Massage Therapy for Military Veterans


It's well-established that massage therapy can help reduce stress and depression, as well as help manage pain. It's no surprise then that massage therapy can be beneficial to military veterans and the unique challenges they might face.

The Benefits of Massage Therapy for Veterans

  • Reduced anxiety, worry, depression and pain. Research published in Military Medicine reports that military veterans indicated significant reductions in ratings of anxiety, worry, depression and physical pain after massage therapy. Analysis also suggests declining levels of tension and irritability following massage. Continue reading »
  • Greater mind-body awareness, reduced pain. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by the intrusive re-experiencing of trauma, avoidance and emotional numbing and hyperarousal of the sympathetic nervous system. A study on female veterans shows massage therapy can have positive benefits by reducing pain and promoting greater awareness of the mind-body connection. Continue reading »
  • Help the symptoms of disassociation. Research also indicates massage therapy may be effective for those clients who experience dissociation as a symptom of PTSD, allowing these clients to experience a more coherent sense of self, which for some is a primary reason they initially seek out massage therapy. Continue reading »


What to Consider When Getting a Massage

  • If you have health conditions, check with your physician before beginning massage therapy. Consider working with a mental health professional, especially if there is a history of PTSD or trauma.
  • Search for a qualified massage therapist at FindaMassageTherapist.org and ask if they have experience working with veterans.
  • Talk to your massage therapist about what you hope to achieve with massage, and together determine an approach.
  • Communication is vital. Always let your massage therapist know what your expectations are, and communicate if you are uncomfortable at any point during the massage.

Find a Trusted Massage Therapist

Members of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) are the most trusted massage therapists in the United States.


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