We all suffer from it at some point in our life but what exactly is it doing to your body and how can you help relieve it!
Our bodies are well adapted to deal with short term stress but if your stress levels remain high for prolonged periods your body goes into red alert and this can leave you vulnerable to some serious health problems.
Effects of Stress on the Body
So what exactly are your high stress levels doing to your body’s internal systems well let me tell you. When you’re stressed, the brain’s sympathetic nerves signal the adrenal glands to release a chemical variety pack, including adrenaline and cortical. Persistently high levels of these chemicals may impair memory and learning, and up your odds for depression.
Stress hormones trigger the liver to produce more blood sugar, to give you that kick of energy in the moment of perceived danger. But if the “danger” you’re concerned with is a long-term dilemma and you’re already at risk for type 2 diabetes, bad news: Elevated glucose levels may turn you into full blown diabetic
At high-stress moments, you may find yourself breathing faster, feeling short of breath, or even hyperventilating. Over the long term, this strain on the system can make you more susceptible to upper-respiratory infections.
High Stress Moments
Momentary high levels of stress will make your heart beat faster and your blood pressure rise but prolonged high levels of stress can narrow your arteries and make your cholesterol rise which increases your risk of heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.
When stress levels are high the muscles tense to deal with what your body perceives as danger this tension causes headaches and neck, shoulder, and back pain. Prolonged stress makes this a whole lot worse leading to chronic pain.
So how can you help reduce your stress levels so you are not left vulnerable to some serious health problems? One word ….MASSAGE.
Clinical Studies have shown that even a 30 minute massage can significantly lower your heart rate, cortical levels and insulin levels. All of which explains why massage therapy and stress relief go hand in hand.
Massage has been proven to:
- Lower your heart rate and blood pressure.
- Relax your muscles
- Increase the production of endorphins which is your body’s natural feel good chemical which is great at counteracting the effects of stress
- Serotonin and dopamine are released during massage and these result in a feeling of calm relaxation that makes stress whether it be chronic or acute much easier to overcome.