Have you ever seen a line of dominoes fall? It only takes one domino to fall out of place in order for the whole line to follow in a downward tumble. One change in the system affects the rest and continues to create more change. In a human body, there are many triggers that may cause one problem that will create a series of other negative issues for the body. Stress is one trigger that can negatively affect mental, emotional, and physical health.

Stress Effects
According to knowledge from PositiveMed, the head, stomach, skin, pancreas, heart, and many more organs of the body are victims of mental stress. Stress also creates aches, pains, and tension in joints and muscles. When muscles are sore or damaged in any way, this can create serious problems for the body and mobility, in other words, creating a domino effect.

Learning to manage stress mentally is key to releasing a lot of stress, but it is not always so easy to accomplish. So how can you help yourself physically when the weight on your shoulders is too much?

How Massage Helps with Stress
Medical research shows us that, in fact, getting massage therapy is one of the best ways to improve not just physical health, but mental and emotional as well. Research completed in the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles shows that when massage therapy relaxes muscles, many chemical changes occur. When muscles relax, levels of the main stress hormone cortisol are reduced. Even more fundamentally, there is a decrease of arginine vasopressin, which controls the release of cortisol, as well as adrenal corticotropin, which is the actual stimulant of cortisol.

The number of lymphocytes, or white blood cells in the immune system, increase as well as the hormone oxytocin, which is related with happiness and contentment. Essentially, massages will literally eliminate stress and make you happy person! The physical healing will bring mental and emotional healing, which simplifies the burden of stress management.

In the study at the David Geffen School of Medicine, the Swedish technique in massage therapy was used on the clients. This is not the only technique used and certainly not the first. In fact, techniques vary and change between different massage therapists. Still, there are methods widely known and used.

Massage is one of the earliest known forms of psychical therapy with the use of massage as a healing technique dating back centuries. Because massage therapy has been in practice for so long all around the world, it should come as no surprise that it has the power to provide physical, emotional, and mental healing. Through studies performed with modern science on massage therapy, it has been proven that our ancestors were right and massage therapy has extremely beneficial uses with regard to stress and overall health. Don’t let stress affect your health, take a load off your shoulders and experience massage therapy.

Article Author: Shelly Jackson is a Registered Massage Therapist and owner of Buena Vista Massage Therapy Clinic in Vancouver, BC. On a daily basis we deal with: resolving muscle and movement stiffness and pain; injuries from vehicles or sports; post breast cancer rehab; pregnancy related discomfort; repetitive strain and overuse injuries. We work with clients to reduce their anxiety and stress, improve joint movement, sleep and quality of life. Working with qualified massage therapists is necessary for your continued health. Contact us at 604-538-7166 and we would be happy to answer any questions you have.

Photo Source: courtesy of Ohmega1982 / Free Digital Photos