Stress is something we all experience from time to time. We are primed to deal with short periods of stress in the form of the ‘flight or fight’ response. This system is stimulated during times of stress and then works by sending nutrients and oxygen to the heart, brain and muscles allowing us to react and think quickly.
However, prolonged periods of stress can result in the manifestation of both mental and physical symptoms appearing within the body.
Mental Signs of Chronic Stress
Anxiety, depression, fatigue, poor concentration & mood swings
Physical Signs of Chronic Stress
Heart palpitations, nausea & muscle aches and pains
Its known that levels of chronic stress can lead to the development of high blood pressure, heart disease and suppression of the immune system. Often problematic conditions such as Eczema and Asthma are made worse by prolonged periods of stress (1).
Beat Stress with Massage
Massage therapy is known to stimulate a part of the autonomic nervous system which is responsible for maintaining normal, relaxed body functioning.
Receiving massage during times of stress can reduce heart rate, slow breathing and so restores balance back to the nervous system and the organs which in turn promotes improved health and a sense of calmness (2).
2. Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology for the Massage Therapist, Fox and Pritchard, Chapter 9: The nervous system, pg 197