We all have stress we have to deal with, right? It’s hard to go day by day without feeling some stress, but when you have too much of it, it can wear you down. It can cause neck pain, headaches, tension in your shoulders, and more serious issues like high blood pressure.
When you’re dealing with stress, one of the best ways to alleviate it is through a massage. Massages, in general, offer a multitude of health benefits, and stress relief is one of the most well-known.
Let’s go over why stress is so bad and some of the reasons why a massage can help with stress relief.
How stress negatively affects your health
For starters, not all stress is bad. In short doses, stress can be a great asset. It can help you perform well in academics, school, and sports. Feeling stress can be advantageous and necessary to perform at your best.
The issue is when you experience too much stress. When you feel stressed out too often or for extended periods, your body gets worn out.
When you’re stressed, your body releases a hormone known as cortisol. As this hormone is pumped through your body, your heart rate increases, and your blood pressure rises. For small periods, this is okay, but over an extended period, you could experience high blood pressure, a heart attack, or a stroke.
You might also experience weight gain, high cholesterol, hair loss, and irritability. Additionally, you can experience stomach issues like irritable bowel syndrome.
What tends to be most noticeable for people are headaches and neck and shoulder pain. You might wake up consistently experiencing a stiff neck or a headache. Additionally, your shoulders might regularly feel tense and sore. These pains could get worse throughout the day, and when you feel stressed out, they can be unbearable.
How a stress relief massage helps
Naturally, dealing with all the negative effects of stress sounds terrible. This is where getting a massage can help.
One of the core ideas of getting a massage is to help you relax. Stress relief might be one of the top reasons people seek a massage. Research has shown a massage can help your body produce serotonin and dopamine, which are hormones that help you relax and are the different opposite of cortisol.
One of the main ways a massage helps with stress relief is by increasing blood circulation throughout the body. Increasing your blood circulation can help your body produce serotonin and dopamine.
Good blood circulation is essential in maintaining a healthy lifestyle because it ensures oxygen and blood flow throughout your body, allowing all of your organs to function properly. Good blood circulation is also important in fighting off illnesses, keeping your heart healthy, and reducing muscle tension.
Types of stress relief massages you should consider
Now, there are plenty of options on what type of massage you could go with for stress relief. Most are pretty good, which can make choosing the right massage tricky.
However, there are some reliable massages guaranteed to help you relax. Some of these massages include a Swedish massage and an Asian-style body and foot massage.
A Swedish massage is one of the most relaxing massages you can get. Its main purpose is to promote relaxation by increasing blood circulation and oxygen through long, gliding strokes that follow the direction of blood returning to the heart.
During a Swedish massage, your massage therapist will focus on your back, neck, legs, and arms, all areas which can negatively be affected by stress. Your massage therapist may also use lotions and oils to help you relax further.
Asian-style body and foot massage
An Asian-style body and foot massage can do wonders when you want to relax. First, your feet are placed in a warm foot soak to help them relax. While your feet are soaking, a massage therapist will massage the rest of your face, head, arms, shoulders, and hands. After the soak is complete, your massage therapist will give a reflexology massage.
For the final part of the massage, your massage therapist will address your back, neck, and shoulders. All of these areas are where stress can take its heaviest toll.
Take care of yourself
Too much stress can be harmful to your health. It’s important to find ways to relieve your stress and relax. You owe it to yourself to be healthy.
Getting a massage can tremendously help with stress relief. While there isn’t a strict guideline on how often you should get a massage, regular massage sessions are recommended. Either way, a massage session can help you achieve the state of bliss you need.