We tend to divide stress into handy categories like mental, emotional, spiritual, physical, good, bad, and even “normal” (whatever that is). The trouble is, your body treats every type of stress as a physical threat, even though very few modern stressors are physical. It’s also only designed to deal with the stress response for 15-20 minutes at a time… or basically the length of time it should take you to either fight or run away from that proverbial saber tooth tiger.
Most people have near constant stress at work, and large amounts of stress in their personal lives as well. Some of that stress is part and parcel to life in the modern world… after all, bosses and kids gonna be bosses and kids.
The good news is, you can relieve some of the bodily effects of stress with massage and bodywork.
Stress Can Affect Every Part of Your Body and Life
While it probably won’t affect everything at the same time, it often affects more than we’re aware of. Here are just a few of the ways if might be affecting you:
Trouble falling or staying asleep
Worry or anxiety
High blood pressure
Chronic illness or auto-immune disease
Tense, tight and/or painful muscles
Unexplained body pain
What Makes a Good Stress Relieving Massage?
The therapist should work at the level of the muscle to activate the relaxation response (pressure that’s too light, i.e. just rubbing the skin, is actually stimulating and not at all relaxing)
It should not be painful. Pain is a stress on the body so it’s counterproductive to have pain during a massage that designed to relieve stress. A little discomfort is fine, even “good hurt” is alright; but if you have to breathe through it you’re activating, rather than deactivating the stress response
Good rapport with your massage therapist – you won’t relax very well if you don’t really like your therapist
Warm, soft linens – a little weight from a thick blanket also helps turn down the stress response and turn up the relaxation response in the body
Aromatherapy – there are a lot of great essential oils out there that, when used by a properly trained aromatherapist, will increase your feeling of well-being and decrease the effects of stress
Click the Book Appointment link below to schedule your massage