You will encounter many different forms of massage depending where around the world you travel. However in this modern age, you can probably find all significant forms of massage within a close proximity.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) develops in persons who have been through events that are scary, shocking, or dangerous. These events might be related to combat or it might involve trauma, violence, or abuse.
Although everybody experiences some form of traumatic event at one point or another, people with PTSD react to traumatic events continuously. The traumatic event is not resolved naturally as time passes by. Usually, people who suffer from PTSD feel stressed even though they aren’t in actual danger.
Similar to most mental health disorders, PTSD is treated with a comprehensive approach. It might include prescription medication and psychotherapy helping the person combat trauma.
Cognitive therapy is a technique which involves helping the patient recognize thought patterns keeping them stuck. For example, for PTSD patients, cognitive therapy might help them recognize normal situations from traumatic situations and help them avoid misinterpreting events.
Exposure therapy, on the other hand, allows a person to re-enact the traumatic setting and is usually applied through virtual reality. It helps people with PTSD to confront what they think is frightening or threatening. In this way, they can effectively cope with it.
Usually, exposure therapy and cognitive therapy are done in combination. In addition, anti-anxiety medications and anti-depressants are prescribed to the patient. For those who wish to undergo through massage therapy, a person must do so with the advise of a psychiatrist. Clients might be at risk of becoming mad or even worsening PTSD symptoms due to the massage therapy session.
Massage Therapy And Its Benefits For Those With PTSD
Massage therapy provides various benefits such as decreased anxiety, reduced depression, stress relief, and improved personal mood. A 2012 study found out that the patients who underwent through massage therapy reported substantial reductions in irritability, physical pain, tension, anxiety, depression, and worry. Another study involving Somali women refugees who suffered from sexual trauma and/or military trauma found that massage can helps relieve psychological and physical symptoms due to trauma.
Research also states that massage might be an effective technique for patients experiencing dissociation. As a result, patients experience a significantly more coherent and whole sense of self.
There are multiple aspects of massage that appears to give benefits to patients suffering from PTSD. Generally, it gives them a sense of comfort, control, and safety which they cannot grasp within themselves.
In addition, therapists can give patients with strategies for self-care. In this way, they can prolong the benefits achieved in massage sessions. Therapists can provide instructions on how to manage stress and soothe one’s self.
What Therapists Should Know About Handling Patients With PTSD
Safety and trust are two important factors in working with PTSD patients. Those who suffer from the said condition have a hard time trusting others. That’s why it’s important to build trust with the patient.
Therapists must develop a meaningful professional relationship with the client. It might take time but the patient must know that he or she can trust the therapist.
Communication is important from start to finish. The therapist should prioritise the client’s safety during the intake process. It might necessitate asking about the touch history of the patient.
Asking the patient his or her preferences is very important as well. And, the therapist must follow these preferences. The session should involve giving and receiving feedback. It is best to ask the patient if he or she feels unsafe or uncomfortable. In addition, the therapist should go slow and try not to rush. Those who experienced trauma need compassion and care into their lives and this can be reinforced into a relaxing massage therapy session.
Patients with PTSD have a history of experiencing traumatic events in their lives. They have a difficult time trusting people and they get agitated easily. These people require an integrative approach to managing and treating their disorder.
Cognitive therapy, prescription medication, and exposure therapy have been used to treat people with this disorder. One treatment method has shown promising results, massage therapy.
Research has shown that massage therapy can be a useful tool to help patients suffering from PTSD. It is in the hands of the therapist to work closely with the patient and ensure that he or she feels safe and comfortable.
If you or your loved one has PTSD and has been advised by the psychiatrist to undergo through massage therapy as a complementary treatment method, you can find a spa or clinic. Ensure that you work with an experienced therapist and relax your stress away with massages.