Massage therapy is a treatment that provides physical and mental relief for individuals recovering from substance use disorder (SUD) and co-occurring conditions. Massage therapy is an excellent way to treat physical symptoms of SUD, including muscle pain, anxiety, and depression. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), “Massage therapy is used to help manage a health condition or enhance wellness” for individuals in recovery. Bella Monte Recovery Center offers massage and other holistic therapies to increase the effectiveness of traditional treatments.
How Can Massage Therapy Treat Substance Misuse and Co-Occurring Disorders?
Substance misuse can cause changes to various body systems, resulting in increased muscle tension and stress-related pain. Massage therapy can treat the following side effects and symptoms of SUD:
- Muscle spasms
- Body aches and pains
- Headaches and migraines
Massage therapy manipulates the body in a way that naturally releases tension and is known to reduce some mental health symptoms related to trauma and SUD. Being relaxed and mindful of your bodily sensations in the moment can improve how you feel and the way you experience recovery. If you often feel emotionally overwhelmed, physically exhausted, or have difficulty focusing on tasks, massage therapy can help by relaxing the body and lowering stress hormones.
How Does Massage Therapy Improve Empathy and Holistic Healing?
Empathy and compassion are essential to holistic healing. Moving forward in recovery requires changing behavioral and thought patterns. You need to replace maladaptive coping mechanisms with healthy alternatives. Massage therapy supports these positive lifestyle changes by providing a space where clients can feel safe, comfortable, and relaxed. Lower stress, tension, and anxiety make it easier for clients to focus on rehabilitation. At Bella Monte Recovery Center, we can use massage therapy to help you find relief from side effects and symptoms that might be interfering with your mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual healing.
What Are the Primary Benefits of Massage Therapy?
According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), a “meta-analysis of 37 studies” found that a single massage therapy session led to the following:
- Reduced anxiety and depression
- Lowered blood pressure
- Decreased heart rate
In addition, the VA reported: “Preliminary evidence has shown its potential benefit for alleviating symptoms of alcohol withdrawal and reducing anxiety in alcohol, cocaine, and opiate withdrawal.” Individuals going through detox can gain significant relief from the physical and mental symptoms and side effects of SUD. Massage therapy also lowers the risk of relapse when used regularly during continuing care.
How Can Physical Relaxation Improve Mental Health?
Physical relaxation can improve mental health and mood in several ways, including:
- Stimulating the nerves and organ systems of the body
- Reducing the production of stress hormones like cortisol
- Improving mindfulness
- Creating a meditative mental state
- Physically relaxing various muscle groups
Massage is one of the most popular forms of mindfulness-based therapy. According to the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, “Mind-body therapies, in general, address the relationship between somato-emotional awareness, coping, and emotional regulation and teach integrative strategies that may help individuals react more effectively to stress and negative emotions.” You can use alternative holistic therapies like massage to increase feelings of positivity and strengthen the mind-body connection. The better you feel about yourself and your body, the easier it will be to show compassion and kindness to others.
How Does Massage Therapy Encourage Self-Forgiveness?
Self-forgiveness is a large part of the recovery process at Bella Monte Recovery Center. Everyone makes mistakes, and finding ways to practice self-empathy helps clients find ways to accept themselves and their circumstances. Massage therapy is a wonderful tool for reclaiming control of your mind and body. The stimulation improves your mind-body connection and encourages you to focus on the moment and how you feel.
Mindfulness-based methods like massage therapy help clients grow and practice self-care and self-compassion. Releasing physical tension can also make it easier to let go of negative emotions, behaviors, and thoughts. Massage therapy combined with psychotherapy, medication, and peer support can help you achieve a healthier mental state during rehabilitation and long-term recovery.
How Does Massage Therapy Affect Long-Term Recovery and Aftercare?
Massage therapy is excellent for decreasing stress, anxiety, and depression during continuing care. Maintaining long-term sobriety involves using preventative measures like stress reduction techniques to sustain emotional stability. According to the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, “Massage . . . is thought to be clinically useful for increasing awareness of tension, cueing individuals to physical symptoms of stress and habitual patterns of responding to stress that may be important for relapse prevention.” You can use the stronger mind-body connection during massage sessions to notice changes to your body that may reveal potential issues before they become a problem.
Massage therapy is a great way to achieve a fully relaxed state in a low-stress environment. Bella Monte Recovery Center offers referrals and information about community-based resources for alumni who complete our treatment programs. You can collaborate with the clinical team and your case manager to determine if massage therapy would benefit your long-term recovery.
Massage therapy uses physical stimulation and mindfulness to improve mental health and emotional well-being. Research has proven that massage therapy and other holistic treatments can positively affect the results of traditional psychotherapy for individuals recovering from substance misuse and co-occurring conditions. The experts at Bella Monte Recovery Center use massage therapy to help clients embrace positive lifestyle changes by encouraging self-care and compassion. You can find quick and effective relief from the physical toll of chronic stress using massage therapy. Rehabilitation involves utilizing every tool at your disposal to recover and grow. Massage therapy is one way to improve your mind-body connection and increase self-awareness in a healthy way. We offer personalized treatments designed to help clients heal from the devastating effects of SUD and underlying mental health issues. To find out more about our treatment programs, call Bella Monte Recovery Center today at (800) 974-1938.