feel more present and aware in your own body. It will also reinforce feelings of comfort and relaxation.

Some individuals think that you can treat your anxiety and depression on your own, but sometimes that just isn’t the case. You can tell yourself to just get over it, you can apply logic and reason by telling yourself that it doesn’t make sense to be anxious or depressed, you seek out the logic and reason of others from friends with perspective and experts with authority, but you will still worry or still feel jittery. You will try to distract yourself, hoping that will work. If you do not have an obvious source of your anxiety or depression, it can lead to several feelings including worry, fear, unease, restlessness, trouble concentrating or sleeping. Some of the main symptoms for anxiety and depression are listed below:

Symptoms of Anxiety:

Symptoms of Depression:

  •  Muscle tension, aches or trembling
  • Feeling restless or on edge
  • Fast heartbeat or palpitations
  • Fast or troubled breathing
  • Upset stomach or nausea
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Hot flashes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Frequent urination
  • Constantly feeling sad, anxious or “empty”
  • Overeating or appetite loss
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
  • Irritability or restlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable
  • Fatigued and decreased energy
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions
  • Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, digestive problems

Massage can help by applying acupressure to certain points in the body, which promotes healing and wellness. As the body becomes in better balance, chemicals in the brain that play a role in mood may also be positively affected. Massage can help to reduce mild to moderate symptoms of anxiety and depression. Massage can reduce stress hormones and encourage production of serotonin which promotes feelings of well-being. Massage therapy can cleanse the body of impurities. It helps by breaking down toxins and waste that are built up in muscles. It will help you to relax, soothe aches and pains in multiple areas of the body, reduce blood pressure, and relieve tension. Massage reduces sleep disturbances and insomnia and reduces pain from muscle tension. Not being able to sleep results in mood swings, the inability to function and difficulty in the ability to concentrate. By improving sleep, other symptoms begin to show improvement as well, such as concentration, fatigue lessens, pain is reduced, and your emotional state improves. Massage may be a good way to get in touch with your body by having an understanding of your emotions, both positive and negative and the effect it can have on your mind and body.

Acupuncture draws in the nervous system and brain to behave in ways that match to desired effects. It seeks to address body, mind, emotions and spirit. Factors like intense emotions such as anger or stress blocks the flow of energy in the body. Acupuncture works by releasing endorphins which naturally relieves the pain-killing chemicals that will alleviate stress. Acupuncture cycles out waste chemicals like cortisol by improving blood circulation in the body which oxygenates the tissues. Acupuncture is a calming nature, as it also lowers blood pressure, decreases heart rate and relaxes the muscles. The acupuncturist will focus on the meridians in the body with the emotional connection linking to anxiety and depression. For example, the acupuncturist may work on the spleen as it relates to emotions of focusing too much on a particular topic, worry, excessive mental work and dwelling. The heart relates to absence of enthusiasm and vitality, despair, mental restlessness and insomnia. The liver relates to bitterness, anger, frustration, resentment, irritability and losing your temper suddenly or unexpectedly. The lungs relate to feelings of detachment, grief and sadness. And the kidneys relate to feeling isolated, fearful, aloof, insecure and weak willpower.

Osteopathy can help individuals suffering from anxiety and depression because it effects the musculoskeletal system of our bodies. Poor posture like hunching forward is a protective mechanism we use to defend ourselves from a potential threat causing symptoms such as headaches, muscle tightness, back pain, difficulty breathing and digestive issues. Physical manipulation, stretching and massage can be relaxing for the client. This will help the body to heal on its own by improving joint mobility, relieving muscle tension, and enhancing blood supply to the tissues. Osteopathy works in combination with other services to help to reduce anxiety and depression with its impact on the body.

Treating anxiety and depression requires different treatment for different people because people have different personalities, needs and symptoms. By adding these physical therapies into your treatment, as well including exercise, yoga or meditation can help you ease your symptoms of anxiety and depression.

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