Nowadays, massage therapy is becoming more and more popular. Why? Is it true that it is beneficial for a wide range of health conditions? In this article, we are going to talk specifically about the benefits of massage therapy on stress, which is currently one of the most troubling afflictions in our society.
The word stress is defined in the dictionary as “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.” However, this concept could be considered as somewhat subjective and there is, therefore, more than one way to give a definition of stress. Generally speaking, stress is the body’s reaction to a change that requires a physical, mental or emotional adjustment or response. Consequently, it is evident that anyone can suffer from stress, stemming from either good or bad circumstances. For example, getting married normally leads to very stressful situations even though it is all about a happy occasion.
There are two main types of stress: acute and chronic. Acute stress is related to short-term stress that results from a stressful event or situation such as crowds, loud noises, hunger, exciting moments or even thrill rides. On the other hand, chronic stress can have serious long-termdetrimental effects on health because it occurs when the body feels under attack from acute stress for a long period of time.
Our bodies are automatically programmed to produce a physiological stress response to perceived threats. This response is known as the fight-or-flight response, which is characterised by an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, elevation of glucose levels in the blood, and redistribution of blood from the digestive tract to the muscles. These changes are caused by adrenaline activating the sympathetic nervous system, which prepares the body to challenge or flee from a perceived threat.
It is obvious then that any kind of stress has effects on our body. Some of the symptoms that have been identified to be related to stress are the following:
Affecting body: headaches, muscle tension, neck and back pain, fatigue, intestinal problems, sleep problems, frequent colds or infections, weight changes or difficulty breathing.
Affecting mood: anxiety, lack of concentration or motivation, irritability, anger, sadness or feeling nervous.
Affecting behaviour: increased use of alcohol, drugs or tobacco, overeating/undereating or angry outbursts.
What is even worse about stress is the fact that it can potentially affect every system in the body: immune system, cardiovascular system, respiratory and endocrine system. Therefore it is very important to find a solution before stress becomes chronic.
Canary Medical Key firmly believes that massage therapy is a vital part of any wellness programme owing to the fact that it has been proven that massage is effective for enhancingyour overall sense of emotional and physical well-being, as well as your quality of life.
Massage therapy helps you relax, but it can do much more than that:
- It soothes anxiety and depression thanks to the professional and friendly human contact.
- It relieves headaches by decreasing frequency and severity of tension.
- It eases muscle pain, as it increases and improves circulation.
- It counteracts all the sitting you do and improves posture.
- It enhances rehabilitation.
- It improves quality of sleep.
- It boosts the immunity system.
All in all, society needs to manage stress as it seems to affect most people’s lives. Canary Medical Key strongly recommends the use of massage therapy for stress relief, but we also recommend that you eat healthily, exercise and manage your stress through meditation or yoga.
Contact us for information about our wellness programmes including specialised massage therapy in the Canary Islands.