What Does ADHD Have to Do with Massage?
You may be wondering why I’m going on about ADHD on my blog on my massage therapy website … what on earth does ADHD have to do with massage therapy??
Well, funny you should ask.
As it happens, I have a little obsession with brains and nervous systems — being “neurodivergent*” myself and having two delightfully neurodivergent kids, I guess it kind of makes sense. I also have a layperson’s interest in (obsession with) trauma, and while I have no credentials or training, I have done quite a bit of research about trauma over the years — and, as researchers such as Dr. Bessel van der Kolk** are discovering, trauma is largely a nervous system disorder.
The thing about neurodivergent brains and nervous systems, as well as traumatized ones, is that they are often (for lots of reasons I hope to explore much more in future blogs) in a state of high alert, vigilantly on the lookout for danger everywhere. This means that their sympathetic nervous system, what is often referred to as the flight, flight, or freeze response, is frequently engaged and on high alert.
And let me tell you: this can be exhausting! It can also make a body very, very cranky.
So what is a body to do? Anything that helps to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, sometimes referred to the rest and digest response.
And you know what activates the old parasympathetic nervous system really, really well? You guessed it: massage therapy! Specifically, the much maligned and totally under-appreciated Swedish massage.
This week I am going to be singing the praises of the Swedish massage, and offering some tips about how you can use Swedish massage techniques in partner- and self-massage in order to sooth anxious and overstimulated nervous systems.
Including those with ADHD!
In the meantime, I would love for you to click through to YouTube and watch my latest video, about women and ADHD. And if you feel so inclined, it would help me so much for you to like my video, share it, leave a comment—and please do me a special favor, and subscribe to my channel!
Hang in there, and I’ll see you tomorrow.
* The term “neurodivergent” describes the brains of people who are wired differently than is typical, such as people with ADHD and autistic people; it is in contrast to “neurotypical” which describes ordinary, run-of-the-mill brains ;-)
** If you are interested in trauma, you should definitely check out Dr. Bessel van der Kolk’s book The Body Keeps the Score.