Massage Therapy and Stress

Practitioners of massage therapy and bodywork view stress as a condition of dis-ease in the body, a state of disharmony or an imbalance in one or more organ systems. In spite of the fact that many of us may not recognize the symptoms of stress for what they are, we all fully understand the experience.

Some of the more common symptoms we may not be aware of are elevated blood pressure, increased pulse rate, increased insulin production and other hormonal based reactions, and disturbances in the flow of cerebral spinal fluid to our brains causing headache. These reactions in turn can and will result in the symptoms we are aware of; anxiety, anger, inability to focus, fatigue, insomnia, headache and a plethora of other physical symptoms that keep us in a chronic state of turmoil.

As pressure mounts, the background level of stress hormones in your bloodstream can become elevated to a point that very little is needed to trigger the stress response. You find yourself in a constant state of agitation, reacting not only to actual events, but to anticipated events and memories as well. If fact, with energy so depleted, many individuals come to rely on a stress-induced jolt of adrenaline just to get through the day.

Traditional medicine views stress from a physiological and biological perspective, or what’s commonly known as the medical model of disease. By focusing on what is called the organic medical model of disease, or a dysfunctional disease state, the treatment tends to focus on prescription drugs and medications to decrease levels of stress, reduce the state of anxiety and relieve depression. Drugs do work and the symptoms of stress are relieved, but without looking at the underlying psychological or emotional disturbances, we may continue to behave in a stress based coping manner to situation, object, or person.

The next time you’re wondering what to do for your stress levels think about this-

  1. Massage is the single most powerful pain reliever known producing high levels of endorphins to deal with your pain and stress.
  2. The relaxation response produced while having a massage connects the body to its deeper core producing profound states for healing and balance.
  3. Massage boosts immunity, increases white blood cell count, feeds and nourishes the tissues and cells.
  4. Massage improves mood and mental outlook on life.
  5. Since 1997 the number of Americans using massage has doubled.
  6. Regular and consistent massage significantly reduces the high levels of maladaptive stress hormones and the symptoms they create.

If you as yet have not found your stress buster prescription in exercise, good diet, and balance in work and play it’s time you experience therapeutic massage You’re in for a treat.

Till next time, Rebecca