What causes stress and how are we supposed to be dealing with stress? Many people have asked themselves that question before.
Stress is a condition that affects most people at one point in their lives. The causes of stress vary on the individual.
The 5 major reasons why we experience stress though are:
EMOTIONS: Anxiety, fear, depression.
PAIN: Disease or injury.
OVERUSE OF:Caffeine, chocolate, sugar, medication.
PATHOLOGY: Illness or conditions creating secondary conditions
EXPOSURE: Environmental toxins, excessive heat or cold
Stress is considered a combination of stressors and a person’s stress reactivity. Stressors are the triggers to the stress response, also known as the “fight or flight” response. This instinct known as the fight or flight response is a reaction to perceived danger.
Today, there is an increased interest in the role that stress plays in the development of medical conditions or diseases. It is a known fact that stress induces hormonal activity that suppresses the immune system. This can increase the susceptibility to colds and flu, the development of rheumatoid arthritis if one is genetically predisposed, as well as the onset of cancer. It can also cause overeating, excessive smoking and alcohol abuse.
Coping with Stress
There have been many books written on how we can be dealing with stress. Some stress is just avoidable. Therefore it is best to develop a strategy how to manage stress.
There are many factors that play a role in stress. One key factor to reduce stress is to change one’s lifestyle. Lifestyle changes include a healthy diet, regular exercising and getting plenty of sleep. Breathing exercises, massages, relaxing baths, herbal teas, soothing music can all aid to further reducing stress levels.
With proper breathing techniques we can exercise some control. Under stress, breathing becomes more shallow. We can break this cycle by performing slow and relaxed breathing. During relaxed inhalation, the diaphragm contracts and flattens. The relaxation response is considered the opposite of the stress response. When the body is in a relaxed state, symptoms due to stress diminish.
Stress and Massage
A person who is dealing with stress will exhibit certain common symptoms as a result of certain muscle tension, breathing problems and a suppressed immune system. Hyper-toned muscles of the neck and shoulders lead to headaches. Feelings of anxiety and depression are not uncommon. Insomnia might be present. Chronic stress has even been linked to rheumatoid arthritis, allergies, asthma, cancer, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, hormonal imbalances, hypertension and heart attacks.
Massage therapy has a positive impact in reducing the effects of stress on the body. Several studies have confirmed that massage reduces the levels of cortisol in the body and decrease stress levels. Certain massage techniques are more relaxing than others. If you are experiencing high levels of stress, a Hot Stone Massage or a traditional Lomi Lomi Massage are my recommendation as these massages tend to relax on a deeper level.
Many clients have even reported that the ancient healing method from Japan called Jin Shin Jyutsu has helped them achieve the most deepest level of relaxation ever experienced. To clear emotional and physical blockages deep relaxation is a must.
In addition to Massage, Lavender baths and camomile teas will be the perfect addition to your relaxation therapy.