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How Massage Can Help Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, from a medical point of view, is effectively a chemical imbalance in the brain caused by severe trauma or stress. When you are witness to a terrifying or stressful event your fight or flight instinct kicks in and it can be difficult to switch off this heightened emotional reaction. In fact an inability to switch off and relax from a heightened sense of anxiety and tension is one of the main symptoms of PTSD. Massage can help to control this on a simple and fundamental level because one of the main aims of massage is to relax tensed muscles. When the PTSD sufferers muscles are constantly tense and ‘ready for action’ this can cause them physical as well as emotional pain. However massage can help to ease this as well as to encourage the person to relax and take time out to focus on themselves: as well as encourage themselves to feel vulnerable in front of another person, no doubt for the first time in a long time.