Benefit of Massage Therapy and it's success treating a spectrum of anxiety and panic disorders.
Note from eLi: As anyone who has had a really good massage can attest - Massage is one of the best alternative treatments for stress, anxiety, panic, and mood disorders. Below is information on clinical studies supporting massage as an effective choice when included in a protocol that may include pharmaceuticals and other forms of treatment - and in some cases even an alternative to drug therapies when under the supervision of a physician.
Moyer, C.A., Rounds, J., , J.W. (2004). A Meta-Analysis of Massage Therapy Research. APA Psychological Bulletin. 130(1): 3–18.
Summary: Massage therapy (MT) is an ancient form of treatment that is now gaining popularity as part of the complementary and alternative medical therapy movement. A meta-analysis was conducted of studies that used random assignment to test the effectiveness of MT. Mean effect sizes were calculated from 37 studies for 9 dependent variables. Single applications of MT reduced state anxiety, blood pressure, and heart rate but not negative mood, immediate assessment of pain, and cortisol level. Multiple applications reduced delayed assessment of pain. Reductions of trait anxiety and depression were MT’s largest effects, with a course of treatment providing benefits similar in magnitude to those of psychotherapy. No moderators were statistically significant, though continued testing is needed. The limitations of a medical model of MT are discussed, and it is proposed that new MT theories and research use a psychotherapy perspective.
The effect of Earthing aka Grounding on Anxiety and Stress
Note from eLi: You can benefit from the Earth's ions anytime for free by going outside and connecting to the Earth by standing or sitting on grass, dirt, sand, or rock, barefoot or with exposed skin contacting the Earth. If you are not outdoors enough there are excellent grounding products to assist. Grounding is particularly helpful at night by the use of grounding sheets. For information on products see the link below.
The biologic effects of grounding the human body during sleep as measured by cortisol levels and subjective reporting of sleep, pain, and stress.
Diurnal cortisol secretion levels were measured and circadian cortisol profiles were evaluated in a pilot study conducted to test the hypothesis that grounding the human body to earth during sleep will result in quantifiable changes in cortisol. It was also hypothesized that grounding the human body would result in changes in sleep, pain, and stress (anxiety, depression, irritability), as measured by subjective reporting.
SUBJECTS AND INTERVENTIONS:
Twelve (12) subjects with complaints of sleep dysfunction, pain, and stress were grounded to earth during sleep for 8 weeks in their own beds using a conductive mattress pad. Saliva tests were administered to establish pregrounding baseline cortisol levels. Levels were obtained at 4-hour intervals for a 24-hour period to determine the circadian cortisol profile. Cortisol testing was repeated at week 6. Subjective symptoms of sleep dysfunction, pain, and stress were reported daily throughout the 8-week test period.
Measurable improvements in diurnal cortisol profiles were observed, with cortisol levels significantly reduced during night-time sleep. Subjects' 24-hour circadian cortisol profiles showed a trend toward normalization. Subjectively reported symptoms, including sleep dysfunction, pain, and stress, were reduced or eliminated in nearly all subjects.
Results indicate that grounding the human body to earth ("earthing") during sleep reduces night-time levels of cortisol and resynchronizes cortisol hormone secretion more in alignment with the natural 24-hour circadian rhythm profile. Changes were most apparent in females. Furthermore, subjective reporting indicates that grounding the human body to earth during sleep improves sleep and reduces pain and stress.