Managing Stress with Massage
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word “massage”? Most likely, it’s the thought of having your stresses and worries vanish as you enjoy the feel of sure and experienced hands kneading all your kinks and aches away.
It’s the relaxation effect!
Scientific studies have concluded that massage is an effective treatment for reducing stress, pain and muscle tension. Stress reduction is known to be a key factor in achieving a healthier lifestyle, improving your vitality and a calm state of mind.
Related: Relaxation Massage
Effects of Stress
Not all stress is bad. In fact, it is the act of worrying that causes you to search for solutions to problems and seek out better alternatives to less-than-ideal situations. Chronic stress (or distress), however, is a negative stress reaction that can lead to physical symptoms including headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, and insomnia. Research shows that stress can also trigger or aggravate certain diseases.
Behavior changes caused by stress include angry outbursts, drug or alcohol abuse, over-eating, under-eating and social withdrawal. Heightened stress levels can also affect your mood and bring on anxiety, sadness, depression, irritability, restlessness, lack of motivation and lack of focus. Physical changes in addition to those already mentioned include fatigue, muscle tension and pain.
Effects of Massage on Stress Levels
Massage therapy and stress relief have been clinically proven to go hand in hand. Massage actually fights stress in a number of ways, helping the body to activate responses to physiological imbalances caused by stress. This is true whatever the type of massage received – deep tissue, Swedish, light touch massage, or otherwise.
Benefits of massage for stress include:
- reduced blood pressure and heart rate
- lower levels of insulin and the stress hormone cortisol
- relaxation of muscles
- increased blood circulation to get more oxygen and nutrients to tissues
- enhanced lymph flow for improved removal of wastes and toxins
- boosted immune system
- release of endorphins, serotonin and dopamine to soothe anxiety and depression
- reduction in stress related pain
Massage uses a safe, friendly and professional human touch to produce feelings of caring, comfort and connection. The reduction in stress levels leaves you free to enjoy a refreshed body and mind.