The daily grind and rush of modern life in cities keeps us going on and on from one task to another with little time to sit down and breathe let alone sit down and smell the roses. Stress itself is a biological survival mechanism for us humans that kicks our body into overdrive so when can react and survive through risky situations in our more primitive past, but nowadays our fight or flight reflex seems to be over triggered by daily stimuli in our workplaces dealing with quotas, clients and all sorts of scenarios at work. While a little stress every once in a while isn’t necessarily a bad thing for us, the regular constant stressors that we experience and almost never catch a break from are actually bad for our heart, blood pressure, mood, immune system, and digestion. This constant stress sometimes even elevates these discomforts into chronic illnesses. So how do we properly de-stress from the modern world and catch a break for our body to recover?
Well, massage is definitely one quick shortcut. Not only does taking a spa day push us to enjoy a little bit of rest and relaxation, it also helps put our mind at ease for the hour or two that we spend enjoying a good massage or spa. But a massage goes the extra mile by placing yourself in the personal care of a trained professional prepared to help you relax. If you have trouble getting your mind at ease and out of the work environment then you should definitely try a good massage as a good session with a trustworthy masseuse or massage therapist can take you out of the world of stress and leave you lost in the soothing waves along with your muscles and back.
Massage also helps take our body into the parasympathetic state where stressing chemicals like adrenaline and norepinephrine which cause a lot of the negative effects of long term stress. Enjoying at least 15 minutes of massage should take anyone into this state where these chemicals wane. Massage also helps the body start taking cortisol out of the system which is brought on by long term stress, high cortisol levels are linked to a weakened immune system, high blood pressure, and sudden weight gain. These symptoms are obviously unwanted so it’s clear why regulating our stress – or cortisol levels – is important for our long term help.
How Else Does Massage Therapy Help With Stress?
Swedish massage as well as other forms of massage therapy have been documented in relation to their effects on stress and their effects on the negative chemicals above, but also as important as taking out the bad chemicals, massage therapy was seen to increase a couple of important feel-good hormones. Those being serotonin and dopamine, which are huge contributors in regulating mood and keeping us feeling happy and able to focus and achieve the tasks that are causing us stress in the first place. Massage has been shown to increase the concentration of these two important chemicals by up to 30% in our blood.
What is Anti-Stress Massage, Or What Massages Should One Look For To Reduce Stress?
Almost any kind of massage can help us deal with our stress levels, but if one were to pick the best candidate for the best style of massage to look for it would likely be Swedish Massage. But any massage that focuses on long shallow strokes along muscle groups should be viable. The key thing to look for is avoiding massages that might be discomforting or even painful. It can’t be said that a visit to the chiropractor is relaxing, but it is necessary for some of us.
So choose whatever style is the most relaxing for you and you should be well on your way to de-stressing. After choosing the massage that works for you, the next step is to pick a regular schedule that helps you manage your stress as it comes. If you find the stress piling up swiftly after the initial massage you may want to schedule your appointments to happen every other week, however, that isn’t necessary for everyone and many people will do just fine having a massage every quarter of the year to keep their stress levels under control and well managed. When you communicate with a licensed massage therapist about your needs they can also help you customize the best massage therapy plan for you to increase your quality of life.
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