Stress is our body’s natural fight or flight system. It can prompt you to have the energy you need to complete a task, give a presentation, or even avoid an accident. It gets your adrenaline going, boosts cortisol and gives you what you need to push through big events. Not all stress is bad.
However, stress becomes bad when we don’t ever find relief from those moments. Stress is bad when it moves from powering through a single presentation and turning the steering wheel at just the right moment, to feeling constantly under pressure at work and having your blood boil through an entire hour commute. Constant stress can wreak havoc on your body. It will disturb your sleep, cause you to feel anxious, and it can even cause physical health problems. Mayo Clinic cites headaches, upset stomach and even chest pain as physical problems that can result from stress. It is important that you find ways to relieve stress so that you can feel well.
There are many ways to manage stress. Getting physical exercise that you enjoy, sleeping enough at regular times during the night, and eating healthy foods can all help you feel better. Massage is another great way to relieve stress.
Swedish Massage is a traditional style of massage and most likely to be used to relieve stress. When we are stressed, we often tense the muscles in our back and neck which can develop into hard knots. Hard knots cause pain, which in turn contributes to more stress. The gentle, yet penetrating strokes of Swedish massage can break up hard knots and loosen tension in muscles.
The Institute for Integrative Healthcare suggests that head massage can relieve stress. The article points to thin muscles around the scalp that hold tension. A carefully executed head massage can relieve this hidden tension and result in relief and relaxation.
You may want to request an aromatherapy massage to relieve stress. Many essential oils are known to promote calm and help you relax. A massage therapist can combine massage and oils to help wipe out stress.
Not only does massage relieve tension in muscles, but it also changes chemical components in our bodies and can make us feel happier and less stressed. The American Massage Therapy Association cites research that found massage can lower blood pressure and reduce cortisol levels. A study cited by Prevention found that massage increased levels of serotonin and dopamine, two neurotransmitters that relieve depression and anxiety and boost the mood.
If you are feeling the effects of stress, try massage for relief from tension and anxiety. When you relieve a significant amount of stress you may find that you sleep better, perform better at work, desire healthier food, have fewer headaches and feel better in general. The better you feel, the less likely you are to feel stress about your health. Let massage help you break out of the vicious cycle of perpetual stress.