Massage Therapy for Military Veterans


Massage for Military Veterans

Military veterans can face a host of health concerns upon returning from service, from chronic pain related to physical injuries, to emotional and psychological issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

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 for military veterans and the unique challenges they might face. Share with a veteran who could benefit from this information in honor of Veterans Day!

The Benefits of Massage Therapy for Military 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 »

Achieve 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 »


Related: Military Veterans + Massage Therapy CE Course 

Take this online ce course and learn how to advance the use of massage therapy for military veterans especially those receiving services through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Explore how complementary and integrative health (CIH) approaches, including massage therapy, are gaining ground in practice and research. 

Register Now + Earn 3 CE credits »


What Military Veterans Should 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 trauma or PTSD.
  • Search for a qualified massage therapist at the American Massage Therapy Association's FindaMassageTherapist.org and ask if they have experience working with military veterans.
  • Talk to your massage therapist about what you hope to achieve with massage therapy, and together outline 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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"I am very glad to be aligned with a professional organization that gives so much to its members."

Satu F., AMTA member since 2003

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