Our daily lives can bring a lot of stress onto us. Whether we are moving houses or switching jobs, everyone has felt the pressure of being stressed. The problem is not just having a bad day here and there, it is the daily stressors that can really bring us down. While technology is great, our smartphones can lead us to become overworked, and constant contact with stressors like social media can be harmful. While we might not think of stress as harmful to us, its effects can actually have a huge effect on our bodies and minds. Stress can cause the following symptoms:
- And more
Massage therapy is proven effective in providing relief for stress sufferers. The effects are so well known that the number of individuals receiving massages has spiked. In America, 1 in 6 people visited massage therapists in 2006 and this number has definitely continued to increase.
So How Does Massage Therapy Reduce Stress?
Massage therapy can relieve stress in many different ways, aside from getting the massage itself. Stress relief comes from:
- Being in a relaxing environment
- Experiencing aromatherapy
- Feeling the healing hands of practitioners
In general, massage therapy environments are designed to encourage relaxation. Being in dim lighting paired with some comforting, quiet music will allow you to disconnect from the outside world, and your electronics, and you can focus on unwinding and being present.
Besides the soothing environment, most massage therapists use aromatherapy as an added feature to help you relax and focus on healing.
Massage therapy has been proven to help reduce stress hormone levels by 30 percent and help increase serotonin and dopamine levels by 28 percent. Besides rebalancing your hormones, massage therapy releases the tension in your muscles. When you are stressed, your muscles tighten in response, and when the stress ends your muscles become relaxed again. But if you are constantly stressed then your muscles will most likely stay slightly, yet permanently tensed. If this continues you might experience joint aches and pains, headaches, and neck pains, until it is resolved.
Through the massage therapists’ skilled hands, tight and painful muscles like your shoulders will become loosened and relaxed. Whether your massage therapist rubs, strokes, stretches, or applies pressure, the goal is to relax the muscle groups.
Everyone leads busy lives in this increasingly busy and stressful world. But this shouldn’t be affecting your physical or mental health.