Life is filled with stressors. That could include anything like having to deal with traffic, a particularly difficult situation at work, or the daily challenges to raising children. It could also mean an ongoing stress that never seems to relent. The pandemic has millions of Americans worried out of their minds, and it doesn’t appear like it’s going to resolve itself anytime soon.
The point is that stress – no matter where it comes from – can affect your overall quality of life if you’re not careful. People that allow their stress to build end up having issues that can wreak havoc on the mind, body, and spirit.
Cortisol and Stress
The science behind this has to do with a chemical in the body called cortisol. It’s the body’s natural stress hormone that’s triggered during times of duress. However, too much cortisol can lead to a myriad of issues and symptoms that transpire throughout the body.
Here are some of the mental and physical symptoms of stress and/or high cortisol levels:
- Aches and pains throughout the body
- Muscle tension
- Chest pain or pressure (as if there’s a great weight sitting on it)
- The inability to get consistent restful sleep
- Headaches or dizziness
- Stomach issues and digestive problems
- Weakened immune system
- Difficulty having sex
- Sadness or depression
- Panic attacks
As you can see, some of these are much more severe than others. That’s why it’s important to find holistic ways to cleanse your body when it’s accumulated too much stress. One such way that has shown great results for people of all ages and backgrounds is massage therapy.
What is Massage Therapy?
Massage therapy is the general term used for manipulation and applied pressure of skin, tendons, muscles, and ligaments. It is a widely available service that is used for medical purposes and as part of a spa treatment for relaxation purposes. Massage therapy generally breaks down into one of four categories.
- Swedish massage: A gentle form of massage therapy that uses deep circular movements, long strokes, and kneading.
- Deep massage: A more intense variety of massage that uses deeper, slower movements. This type of massage can be painful for some.
- Sports massage: This type of massage is intended for athletes who are either recovering from an injury or trying to prevent injury.
- Trigger point massage: This type of massage focuses on relieving tight muscle fibers that can occur from overuse or injury.
Depending on your specific situation, massage therapy can be used to recover from a serious sports injury or to simply melt some stress away. Whatever the purpose, it can’t be denied that massage therapy has some serious health and wellness benefits for those that take advantage of it on a regular basis.
The Main Benefits of Massage Therapy
As previously mentioned, massage therapy is a great holistic method to combat stress. However, you can also think of massage therapy as a preventative method of keeping the body and mind in optimal condition. Here are some of the top benefits you’ll see from getting massage therapy on a regular basis (2 – 3 times per month).
1. Improved Sleep
According to the CDC, roughly 70 million Americans suffer from chronic sleep issues. This could either mean not being able to fall asleep, the inability to stay asleep, or waking up well before your alarm. Whichever way you slice it, sleep issues can drastically affect the quality of your day. Just think about how well you operate on a full eight hours of sleep compared to only getting four or five hours. It’s a big difference, right?
This is exactly where massage therapy comes into play. The process of massage naturally releases a chemical known as serotonin, which is shown to be pivotal in helping people get deeper, sounder sleep. This also removes the dependence on over-the-counter and prescription sleep medication, which can make you feel groggy in the morning.
2. Decrease Anxiety and Improve Your Overall Mood
Stress and anxiety can literally come from anywhere…work, home life, school, or simply by reading the wrong thing on the internet. Recent statistics say that approximately one out of every three people experiences extreme stress. As mentioned before, feelings of stress can lead to decreased mood and just generally not feeling your best. It can even take a physical toll on you with sore and achy muscles.
Yet again, massage therapy comes to the rescue. During the process of massage, chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins are naturally released. These are the body’s “feel good” chemicals which decrease anxiety and boost your overall mood. So, if you need a natural pick me up, massage therapy is the way to go.
3. Pain Reduction
Pain is a very common symptom that millions of Americans experience. Even if you lead a low impact lifestyle, the aches and pains of sitting in an office chair can sneak up on you. Oddly enough, most people who complain about pain can’t pinpoint its origins. However, as we’ve pointed out earlier, stress can lead to both physical and emotional pain. It’s also very common in folks who are over 50 and may be dealing with pain symptoms relating to aging.
Do yourself a favor and book a massage appointment with a licensed massage therapist. By manipulating your muscles and improving your overall circulation, you will notice that your pain symptoms decrease significantly. It usually only takes one session to see immediate results.
Book Your Massage Therapy Appointment Today!
Now that you know a little bit more about massage therapy and what the benefits are, the next step is for you to book an appointment so that you can reclaim your quality of life. Simply search the phrase “massage therapy near me” or “massage therapy in Kansas City” to get started. This will bring up numerous licensed massage therapists in your area. Once you’ve identified the one you want to go with, reach out to them and book your appointment.
It’s time to take on your stress head on and reclaim your quality of life. Even one or two massage therapy appointments per month will go a long way.