Massage Therapy and PTSD

With all of this talk lately about VA scandals and the need to improve the quality of care for our veterans, AND the fact that Memorial Day is coming up soon, I thought it would be appropriate to share some information about the benefits of massage therapy for the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Over the years I have worked with many active and former military clients, from all branches of the service. With those suffering from PTSD, I have personally observed great improvements in their symptoms when they received continuous massage therapy. Most notably, clients reported that they slept better, had decreased anxiety, had more energy, had decreased pain, as well as many other benefits. In doing more research, I have also come across some studies that support the benefits of massage therapy for PTSD.

This first article is a study published by the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2012. It is a comprehensive look at PTSD treatment and includes a recommendation for Complimentary Alternative Medicine (CAM) (which includes massage therapy), as part of the treatment plan.

This second article, published by the American Massage Therapy Association in 2000, goes into greater detail about the specific benefits of massage therapy for the treatment of PTSD.

I personally believe that the best approach to PTSD is integrated treatment. This may look different for each individual based on their needs, but could include psychotherapy, family/group therapy, pain management, medications, massage therapy, physical therapy, and other modalities. Overall I encourage clients and families to learn all they can, try different things, seek different opinions, take charge of their health, and do what works for them. Knowledge, after all, is power. 

1/13/2023 5:00:00 AM
Chrystin Montowski
I am Chrystin Montowski, licensed massage therapist for Elements Therapeutic Massage in Boulder, CO. With over ten years of experience, I am dedicated to providing my clients with professional service, personalized care, and a variety of massage treatment options to help bring you a greater sense of relaxation and well-b...
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