April is Stress Awareness Month
by Lisa Poole on Tuesday, April 12, 2016
We all have it.
We can’t seem to get away from it.
There is good stress and then there is BAD stress.
I don’t know about you but I have an intimate knowledge of bad stress, and I don’t like it, no sir.
Stress has many health connections. I found a list at stress.org of “50 signs and symptoms of stress”. This is the first 10 listed…
1. Frequent headaches, jaw clenching or pain
2. Gritting, grinding teeth
3. Stuttering or stammering
4. Tremors, trembling of lips, hands
5. Neck ache, back pain, muscle spasms
6. Lightheadedness, faintness, dizziness
7. Ringing, buzzing or “popping sounds
8. Frequent blushing, sweating
9. Cold or sweaty hands, feet
10. Dry mouth, problems swallowing
Number 5 stands out to me as a massage therapist. I see lots and lots of people with pain; especially neck, shoulder and back pain. 95% of these clients also have moderate to high levels of stress. Someone said to me the other day “I was on vacation for a week and my neck did not bug me at all. Sunday night before going back to work my neck started to ache.” hmmmmm a correlation methinks.
I see it in my own body. I have tinnitus and when I am really stressed the ringing and whooshing sounds are so much more bothersome. Then there is the pain. Just this morning I was whining about always hurting. I exercise almost daily, I have been an MT for almost 5 years I should be conditioned and not ache as if every day was a new workout. Then light dawns on marble head….I have been under a ton of stress…duh…stress equals increased sensitivity to pain.
There are so many ways our body tries to tell us to take a chill pill. Digestive problems sleep issues, depression, anxiety, anger, increased or decreased appetite and so much more. So what can you do to take that chill pill? Meditation, exercise, yoga, vacations, therapy, and MASSAGE
There are many positive effects of a massage. Increasing relaxation and decreasing anxiety, massage temporarily lowers your blood pressure, can improve recovery time from injury, helps you to sleep better and can increase your concentration. It can reduce fatigue and give you more energy to handle stressful situations.
“Massage is a perfect elixir for good health, but it can also provide an integration of body and mind. By producing a meditative state or heightened awareness of living in the present moment, massage can provide emotional and spiritual balance, bringing with it true relaxation and peace.” *
Studies have shown a positive effect of even 15 minute chair massage on reducing stress. If you could find 15-30 minutes once a week can you imaging how much better you would feel after several weeks. 30 minutes is easy. You can fit it in at lunch, after work, before work…..its just 30 minutes and it could make you feel brand new. 30 minutes to ease the pain, anxiety, headaches, digestive issues and ohhh so much more.
The thought puts a smile on my face.