Stress is not defined as a disease in and of itself, but does contribute to disease and ill health if ignored. While we all experience some level of stress from time to time in our lives, it’s important to focus on addressing high or unnecessary stress levels so that we can live long, healthy lives.
There are 2 types of stress within the body. The first is called “non-specific responses” or those that keep us alive such as our heart beating or our food digesting. The second is referred to as “distress” such as driving in traffic, financial anxiety, unhealthy relationships and pressure from the job you hate. It’s important to know that without stress in the body we would die however, too much stress can also cause us to die. Finding the right balance in life is the key to living and sustaining health and wellness.
While many things happen to the body while under levels of high stress one thing is for certain, stress can make you sick. Stress increases blood pressure and heart rate which in time can lead to strokes and heart attacks. Stress also affects the immune system and it’s ability to function properly. This is often the reason you will get a cold or flu during or after a stressful period in your life.
In addition stress often will contribute to unhealthy behaviors such as overeating, smoking, alcohol and drug use and eating unhealthy foods. These behaviors alone will place further stress on the body thus increasing your chances of becoming ill.
Developing coping strategies is the healthiest thing you can do for yourself. Since stress is inevitable, it’s important to learn how to manage and cope, rather than stress out because you are stressed.
The first thing you can do on a regular basis is to learn how to breath properly. Most of us breath very shallow on a regular basis without even realizing it. Daily time-outs or meditation for ten-20 minutes where you focus specifically on your breathing pattern is a great way to diminish stress and focus on releasing and letting go of the things you can’t control.
In addition to a regular, focused breathing habit, massage therapy for stress is a guaranteed method in managing high stress levels. Massage works by decreasing levels of cortisol in the body, lowering blood pressure and provides a safe place for you to focus on yourself. Furthermore, serotonin and dopamine are released in the brain during a massage offering feelings of well being and bringing you into a state of total relaxation. These chemical responses in the brain are the reason why many will say they feel “high” during or after a massage. This “high” feeling is very real!
Regular massage therapy sessions for stress will help you to achieve a healthier lifestyle by helping you to cope with and manage your stress levels. While we can’t eliminate stress from our lives completely, we can show it who’s boss by taking control!
The great thing about relaxation is that each and every one of us needs it. We need it to function properly and we need it to survive. Without relaxation and stress relief our bodies, minds and spirits become diseased and our lives suffer. Return to Massages are for..