We live in a society where everyone seems to be stressed much of the time.
Unfortunately, there are many negative consequences to this phenomenon. When we feel chronic stress, it can often lead to Generalized Anxiety Disorder, which affects about 6.8 million adults in the United States.
An anxious person is often overly stressed about daily tasks and issues such as money, work and family.
GAD and chronic stress can produce both physical and psychological symptoms.
This is why massage can help us.
Massage therapy promotes relaxation but can also successfully reduce both physical and psychological symptoms of stress and anxiety.
Relief from Psychological Symptoms
GAD causes a higher production cortisol (the stress hormone), which puts the body into “flight-or-flight” mode.
Massage can increase the body’s levels of oxytocin and serotonin – the hormones that make us feel happier – which allows us to feel less stressed. This relaxing feeling can also lower blood pressure, elevate our moods, and clear our minds.
Relief from Physical Symptoms
Anxiety often brings on many different physical symptoms that can be painful and uncomfortable. Common symptoms are muscle pain, fatigue, headaches, jaw pain and neck and shoulder tension.
Massage helps to break up lactic acid and can relieve most of these points of pain and discomfort.
Studies also show that when we’re receiving a massage, our heart rates and breathing patterns slow down and muscles are able to relax, promoting a break from the stress we often bring on ourselves.
So whether you suffer from chronic stress and anxiety or are just going through a stressful time in your life, call your massage therapist for some relief!
-by Jocelyn Bradley