Massage and Mental Health

In honor of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, ABMP has compiled a list of some of our free resources, such as articles from Massage & Bodywork magazine, podcasts episodes from The ABMP Podcast, videos, and more.

Massage and Mental Health

"Massage & Emotional Wellness: From PTSD to Depression, Hands-On Work Offers Relief" (article)

Massage therapy offers myriad physical benefits, but we sometimes forget everything hands-on treatments can do for our emotional well-being. This article takes a look at the importance of touch and some of the specific ways it can help our mental and emotional health. By Ruth Werner

"The Mental Health Referral: An MT’s Obligation to the Client" (article)

Making a mental health referral can be a difficult decision for any massage therapist. Am I certain this client needs mental health services? Will they be offended if I suggest they see a counselor? Will they return after such a referral? These are a few of the questions massage therapists face as they consider referring clients for psychological services. By Jeremy Smith


Depression, Anxiety & More

"Understanding Stress" (article)

Stress is likely to have some degree of influence on every client you work with; it can also be a factor in your health and happiness as a therapist. It is essential that every massage therapist understand stress in order to recognize its impact on various conditions and diseases, on general health, and on a person’s sense of wellness. By Anne Williams

"Bipolar Disorder: Living at the Edge of Experience" (article)

Bipolar disorder, sometimes called manic depression, is a common, severe, and progressive mood disorder. It appears in several subtypes, but the unifying factor is fluctuation between depression and mania: the two extreme ends of the arc of human moods, with minimal time spent between them in the “normal” zone. By Ruth Werner

"Worrying About Worrying: Massage Therapy and Anxiety Disorders" (article)

Anxiety disorders affect roughly one in every eight adults in the United States. These conditions cross over all races and ages, but because they can make it difficult to keep a job or maintain relationships, and because medical intervention can be difficult to access, they are disproportionately high among the lowest socioeconomic groups. By Ruth Werner

"Antianxiety Foot Massage" (article)

There is a growing body of research pertaining to the effects of various forms of foot massage—including reflexology—on anxiety, depression, immune system response, nausea, pain, and stress. A general review of the literature between the years 1999–2007 found that foot work is demonstrating significant outcomes within a broad spectrum of populations, from postsurgical patients to people with cancer to middle-aged women to hospitalized patients. By John Mramor

Ep 96 – “I am enough”: Addressing Anxiety with Amanda Huggins (podcast)

Anxiety coach Amanda Huggins helps us get to the emotions underneath the umbrella term anxiety—fear, guilt, imposter syndrome—and lets us know the difference between the stories we tell ourselves (unpacking how beliefs began) and our truths.

Ep 99 – Addressing Anxiety Part 2 with Amanda Huggins (podcast)

Huggins discusses how to work with clients with anxiety (space holding, not advice; supportive affirmations, not comparisons) and advocates for all of us to “triple down on self-care.”

Depression — Pocket Pathology (resource)

Anxiety Disorders— Pocket Pathology (resource)


Disordered Eating

"Eat Your Way Happy: Body Respect, Distorted Self-Image, and Massage" (article)

This article examines some of the health and pathology issues related to chronic over- and under-eating, with special emphasis on the role massage can play as our clients live with these challenges. We will address three basic varieties of disordered eating: anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating. By Ruth Werner

Ep 95 – Disordered Eating: “I Have a Client Who . . .” Pathology Conversations with Ruth Werner (podcast)

This story is a delicate one. The client has an eating disorder that the massage therapist thinks is pretty advanced, and may be getting worse. This episode dives into some of the serious consequences of eating disorders and the important role massage therapy may play. It may be upsetting for people who struggle with eating disorders, so please consider this a trigger warning.

Anorexia Nervosa — Pocket Pathology (resource)

Bulimia Nervosa — Pocket Pathology (resource)



Ep 15 – Emotional First Aid with Chopra Center Certified Angie Parris-Raney (podcast)

Learn how to move through clinging to past stories and the anxiety surrounding the future in order to find balance in the present. Move away from victim languaging and into clear and specific processes.

Ep 59 – Self-Care is Not a Luxury with Heath and Nicole Reed (podcast)

Find out how to claim more passion and power from your sessions, how to move from guarding to growing, and how to undo mental stress with doable daily self-care. Breathe, move, focus—the Reeds’ keys to healthy well-being.

Ep 91 – An Ayurvedic Lifestyle: Detox on the Equinox with Angie Parris-Raney (podcast)

Angie Parris-Raney lays the foundation for bringing fresh energy and movement to our seasonal transition into spring. She gives five tips on improving diet, exercise, meditation, tongue scraping, and self-massage. And, she informs us about avoiding FLUNC foods.

ABMP Self-Care Portal for Members (resource)

Use these resources created especially for massage and bodywork therapists to evolve your personal self-care practices. ABMP members can earn free CE hours for many of these activities in the ABMP Education Center.

ABMP Meditate & Move (video)

A series of short meditations featuring Angie Parris-Raney, LMT, Chopra Center Certified. #MeditateAndMove​​​​​



If you feel healthy, happy and relax, people around you will can feel your good energy. Giving happiness around you!


I have been a Massage Therapist for 25 years and just joined the ABMP and am thoroughly enjoying all of these posts and classes.  I want to share this list for my clients.  Having an integrated approach for whole health, especially having resources ( a list ) has made all the difference for me personally when I'm injured or need any kind of care  ( I'm currently  3 weeks post op from ruptured achilles).  Again, thank you! 


Agenda Confirms CAMTC Could Seek Fee Hike

CAMTC's meeting agenda confirms there may be a vote on a fee increase and discloses meeting location. Submit comments to the CAMTC as soon as possible.


Make Gratitude Part of Your Daily Life

Man Giving Thanks to Nature.

While this is the time of year that #gratitude starts trending, living a grateful life is not something to wrap up in a day, a week, a month . . . or a hashtag. We need to honor it all from an open heart.

Upledger CranioSacral Therapy Can Help with PTSD

CranioSacral Therapy can help with PTSD.

CranioSacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, hands-on treatment modality that releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and dysfunction and improve whole-body health and performance.


ABMP’s Lymph Talk Series

Lymph Talk is a series of conversations ABMP Director of Professional Education Kristin Coverly had with practitioners who specialize in the manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) modality. These talks were recorded in conjunction with the October 25, 2022, free, online ABMP CE Summit on Lymph. Kristin says, “My hope is that these conversations increase the awareness of MLD and demonstrate how effective it can be with different populations so massage therapists and bodyworkers are inspired to learn more about this gentle, yet powerful modality!”

2022 ABMP CE Summit Course—MLD: Basic Techniques for the Neck and Face

Gain an understanding of manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) movements and the location of important lymphatic structures as you watch Nicola McGill’s dynamic demonstration of three MLD techniques and MLD sequences for the neck and face. Learn about this important modality that, when provided effectively, can support and enhance the movement of lymph fluid through the lymphatic vessels and eventually back to the cardiovascular system.

2022 ABMP CE Summit Course—Introduction to Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is a gentle, rhythmic form of bodywork that enhances and supports the movement of fluid through the lymphatic system to support health and well-being. Developed by Danish therapists Emil and Estrid Vodder in the 1930s, MLD is now practiced extensively by health and wellness practitioners and is used within the medical community to treat lymphedema and post-surgical and post-traumatic edema. Join Nicola McGill in this engaging course to learn the benefits, indications, and mechanics of this gentle, effective modality.

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