massage for trauma nw calgary

Trauma is a complex and pervasive condition that can affect individuals in various ways, often leaving both physical and emotional scars. While traditional therapeutic methods are crucial in addressing trauma, an emerging and complementary approach gaining recognition is massage therapy. The power of touch has been harnessed for centuries, and contemporary research suggests that massage therapy can play a significant role in the treatment of trauma. In this article, we explore the ways in which massage therapy can be a valuable tool in the healing journey for those who have experienced trauma.

Understanding Trauma:

Trauma is an emotional and psychological response to a distressing event or series of events that overwhelm an individual's ability to cope. These events can range from accidents and natural disasters to abuse, violence, or loss. Trauma can manifest physically, emotionally, and even neurologically, impacting an individual's overall well-being and quality of life.

How Massage Therapy Works:

Massage therapy involves the manipulation of soft tissues and muscles to enhance physical and mental well-being. Beyond its well-known benefits for relaxation and stress reduction, massage therapy has shown promise in addressing trauma-related symptoms. Here are several ways in which massage therapy contributes to trauma recovery:

  1. Regulation of the Nervous System:

Trauma often dysregulates the autonomic nervous system, leading to symptoms such as hypervigilance, anxiety, and insomnia. Massage therapy has been found to promote the parasympathetic nervous system, which induces a state of relaxation and helps to counterbalance the effects of chronic stress. By promoting a more balanced autonomic nervous system, massage therapy can contribute to emotional regulation and a sense of safety.

  1. Releasing Tension and Holding Patterns:

Trauma can manifest as physical tension and holding patterns within the body. Massage therapy addresses these physical manifestations by releasing tight muscles and encouraging a more fluid range of motion. This can help individuals reconnect with their bodies, fostering a sense of embodiment and grounding.

  1. Emotional Release and Expression:

Stored trauma often resides in the body, and massage therapy can provide a safe space for emotional expression. The physical act of touch can facilitate the release of suppressed emotions, allowing individuals to process and integrate their traumatic experiences.

  1. Mind-Body Connection:

Massage therapy emphasizes the interconnectedness of the mind and body. By addressing physical tension and promoting relaxation, massage therapy supports a holistic approach to healing. This mind-body connection is crucial in trauma recovery, as it encourages individuals to become more aware of their bodies and emotions.

  1. Building Trust and Connection:

For individuals who have experienced trauma, trust and connection are essential components of the healing process. The therapeutic relationship formed during massage therapy can foster trust, helping individuals feel supported and understood. This connection is a crucial aspect of trauma recovery, as it provides a safe space for vulnerability and healing.


While massage therapy is not a standalone treatment for trauma, its integration into a comprehensive therapeutic approach can offer significant benefits. The healing power of touch, combined with the physiological and psychological effects of massage, makes it a valuable tool in the journey toward recovery. As research continues to explore the intersection of massage therapy and trauma treatment, it becomes increasingly evident that this holistic approach has the potential to contribute positively to the lives of trauma survivors. 

Jace Grandmaison

Jace Grandmaison

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