Stress and anxiety bring many people to the relaxing, nurturing tables of massage therapists. And numerous research studies have shown that massage therapy relaxes the autonomic nervous system, lessens stress, reduces blood pressure, reduces depression and boosts immune-system function.

New, unrelated research indicates one in three post-partum women suffers post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms after giving birth.

A Tel Aviv University researcher has found that approximately one third of all post-partum women exhibit some symptoms of PTSD, and a smaller percentage develop full-blown PTSD following the ordeal of labor, according to a press release.

“Of those women who developed post-traumatic symptoms, 80 percent opted for natural childbirth without pain relief,” the press release noted. “Other significant factors identified include the woman’s body image (including discomfort with being in an undressed state for the relatively prolonged period of labor and undergoing elective Caesarean sections), fear during labor, and complications in the present and earlier pregnancies and labors.”

The study was published in the Israel Medical Association Journal.

Related articles:

Research Shows Massage Therapy Relaxes the Autonomic Nervous System

Infant Massage Helps Decrease Postnatal Depression

Massage Benefits Depressed Pregnant Women