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!