8 Benefits of Massage Therapy for Veterans  

The heroes of our country may return from service with unique physical and mental health challenges. A recent study by the VHA indicated that 44% of veterans have received massage therapy for different health purposes. So, it’s easy to say that massage therapy for veterans has been a proven tool for their healing and well-being. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the benefits of massage therapy for our veterans.  

What Does Massage Therapy for Veterans Include?  

Massage therapy for veterans includes many different elements. From the types of techniques, integration with other therapies, and even tailored treatment plans, let’s go through it all.  

Types of Massage Therapies for Veterans 

Tailored Treatment Plan 

Depending on individual needs, health conditions, and preferences, massage therapy for veterans will likely include a personalized treatment plan. Your therapist will be able to discuss the type of therapy, the amount of pressure, the areas to focus on, and even the frequency of sessions.  

Integration with Other Therapies 

Massage therapy pairs great with other types of therapies. These include physical therapy, mental health counseling, acupuncture, chiropractic care, occupational therapy, and other alternative treatments. Chiropractic care is another type of therapy that is on the rise, with 37% of veterans claiming to have used this type of care.  

Education and Self-Care 

Another aspect of massage therapy for veterans is education. Therapists will help guide you through self-care and explain the importance of understanding good posture, ergonomics, at-home stretching, and stress management techniques. Massage therapists will also give tips on at-home self-massage techniques such as using a foam roller.  

veteran who needs a massage grabbing at his lower back in army camo outfit

What are Some of the Benefits of Massage Therapy for Veterans? 

So, now that we know what massage therapy for veterans entails, let’s get into some of the many benefits of it!  

Here are our Top 8 Benefits 

1. Pain Relief Therapy 

Many veterans and military members deal with chronic pain, especially those with injuries or disabilities. Whether it’s joint pain, muscle tension, soreness, or other common issues such as arthritis, massage therapy can help alleviate the pain.  

2. Massages Lead to Stress Reduction  

Veterans often experience high stress levels from past deployment experiences. In fact, 8% of veterans who were screened came back positive for Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Massage therapy inherently promotes relaxation, reduces overall anxiety, and helps mental well-being, which is a big win for our vets.  

3. Massage and PTSD  

A study from the VA shows that Veterans who have been deployed are 3 times more likely to have PTSD. While massage can not cure PTSD, it has been proven to alleviate some of the symptoms of it. This is because massage stimulates a “kind” human touch, which starts a relaxation response due to positive-feeling hormones released in the body.  

4. Improved Sleep From Muscle Manipulation  

93% of veterans with PTSD also have insomnia. Sleep is important for every aspect of your life, from mental to physical. Massage therapy can help veterans tremendously with their sleep quality with frequent appointments.  

5. Reduced Medication Dependency  

Since massage addresses pain, stress, and sleep issues, it can also lower the need for these types of medications offering veterans a more holistic approach to their wellness.  

6. Boosted Immunity With Regular Appointments 

Evidence suggests that regular massage therapy can boost the immune system, helping veterans stay healthier and better able to cope with physical and environmental stressors. 

7. Enhanced Mobility Success 

Another great benefit of massage therapy for veterans is its contributions to better mobility! Mobility issues can lead to more injuries and chronic pain. Massage therapy can improve your flexibility, joint function, range of motion, and overall mobility.  

8. Overall Improved Quality of Life 

For veterans, massage therapy can greatly improve their overall quality of life. Due to the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of this therapy, it promotes a sense of well-being and empowerment that greatly improves quality of life.  

Women Veterans and Massage Therapy  

While all the data on this blog referring to veterans also includes our women vets, we thought it was important to shed a special light on the benefits of massage therapy specific to women veterans. One reason for this is the release of a newer study by the National Library of Medicine. Female veterans experience high rates of chronic pain, depression, and anxiety when compared to male veterans. This 2022 study indicates that female veterans who received effleurage massage greatly benefited the women. Now, experts are saying massage may be an effective and safe treatment for pain and/or anxiety when integrated into women’s healthcare.  

What Does the VA’s Whole Health Say About Massage and Veterans? 

The VA’s ‘Whole Health’ program is all about supporting veterans and their families in a personalized way, focusing on their values, needs, and goals. Did you know that within this program, the VA recommends massage therapy for veterans dealing with pain? It’s backed by evidence and designed to offer safe, effective, and holistic relief.  

Littleton Massage Supports Veterans  

Here at Littleton Massage and Sports Therapy, we support our vets. We understand the great benefits of massage therapy for veterans and offer 15% off to our heroes. We are housed with expert therapists offering a range of different massage services and wellness program memberships. Make an appointment today!  

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