April is Stress Awareness Month and guess what, relieving stress is our specialty.
What is stress and how does it affect us all?
Stress is defined as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. It’s also defined as pressure or tension exerted on a material object. However, that’s how we feel when we are under stress also – we feel pressured and tense and our necks and shoulders get very tight and sometimes end up by our ears. Sometimes it extends to our upper and lower backs and in the worst cases, stress can feel like it’s freezing our entire body. Stress can actually cause your entire body to shut down. It’s not something to be taken lightly or, be minimized.
Some of the greatest stress factors include heart break, illness and financial woes. This carries over to many areas of our lives – our friendships, ability to perform at work, our marriages, relationships with our family and children. It would appear to be a small six letter word with enormous power and reach. That’s why its imperative that we understand how to manage stress and to help people make their way through tough times. Sometimes it’s counseling or yoga and meditation, exercising and even eating well.
Sometimes though, something as simple as a 15 minute chair massage at work can help – a 60 or 90 minute table massage is even better.
How does massage help ease stress?
Massage reduces the levels of cortisol – the stress hormone, reducing the physiological effects of stress, enhancing wound healing, and increasing immunity to viruses. Epinephrine and norepinephrine (otherwise known as adrenaline and noradrenaline), are the hormones that mediate the fight-or-flight reaction to stress. This is why it is extremely important to assess our lives and find ways to combat the small and big obstacles as we embrace our journey to better health.
The releasing of these chemicals in our bodies and sometimes just the mere magic of human touch can help in the following ways:
Relieve Muscle Tension + Pain
Improve Quality of Sleep
Lower Blood Pressure
Increase Focus, Energy + Mental Clarity
Getting a professional massage by a licensed massage therapist is not a luxury. It truly is a simple part of self-care. Why not book a massage to relive some stress this month like one of our clients seen in the photo below.