Soft Tissue Therapy and Stress

Soft Tissue Therapy has been found to be an effective treatment modality to help with stress management; in this blog Therapist Elissa Millhouse explains why.

We all talk about stress. Stress is described as a physical, mental, or emotional factor that results in mental or bodily tension. At some point we all have personally, or know of someone, affected by stress. There are a multitude of ways stress presents itself:

Stress related insomnia, digestive disorders, hearing or vision issues, high blood pressure, anxiety, fibromyalgia, soft tissue strains or injuries such as lower back stiffness, neck pain or upper back tension, headaches and migraines…..the list goes on! 

Soft Tissue Therapy has been found to be an effective treatment modality to help with stress management. Scientific studies have found that upper back and neck massage and manipulation can help reduce migraine headache attacks in patients (Noudeh et al., 2012). The preliminary evidence shows that regular Soft Tissue sessions can help to reduce stress (Rapaport et al., 2012). You just need to make time to have some sessions! 

We recommend setting aside time in your schedule for a treatment session maybe once a week, every other week or even once a month to focus on those physical and emotional symptoms of stress that a Soft Tissue Therapist can work to help alleviate. A good therapist can help identify postural issues, muscular imbalances, relieve muscular tension and headaches using soft tissue techniques as well as give specific stretches or exercises for you to do at home or at the office to help combat some of the stresses of your everyday and occupational lives. 

Some examples of the things we can all relates to that are causing soft tissue discomfort associated with everyday and occupational stresses and muscular over-use include:

  • Sitting for long periods of time in one positon at your desk
  • Looking for long periods of time at a computer screen or down at your mobile phone
  • Always picking up or carrying a bag on the same side
  • Always answering the phone using the same side

All these actions when performed repeatedly in daily life can lead to chronic pain conditions. Soft Tissue Therapy can help reduce the development of painful muscular patterning and help release muscular tension that builds up from these daily stresses. 

Soft Tissue Therapy can also help reduce tension, anxiety, improve circulation and strengthen the immune system. Beyond the benefits of STT for specific muscular conditions a session away from the stresses of your daily and occupational life can give you time to relax, reconnect and focus on your body, health and mind.

If you’re interested in getting soft tissue therapy book your appointment here. 


Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2012; 5(1): 5 – 13.
Reduction of Current Migraine Headache Pain Following Neck Massage and Spinal Manipulation
Younes Jahangiri Noudeh, MD,1,* Nasibeh Vatankhah, MD,1 and Hamid R. Baradaran, MD, PhD

J Altern Complement Med. 2012 Aug; 18(8): 789 – 797.
A Preliminary Study of the Effects of Repeated Massage on Hypothalamic – Pituitary – Adrenal and Immune Function in Healthy Individuals: A Study of Mechanisms of Action and Dosage
Mark H. Rapaport, MD, Pamela Schettler, PhD, and Catherine Bresee.