How Long Do You Wait Before Stress Is More Than A Symptom?
The one thing you need to know about your health is that not always, but many times, you have a choice before
you “don’t have a choice.”
A stressful, workaholic lifestyle that is frequently out of balance has many unforeseen consequences. We usually recognize this only when it dramatically confronts us. We may get a violent pain in our abdomen whenever we eat, or we may suddenly feel tired all the time when we normally have boundless energy. Our wake-up call may be a massive heart attack, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), frequent migraine headaches or an incapacitating neck or back pain that makes it difficult to sleep, walk, sit or stand without pain. When continual high levels of stress erode the body’s strength and resiliency, our body begins to fall apart. Here is how it happens.
When you are facing a situation that is worrying, terrifying or infuriating to you, your saliva output diminishes (dry mouth), the contents of your stomach sit still instead of being processed (indigestion).
You are not digesting your food because of the stress you are experiencing Excessive stress makes it impossible for the body to properly digest the good food you eat.
Stress reactions require major rerouting of blood throughout the body. This is largely controlled by the speed of the heart rate and the tightness or looseness of the various arteries. So the cardiovascular system is particularly sensitive to changes when we’re under stress, and it suffers when that stress is unnecessarily prolonged. Heart attack and stroke risk are greatly increased with prolonged, unmanaged stress.
In an ongoing flight-or-flight-stress reaction, all of our muscles become habitually tight. We walk through life as if we are always on red alert. If this goes on long enough, we will actually begin to interpret this unnecessary tension as normal. This constant elevated state of physical tension is what massage and reflexology body workers refer to as chronic muscle tension, which is the muscular component of internalized stress. Before we know it, our knuckles are white as we grip the steering wheel, and it feels strange to just “do nothing” and relax. We may clench and grind our teeth all night long. We may walk around with our heads bent down and our shoulders raised up—an inefficient tense posture that opens the door to headaches, neck pain, backaches and serious injury.
When our bodies become accustomed to living with one foot always on the gas pedal, we become vulnerable to a multitude of musculoskeletal problems, as well as, the digestive and cardiovascular diseases discussed above. Chronic pain syndromes, constant fatigue, difficulty with healing, even osteoporosis can all be connected to having extended periods with high levels of stress hormones in the blood.
Headaches, jaw pain, neck pain, backaches, difficulty sleeping, frequent cramps and muscle spasms are classic examples of how muscular tension can translate into incapacitating pain and fatigue.
The relationship between stress and immune function has been the subject of intense research. It is clear that long-term stress suppresses immune system activity, and makes us more vulnerable to pain, injury and disease. The culprit in this case is a familiar one: cortisol. The presence of cortisol in the blood has been shown to slow down white blood cell activity, and to inhibit the secretion of important immune system chemicals that help us to heal.
Recent research has shown that regular massage therapy and/or reflexology lowers high levels of cortisol.
By now, you’ve probably realized that almost any disorder can be traced back to excessive stress. Research reveals that the negative impact of stress on our health can be long-term and cumulative. Becoming more proactive participants in keeping our bodies relaxed and healthy can have a substantial impact on the health and quality of our lives.
Massage and reflexology are viable, proven options for health care and maintenance.
Only you have the ability to arrange your life, so that you are not too busy to take care of yourself!
How Massage, Reflexology and Bodywork Ease Menopausal Symptoms
“Menopause…the “change of life”. This process is taxing both emotionally and physically. While every woman experiences menopause differently, the most common physical and emotional changes include:
- Irregular periods
- Decreased fertility
- Vaginal and urinary changes; like dryness and incontinence
- Hot flashes
- Dry skin and headaches
- Insomnia and other sleep disturbances
- Night sweats and heart palpitations
- Changes in appearance, primarily fluid weight gain
- Emotional and cognitive changes including mood swings, depression and forgetfulness
A unique and powerful bodywork technique is getting attention throughout the world. Developed in the 20th century in the United States, Craniosacral Therapy is used more and more by massage therapists, osteopaths, naturopaths, chiropractors and physical therapist. It is a gentle hands-on method that supports every system in the body, releasing tension and enhancing your body’s own ability to heal.
What is craniosacral therapy?
Craniosacral therapy taps into a movement called the craniosacral rhythm, that is felt most strongly, at your head (cranium) and the base of your spine (sacrum). The craniosacral rhythm is created by a “wave’ of fluid, which continuously ebbs and flows in the space around the brain and spinal cord. Because your body is connected in all its parts, the rhythm can also be felt throughout your tissues.
Tension anywhere in your body can restrict the flow of the craniosacral rhythm. Practitioners use a gentle touch, often less than a nickel’s weight, to subtly correct that rhythm. In the process, tension can spontaneously release, allowing for positive change to occur throughout the body.
To Avoid Brain Drain: Try a 1-minute rub… A DIY scalp massage is a great way to wake up your brain.
Rub along your hairline using firm circular motions for 1 minute and research proves this can cut brain fog up to 65%. Applying pressure to nerve endings there stimulates the release of brain-energizing endorphins.
At Massage & Reflexology of Delaware, we offer Manual Lymphatic Drainage massage to help promote recovery and good health with a gentle touch therapy.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage massage is a gentle touch therapy that promotes health and aids recovery from certain illnesses. This powerful, yet subtle technique can reduce or prevent fluid retention, enhance the removal of toxins from the body tissues, and support the immune system. Manual lymphatic drainage is a standard treatment in European hospitals and clinics and is used increasingly in North America.
“One quarter of the bones in the body are in the feet. The feet are at the extreme end of the body. Blood and lymph from the feet must flow uphill against gravity. Movement of these vital liquids is essential.
Heavy particles will tend to settle out as sediment, especially when the current is not swift. Sluggish flow may promote poor oxygenation of tissues and in adequate removal of waste. Crystals in the tissue may form.
Nerve endings in the feet have extensive-interconnections thru the spinal cord and brain with all areas of the body. The feet are a gold mine of opportunity to release tension and enhance health.”
Ray C. Wunderlich, Jr., M.D.
Preventive Medicine & Health
St. Petersburg, Florida
To calm down fast when a packed to-do list has you feeling overwhelmed, reach for a comb.
Using light pressure, rub the teeth of the comb up and down along the inside of your forearm for 60 seconds; repeat on your other arm.
This simple move stimulates reflexology points n your arms that have an instant tension-taming effect. Ahh, that’s better!
We often think about getting a massage as pampering ourselves – like it’s some kind of indulgent luxury that makes us seem spoiled.
But you may be pleasantly surprised to learn about the many health benefits connected to massage.
It is truly a natural form of therapy that can address and relieve symptoms of all sorts of health complications.
So the next time you need to convince your significant other to give you a little back rub or convince yourself a professional massage is worth it – remember these eight reasons for improving the quality of your life.
How stressed are you Test? We can Help!
Are you tense much of the time? Do you have frequent headaches, neck or back aches? Or do you have trouble sleeping?
While stress is a given in life and may motivate us to do our best, learning to recognize when it is a problem is vital to feeling well. The effects of stress can creep up on you and are often the result of events or life changes. In our busy modern lives, we often have too many deadlines, commitments, and financial pressures. As pressure builds, you may experience chronic stress and anxiety. These changes, both positive and negative, make demands on you.
RESEARCH SHOWS THAT AS STRESS BUILDS, YOU MAY BECOME MORE SUSCEPTIBLE TO PHYSICAL ILLNESS, MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS, AND ACCIDENTAL INJURIES.
Awareness is the first step in coping with stress. Taking this test will give you a moment out of your busy life to tune in to your own stress signals. You are worth identifying whether too much stress may be affecting your sense of well-being.
Your body goes through lots of changes during pregnancy. In addition to the mental and emotional strain that can come from the experience, there can be a significant physical strain, as well. From swollen ankles to sciatica to overall fatigue, pregnancy can take its toll, even from the earliest days. Fortunately, one great way to help ease the mental and physical symptoms of pregnancy is through pregnancy massage.
How is Pregnancy Massage Different from Other Forms of Massage?
There are many benefits of pregnancy massage as it is very similar to other forms of massage, and the overall goals are usually the same. However, there are some key differences between pregnancy massage and other forms of massage that are important to note.
The first difference in pregnancy massage comes in the second and third trimesters. In order to avoid putting too much pressure on the womb, women in their second and third trimesters do not lay face down during massages and are kept only briefly on their backs. Instead, they are kept in a semi-reclined position, which prevents compression on the vena cava. A good massage therapist will do your message in a position that is comfortable for you, propped up with as many pillows as are needed for support.
Another difference in pregnancy massage is in the pressure applied in certain areas of the body. For example, less pressure will be used on the abdomen and legs so as not to accidentally induce contractions. Because a woman’s body is different during pregnancy, the message must be different, as well.