The surprising benefits of massage for stress
Stress occurs when a thought or event becomes worrisome, anxiety-provoking or in more extreme cases threatening. In small doses, stress helps us meet deadlines or achieve goals but chronic stress has been linked to heart disease, anxiety and depression.
The body’s normal response to stress is to initiate a “fight or flight” response. This is characterised by an elevated heart rate, increased muscular tension, increased breathing rate and feelings of anxiety. As with most things, for every action there is an opposite reaction. In terms of stress, the opposite of becoming overly anxious can be to become too relaxed or lethargic. This relaxation response causes the heart rate and breathing to slow, while muscular tension is released.
So what about massage for stress? What can this achieve?
The Benefits of massage
Lowers blood pressure
According to the American Heart Association many of the behaviours that accompany stress can elevate blood pressure. In a 2005 study by the University of Florida it was found that participants who received regular massage over 3 weeks experienced a significant drop in blood pressure. It is understood that the vagus nerve regulates blood pressure and that through regular massage, the vagus nerve is stimulated. The result is that blood pressure drops back to a healthy level.
Reduces muscular tension
Headaches, jaw pain, shoulder and neck tension are all common symptoms of stress as the muscles tense and the joints become rigid. Regular massage sessions help to reduce muscular tension and alleviate much of the physical pain that can be associated with stress.
By easing these physical symptoms it is also possible to reduce the broader stress. The massage therapists here at Lushington Chiropractic use various techniques to rub, stroke, stretch and apply pressure to the muscles, which help them return to a relaxed state and can also initiate more even and relaxed breathing.
Provides immediate relief
Having a massage will provide immediate relief by giving you a chance to take some time out from the stresses life is throwing at you. This will give your mind a much-needed break and a recharge. This reboot is often enough to help you gain perspective on a stressful situation and distance yourself enough to look for solutions rather than fall deeper into those feelings of anxiety.
Immune and digestive system benefits
Circulation to the heart, muscles and lungs increases when stress builds. In chronic cases where the stress is felt over a sustained period of time, this can lead to problems in the immune and digestive systems. By prioritising blood flow to other organs and systems, the immune and digestive systems are sacrificed, which can result in the onset of illnesses.
Massage can help by reducing the feeling of anxiety and stress which in turn will help with restoring normal immune and digestive function.
To find out more about massage for stress relief, why not get in touch with the team at Lushington Chiropractic in Eastbourne. Call 01323 722 499.
Call now 01323 722499