This body massage is going viral on TikTok

This body massage is going viral on TikTok

If you suffer from anxiety or depression, TikTok’s all-knowing algorithm will eventually figure it out. Once that happens, your five-year plan will be filled with helpful tips to feel better, like the currently popular physical release massage.

The topic of somatic release has been very popular lately, with over 38 million views under the hashtag #somaticreleasemassage on TikTok. One of the best videos comes from creator @talynted_, who explains that a quick collarbone massage may help you release pent-up sadness. In another video, which has now racked up over 12 million views, creator @ugcwithindyy tried it — and sure enough, she instantly burst into tears.

This huge healing response has inspired others to try their own physical release massage, as evidenced by @ugcwithindyy’s lengthy comments section. One person said: I was shocked. “I wasn’t expecting anything (to happen) and then I immediately felt the need to cry,” while another wrote: “No joke, I immediately started crying.”

Somatic therapy comes in many forms, but this simple chest massage seems to be one of the easiest ways to rid yourself of deeply buried emotions, like sadness or anger, so you can cry and move on. Below, one therapist delves into what physical release really is and I offer my honest review of Viral Massage.

What is physical release massage?

According to Dr. Carla Marie Manley, clinical psychologist and author Joy from fearPhysical release is based on the principle of storing or trapping emotions within the body. They are usually caused by grief, buried or ignored trauma, anxiety, or other mental health concerns.

The body and mind are interconnected, so it makes sense that big emotions can get “stuck” in your muscles and eventually turn into physical problems, like tension, muscle knots, pain or headaches, Manley says.

“Somatic Release Massage uses carefully targeted structure to provide you with emotional and physical relief,” she tells Bustle. When you massage certain areas, such as your collarbone, you may notice that the area is tender – this is a good indicator that something needs releasing.

“For many, the back, neck and stomach tend to take a lot of stress and pressure,” says Manley. “Others find that the shoulder area — supported by the clavicle — is a major storage place for unprocessed emotions.” This may be due to emotional “heaviness” on your shoulders or heartache that is concentrated in this area.

Taking a minute to rub this area can relieve and relieve physical pain, turning it into a much-needed emotional moment.

How to do the physical release

Here’s how to experience this physical release massage.

  • Take your index finger and run it under your collarbone or clavicle toward your shoulder.
  • Once you hit your shoulder and the bone stops, place your middle finger.
  • Use both fingers to gently massage this area in a circular motion.
  • It is normal for the area to feel tight or painful.
  • While rubbing, you may feel an emotional release, such as tears.
  • Massage for a minute or two.
  • Remind yourself that you are in a safe place to help hold back the tears.
  • If you feel released, get rid of the bad energy by passing it over your arm.
  • This shifts or changes feelings so you can let go.
  • Repeat on the other side.
  • One side may feel more pain than the other.
  • Try this daily until you truly let go.

Give it a try

As someone who loves to cry, I was ready to rub my collarbone and unleash a wave of emotions. I traced my index finger along my collarbone, found a sore spot near my left shoulder, and began massaging in a circular motion.

I braced myself for a flood of tears, but they never came. It was nice to release muscle tension in my chest – which IMO is caused a bit by slouching – and I loved the process of getting the bad energy down my arms, but it didn’t lead to the cathartic crying I was hoping for. .

I’m not alone, either. While there are plenty of positive physical release moments on TikTok, one person said: “Nothing happened to me” and another joked: “Well, it looks like I’m dead inside.”

Another person noted that they laughed during the massage instead of crying, while another hypothesized that his Lexapro device might be holding back tears. My theory? Since I cry a lot — happy tears, sad tears, tears over a cute dog video — I probably don’t have anything built up inside me.

According to Manley, it may take several attempts to get rid of feelings, especially if they are buried deep. The lack of reaction may also mean that it would be helpful to try stretching or massaging other areas of the body.

For example, she says, the hips often store trauma and problems from the past, which is why deep bath pose is often used in yoga to help stretchers “let go of everything.” If you don’t cry from a collarbone massage, she recommends trying it.

Studies referred to:

Duba, K. (2022). Childhood trauma and posttraumatic stress symptoms in adolescents and young adults: The mediating role of mental and emotional regulation strategies. Child Abuse doi: 10.1016/j.chiabu.2022.105815.

Kohfus M. (2021). Somatic experience–Efficacy and key factors for body-oriented trauma therapy: a review of the literature. Eur J Traumatology. doi: 10.1080/20008198.2021.1929023.


Dr. Carla Marie Manley, clinical psychologist, author of Joy from Fear

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