Stress affects us all in one way or another. You may notice you are stressed when disciplining your children, during busy times at work or at home, when managing your finances, or when coping with a challenging relationship. Stress is everywhere. And while a little stress is ok too much stress can wear you down and make you sick, both mentally and physically.
The first step to controlling stress is to recognize it. This can be challenging for us to do because most of us are so used to being stressed, we often don't know we are stressed until we are over exhausted, tired, or sore.
What Is Stress?
Stress is the body's reaction to harmful situations. When you feel threatened, a chemical reaction occurs in your body that allows you to act in a way to prevent injury. This reaction is known as "fight-or-flight,” or the stress response. During stress response, your heart rate increases, breathing quickens, muscles tighten, and blood pressure rises.
Stress means different things to different people. What causes stress in one person may be of little concern to another. Some people are better able to handle stress than others. And, not all stress is bad. In small doses, stress can help you accomplish tasks and prevent you from getting hurt. For example, stress is what gets you to react fast in critical situations, which can be a good thing. Our bodies are designed to handle small doses of stress. But, we are not equipped to handle long-term, chronic stress without ill consequences.
causes the muscles in the body to be in a constant state of guardedness. When muscles are taut and tense for long periods of time, this may trigger other reactions of the body and even promote stress-related disorders. For example, both tension-type headache and migraine headache are associated with chronic muscle tension in the area of the shoulders, neck and head.
Millions of individuals suffer from chronic painful conditions secondary to musculoskeletal disorders. Often, but not always, there may be an injury that sets off the chronic painful state. Muscle tension, and eventually, muscle atrophy due to disuse of the body, all promote chronic, stress-related musculoskeletal conditions.
Relaxation techniques have been shown to effectively reduce muscle tension, decrease the incidence of certain stress-related disorders, such as headache, and increase a sense of well-being.
Physical symptoms of stress include low energy, headaches, aches, pains, and tense muscles, insomnia, clenched jaw and grinding teeth (also known at TMJ disorder). Massage therapy can help with all these physical symptoms. Majority of headaches are caused by tight muscles in the shoulders and the neck. Regular massage is beneficial for dealing with stress and preventing headaches from happening. Studies suggest massage therapy can be beneficial not only in reducing physical pain, but also for improving mood and fighting stress
Stress is a part of life. What matters most is how you handle it. One of the best things you can do for your body during a stressful time is to take some time to yourself and get a massage because stress puts so much tension on your body. People don’t realize the toll that it does on their body on a day to day basis. It puts the body under so much stress and it is then more susceptible to get sick and wearing down. Your body goes through a lot on a daily basis so it is time for you to do something for your body. So pick up the phone now and treat yourself to 1 hour that is stress free!
Why do some jaw joints click?
The jaw (or TMJ for Temporo Mandibular Joint) is frequently unacknowledged as a source of pain in many head, neck, face, and vocal conditions. People who experience headaches, motor vehicle accidents, sport or work site injuries, often have jaw issues that can accumulate to overwhelming levels.
Clenching the teeth is a very common habit during sleep, while concentrating, or from stress. This often results in an accumulation of both compressive forces in the joints and asymmetrical muscle tightness which can lead to clicking, pain and ultimately joint damage.
Resolving the joint compression and muscular tightness can re-pattern the jaw mechanics and save pain and difficulties decades later.
The jaw is exceptional in that it operates as two separate joints bound together by one bone – the mandible. The muscles responsible for moving the joints work in tandem with how the teeth fit together (occlusion), along with the fit and movement of the cranial bones, creating a system of interrelated mechanics.
All is well when the jaw joints work within functional symmetry, but if one side begins to move differently many compensatory patterns can begin. These adaptive movements can be the beginning of a vicious cycle where some tissues are overworked and eventually become compromised.
A special friction-reducing disc exists inside the joint much like the discs in the spine. The disc maintains the appropriate amount of space in the joint, and moves forward and back in co-ordination with the opening and closing of the mouth. Joint compression and muscle tightness often accumulate resulting in an abnormally forward disc position. Then, as the jaw bone moves, the disc bunches up like a speed bump on the road, producing a click. If left untreated disc perforation can result, leaving the joint vulnerable to pain and arthritis.
Reflexology, or zone therapy, is an alternative medicine involving applying pressure to the feet, or hands with specific thumb, finger, and hand techniques. It is based on a system of zones and reflex areas that they say reflect an image of the body on the feet and hands, such work effects a physical change to the body.
The therapy is based on the premise that areas on the foot correspond to areas of the body. These zones reflect the energy body and blockages of this energy in the body are reflected through "grits" or lumps" on the foot. Applying focused pressure to these reflex points located in the foot stimulate the corresponding area and thereby remove blockages in the energy body.
The benefits of a foot reflexology session are manifold - calmness, improved circulation, increased energy and balanced emotions among many others. It is appropriate for all ages. Not only soothing to sore feet, it can benefit most other body aches and pains. If you can't handle pressure in a part of your body because of soreness or inflammation, there is a corresponding part in the foot that can bring relief.
Foot reflexology has been practiced for thousands of years in places such as India, China and Egypt. In ancient times, we stimulate reflexes naturally by walking barefoot over rocks, stones and rough ground. In today's modern world, we have lost much of nature's way of maintaining a balanced and healthy equilibrium. Reflexology helps to restore this balance and promote natural health and vitality.
Benefits of Foot Reflexology
-Induces a state of relaxation
-Increases circulation, improving blood flow throughout the body
-Cleanses the body of toxins and impurities
-Stimulates the central nervous system
-Balances the whole system, revitalizing the body's natural energy flow
There are many benefits to be achieved through regular massage therapy treatments. Massage can help with relaxation, reduce muscle tension or assist with relief from chronic pain. Massage can enhance an individuals emotional and physical well being for a better quality of life.
Massage therapy benefits people of all ages. While it benefits the injured, the ill and the stressed, the strength of massage therapy in preventing illness and conditions before they develop cannot be overlooked. Massage therapy can be used in the treatment of both acute and chronic stages of conditions. Massage helps with people who sit at a desk all day, who have poor circulation and poor posture.
Everyone has those days when they just wake up sore, exhausted and tired of being sore. Massage therapy can help to prevent these days from happening, also massage has been proven to be helpful with:
*TMJ Disorder (from clenching your jaw at night)
*Swelling due to either injury or pregnancy