Massage and Stress Relief

When stress becomes continual or chronic, it is better described as “distress” which comes from two Latin words meaning “stretched apart.”

Momentary stress is the body’s reaction to a threatening situation. Your body chemistry changes to accelerate heart rate and increase blood sugar to fuel muscles — the classic fight or flight response. To do that, there is, of course a cost; and that cost is paid by taking energy from your digestive and immune systems.

Coping with Life

Stress is often caused by situations that seem to be “beyond our control.” Worries about money, the behavior of their children, the fidelity of a spouse, the criticisms of parents, health issues — all these are typical issues facing nearly all people and producing the feeling of stress. Young people also experience tremendous stress due to worries over peer pressure to do destructive things, achieving good grades, coping with workloads, how to manage tests, homework or term papers, handling the demands of a part or full-time job in addition to school, health issues, and problematic relationships.

Peer pressure is itself especially cruel since the alternative to submission may be the prospect of becoming a social outcast.

People turn to alcohol or drugs when they doubt their ability to cope with life circumstances. Of course turning to substance abuse generally makes things even worse in the long run. A better solution is massage.

Massage helps people recharge their mental and spiritual batteries. It heightens wellbeing because you are doing something positive for yourself instead of doing something self destructive like numbing the pain with a drug. The problem with drugs in this case is drugs do not only numb pain, they numb everything — perceptions, pleasure, sensory information, beauty, details, ideas, emotions. Pain numbing drugs separate or remove a person from their entire world bit by bit. Most of the time the user does not notice... because they are too numb to notice.

Ultimately, the right answer to stress is to calmly confront any doubts as to one’s ability to cope, and plan solutions to one’s problems. The fact is a solution is always present — you just have to find it. That can take some thoughtful consideration, but the effort is certainly worth it.

Toxic Connections

In the worst-case scenario, stress can also be caused by a connection to a toxic person or group. Such people are called "sociopaths" or "psychopaths" — they are people without conscience or feelings of guilt. They manipulate others shamelessly and deviously, then abandon them when their usefulness is exhausted. Such people are masters of abuse and create great harm in society at large. Psychologists estimate that they number between 1.5% to 4% of the population. Some of them are ambitious and become dictators, some of them become CEOs, some are just professional parasites living off the support of others. In their wake, they all leave a shocking quantity of wreckage and destruction.

To break free from such people, the first step is to educate yourself about such people through books such as "The Sociopath Next Door" and "Snakes in Suits" and "Without Conscience." Then you must police your connections and do everything you can to distance yourself from such people. These people are the champions of stress makers. One theory suggests that all illness and accidents are traceable to a connection to such people. And massage can greatly help to relieve the stress they are generating.

Positive Mental Outlook

The process of finding answers to the problems of life is boosted by a positive mental state, a mental state which massage can bring you to. Many forms of massage are directly designed to awaken people into higher states of enlightenment, for example — Hawaiian style (called Lomi Lomi) and Thai massage which was founded by the Buddha's physician, 2,500 years ago. What physical or mental symptom could not be improved by massage? Study after study demonstrates that massage can relax the body; lower cortisol, insulin and blood pressure; ease heart rate and increase the production of endorphins — the biological chemicals that make you “feel good.”  Serotonin and dopamine is also boosted by massage and produces a feeling of calm relaxation.

It is much easier to confront the underlying causes of stress, solve problems and conceive of solutions when your mind is clear, you feel positive, and are experiencing a sense of calm relaxation.

In the game of life, some stress is healthy and unavoidable. Riding a roller coaster can produce stress, but it is also fun. That’s life. The goal is to keep stress at a healthy minimum and regular massage can help.  When stress gets out of control, it can lead to disease and even accidents which are produced due to people being distracted and not watching where they are walking or driving.

If you are feeling stress, give yourself a chance to reset your mind and body with the luxury of a massage. Use our Learning Center to discover the different varieties of massage and choose the style that is most appropriate for your current needs — they are all different. Your health, and you, are certainly worth the best care that you can give to yourself. No one is more influential in the fortunes and misfortunes of your own life than you. So treat yourself well. You are the best friend you will ever have.