Everyone has stress in their life at one time or another. Whether it’s related to work, family life or simply a hectic schedule, we all have to deal with anxiety now and again. Most of the time, people are able to work through their challenges and get relief from their stress. For some, however, stress is a factor of everyday life, with very little opportunity for respite.
Chronic stress can lead to a number of serious mental and physical health concerns:
Mental Health Symptoms
• Drug or alcohol abuse
• Inability to focus or concentrate
• Sleep disruptions
• Muscle Tension
• Digestive issues
To this end, it is imperative for people in this category to find ways to give themselves relief and promote their physical well-being. There are many ways to address these serious concerns, and while making changes to your exercise and diet routines are an excellent start, many people overlook massage as a viable tool to combat stress and anxiety.
Stress sufferers tend to experience general aches and pains, in short, muscle tension. It is one of the biggest complaints we hear, and can lead to headaches, neck stiffness and other physical symptoms. Massage can be targeted towards specific areas to provide relief, or may simply focus on overall muscle relaxation to help patients ease tensions and alleviate pain.
Taking time out of your busy day for a massage can go a long way to helping you feel better and can enable you to cope with your challenges with a more positive outlook. That’s because, in addition to the relaxation of being in a quiet room with no interruptions, massage therapy helps your body to release endorphins which naturally boost your mood. Endorphins promote good, positive feelings in the body which can help you to deal with your stressors and allow you to overcome some of the resultant side effects.
Serotonin and dopamine, neurotransmitters that are significant in maintaining mood, digestion and sleep, are also released during the massage process. This allows patients to maintain the benefit of massage long after the therapy session is complete, with possible improvements to their mental wellness, sleep habits and digestive function.
In addition to the boost of endorphins and neurotransmitters that benefit massage patients, there is an added benefit in that cortisol, which is produced by the sympathetic nervous system as a response to stress, is greatly reduced through massage. Managing your body’s nervous response will help to promote both physical and mental health.
Massage therapy allows you to relax your mind as well as your body, and focus on yourself for a while. It helps to reset the clock on your daily routine and its accompanying stress factors. Furthermore, it can help to improve your immune system and aid in restoring your normal blood circulation as chronic stress tends to suppress these functions over time, resulting in poor general health, and a tendency to be susceptible to colds, flus and other viruses.
Regular massage for lasting results
If stress and anxiety are a regular occurrence in your day to day life, consider adding massage therapy to your overall personal care regime. Of course, every little bit helps, so a one-time “emergency” massage will definitely offer some immediate benefits and temporary reprieve. Scheduling in a couple of sessions per week, however, might be just the solution you’ve been looking for to help manage your daily grind. With regular massage, the benefits are consistent and long lasting, with a definite boost to physical and mental health. Talk to one of our Registered Massage Therapists to develop a massage therapy plan that works for you and your schedule.