Post-traumatic stress disorder can develop in anyone at any time. Exposure to trauma, whether you witnessed or experienced it, can make it hard to move forward emotionally and mentally. It feels as though the distress and anxiety caused by the event simply won't let you move on.
Know the Signs
There are several symptoms of PTSD, many of them inducing stress that can wear away at your health. You may suffer general anxiety or have flashbacks to the event. Some people struggle with nightmares that make them afraid to try to sleep, while others want to do nothing but sleep. The inability to leave the event behind can put some people in a constant state of fight or flight, making it hard to focus and concentrate. If you're struggling with any of these symptoms, know that a massage can help. You will be grounded in place with only one other person, and you can start to feel safe again.
PTSD and Disconnection
Let your massage professional know if you are struggling with PTSD, particularly if it relates to a violent act upon your body or a war-related injury. Bodily autonomy is challenging for many sufferers of PTSD. You may become hypervigilant about being touched or letting anyone get close to you. Some PTSD sufferers simply isolate themselves as they're unable to feel safe in the presence of other people. Working with a massage professional who lets you know what's going to happen next is critical as you move back into the world.
PTSD can limit your enjoyment of life. You may avoid noisy places, such as restaurants. Some sufferers simply can't relax in social situations. Starting a massage schedule can help you overcome these concerns by requiring you to make an appointment to be touched and setting up specific times when you can do nothing but relax. In addition to enjoying a relaxing massage that will improve blood flow and simply give you pleasure, you will enjoy quiet time alone and with your massage therapist before, during and after your massage. Quiet and peaceful relaxation can calm both your body and mind, reducing your anxiety and helping you to focus.
PTSD isn't just in your head. If you've been through a traumatic event, particularly if it was violence against your person, you know that safety isn't promised. This can stick with you and start to poison your quality of life. Massage therapy can be a helpful part of your return to wellness by helping your body to relax and function more effectively against the stress of PTSD.