|Posted on July 7, 2011 at 8:35 PM|
Massage Therapy and Stress: Part II
In today’s society the focus seems to be more on healing disease and illness rather than prevention, however there is a movement of change. More people than ever are starting to take responsibility for their own health and are turning to once considered “alternative” therapies for healing and preventative care. Massage Therapy is one of those key treatment options.
Massage therapy once had its place strictly in the spa environment, then as a profession we spent years educating people on the physical effects and benefits of massage on a number of very common health issues. People have been seeking massage for treatments of injuries sustained in motor vehicle and workplace accidents as well as arthritis, headaches, fibromyalgia, heel spurs, pregnancy, digestive problems, frozen shoulder, muscle spasms, strains and sprains and postural concerns among countless others.
In our attempts to emphasize the positive physical and therapeutic affects of massage we now often tend to over look the additional mental and emotional benefits, many of which also have a physical effect. You see, we can not separate our emotional and our physical and even our spiritual bodies. Our bodies are a complex creation in which one system and its many components, including its chemical changes, affect all other areas of our body and its components. We can not isolate our back from our feet or our head from our neck and shoulders or our ulcers from our level of perceived emotional stress. We are so deeply connected and all of our systems intertwined. This sense of connection is something that I so often see missing in our attempts to “heal” our infirmities.
In our hurried society, stress and anxiety has been linked with many various health conditions. Regardless of how well one believes that they can handle stress you can assured of one thing…..Stress will ALWAYS manifest itself physically, sooner or later, in one way or another.
Headaches, ulcers, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, fertility difficulties and constipation are all common conditions that are often associated with increased stress levels, as either a major cause or an aggravating factor.
Massage is not only effective in reducing stress levels but also increasing circulation and decreasing inflammation which is very important on conditions such as arthritis, muscle spasm, tendonitis, strains and sprains and during pregnancy.
Reduction of fibrous adhesions and stretching of connective tissue is also important for frozen shoulder and plantar fasciitis.
Massage calms the nervous system, lowers blood pressure, slows respiration, strengthens the immune system, strengthens the muscular system, promotes sleep and stimulates the release of endorphins, which are chemicals that modify pain perception and help create a general feeling of wellness. Massage helps to relieve tight, tired and aching muscles, improve muscle tone and increase flexibility and range of motion which is key for management of Arthritis and maintaining and improving posture.
Massage can play a large role in the management of stress and anxiety and therefore can both directly and indirectly affect one’s physical health.
Categories: Stress Management & Self Care