The Effects of Stress on Your Body

Stress is the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses.

Stress is a normal part of life. Many events that happen to you and around you — and many things that you do yourself — put stress on your body. You can experience stress from your environment, your body, and your thoughts.

How Does Stress Affect Health?

The human body is designed to experience stress and react to it. Stress can be positive, keeping us alert and ready to avoid danger. Stress becomes negative when a person faces continuous challenges without relief or relaxation between challenges. As a result, the person becomes overworked and stress-related tension builds. Stress that continues without relief can lead to a condition called distress — a negative stress reaction. Distress can lead to physical symptoms including headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, and problems sleeping. Persistent reactions to stress can put a strain on both your heart and your gut, leading to a 60% increased risk of cardiovascular disease and digestive problems, as well as being a main perpetrator of accelerated ageing and decreased immune system functioning. Research suggests that stress also can bring on or worsen certain symptoms or diseases. Stress also becomes harmful when people use alcohol, tobacco, or drugs to try to relieve their stress. Unfortunately, instead of relieving the stress and returning the body to a relaxed state, these substances tend to keep the body in a stressed state and cause more problems.

Consider the following:

  • Forty-three percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress.
  • Seventy-five percent to 90% of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.
  • Stress can play a part in problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, arthritis, depression, and anxiety.
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declared stress a hazard of the workplace. Stress costs American industry more than $300 billion annually.
  • The lifetime prevalence of an emotional disorder is more than 50%, often due to chronic, untreated stress reactions.

It’s important to combat stress before it starts to have too much of a negative impact on your day-to-day life. Whilst stress is completely normal and even considered to be a stimulus to act and grow, too much or a build-up of it can have serious repercussions.

Massage Therapy and Stress

A good number of massage types are designed specifically to help with sports-related injuries and pain, but this kind of therapy can also improve mental health and well-being. Many don’t realise the benefits to your body that massages actually have! Virtually every symptom listed by the American Psychological Association can benefit from massage. Research has shown that it can lower your heart rate and blood pressure, relax your muscles and increase the production of endorphins, your body’s natural “feel good” chemical. Serotonin and dopamine are also released through massage, and the result is a feeling of calm relaxation that makes chronic or habitual as well as acute or short-term stress much easier to overcome. In fact, stress relief is one of the first benefits that come to mind when thinking of massage therapy. It’s also a key component for anyone trying to achieve a healthier lifestyle. Clinical studies show that even a single half hour session can significantly lower your heart rate, cortisol levels and insulin levels — all of which explain why massage therapy and stress relief go hand-in-hand.

Benefits of Massage Therapy for Stress

Massage therapy, often integrated as a part of deep tissue massages and Swedish massages, is used traditionally for relieving the aches and pains of everyday life and giving the recipient a small break from troubles. They can help to relax tight or sore muscles, enhance flexibility and range of motion, and improve blood circulation, but one of their most beneficial effects is stress relief. Stress is a prime contributor to many chronic diseases, and can make current symptoms of said conditions even worse – many don’t realise how serious stress can become, which is why the benefits of massages should be made more widely known. Massages can help to combat these built-up feelings and anxieties, and in turn, the risk of depression, disturbed sleep patterns, and fatigue is heavily reduced. A combination of slower breathing and pain relief from specialised massage techniques help to quieten the mind and relax the whole body, leaving you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed and putting you in a better state of mind to continue with your daily activities.

Everyone has dealt with worries, anxieties, and even anger, especially when things you’ve thought that you had on track go wrong or you feel overworked and drained from even the simplest tasks. LiveWell Health offer a wide range of massage techniques that can improve a multitude of health aspects from general well-being to complications and ailments, and from aches and pains to psychological stability. Sports massages will help you to improve agility and recover from sporting injuries, whilst Swedish and remedial massages can improve circulation, mental health and well-being, and generally make you feel great. All of these massages are carried out by experienced professionals with industry training and so you can be sure that you’re receiving the best quality treatment for whatever it is that’s affecting you.

For more information on massages from a friendly member of the team, contact us on 07939 212 739 or drop us an email at info@livewellhealth.co.uk.