Stress is an unavoidable part of modern life, it affects everyone. Stress takes many forms from ulcers, and IBS, through high blood pressure and eating disorders to depression and sleeping problems. The most happy and healthy people aren’t those who avoid stress but those who manage it in a positive way. Among various activities, such as yoga, meditation or sporting activities, massage is one of the best forms of stress relief. It relaxes body and mind, helping you feel better and effectively cope with stress in your life.
The response to stress
Stress has a big influence on the physical body. It activates the central neural system which then produces “stress hormones” called adrenaline and cortisol. They cause elevated heartbeat and blood pressure, muscle tension or increased alertness.
(Example: when you see your boss's name in your inbox late at night, your body reacts like there's a lion on the loose.)
When facing a stressful situation, your body chooses between two coping modes: fight or flight, which means either you should face the problem and fight it or simply run away. As successful as it was in primitive “hunting for food” situations, it rarely is an appropriate response in modern everyday life. Moving houses, changing jobs, managing people, on-going conflicts and juggling home-work balance are only a few examples when your body isn’t given a clear signal when the time is to finally recover and relax.
As stress increases
When dealing with stressful situations for a prolonged time without any stress relief often leads to chronic muscle tension. It eventually results in neck and shoulder pain, back problems, migraines or headaches and anxiety. All of them can disrupt sleeping patterns, leaving you fatigued and unable to effectively deal with stress.
Stress relief with massage
Massage can help to relieve stress on a number of fronts. It activates the body on an internal level by decreasing the level of stress hormone and increasing immune cells. Swedish Massage also relaxes muscles and increases circulation what all together results in a reduction of stress-related pains. By bringing your body close to its optimum balance, it enables you to regain the energy and enjoy immediate relaxation. Regular massage is considered as the most effective form of stress relief in London. To find out more how massage decreases stress, check our detailed blog article: Massage as a form of stress relief.
Massage is extremely effective in reducing muscle tension which drains your energy. Without tension and “knots” soft tissues are able to work in more efficient way. Massage also helps to keep your muscles soft and light, taking the weight off your shoulders. Well, literally.
Deep tissue massage encourages a better circulation, removes the build-up of stress hormones and waste products. It allows the cells and brain to get the oxygen and nutrients that they need to reduce physical and mental fatigue. Massage also increases the number of white cells which are an important part of immune system, leaving your body healthier and stronger to face the stress, giving you a great stress relief tool.
Regular massage improves the quality of restful sleep. During sleep, your body rejuvenates itself so your energy levels can be restored and instantly make you feel more rested.
How do I relax?
"Relax". You hear it all the time, but for many it's a daily struggle to achieve. One of the reasons why massage is so effective in stress management is as it enables you to achieve a high level of relaxation. And for good reason: it then leads to a healthier and more energetic lifestyle.
Supporting positive life changes
Regular massage is a great and effective way of taking care of yourself. You will often find more energy and time to tackle everyday chores. The best parents, partners and workers are usually those who can look after themselves, find a stress relief through massage and other holistic therapies and create a healthy work-life balance. Alongside massage treatments, there are also other complementary therapies that can help such as counseling, yoga (check out our recommended partner The Hot Spot Yoga), exercises or nutritional support.
What works for you?
Massage works best as a course as it has an accumulative effect. Regular sessions help to maintain the optimum level of your body and mind. But there is no “one fits all” rule about how often you should receive a message for stress relief. A short consultation with your therapist or our on-site physiotherapist will help to create a treatment plan adequate to your needs and lifestyle.