Stress Massage: For Your Mental Health

We all get into knots for many reasons. Bad posture, sleeping positions, daily physical routines or lack of exercise can stress our bodies and create sore, tight and aching muscles. When it gets a little too debilitating, we call a massage therapist to iron out those kinks. Well, what about the knots in your head? When mental stress builds up, your muscles will react and tighten. Have you ever booked a massage because the mental weight in your head is causing you physical pain? Sometimes a simple pause to question the root of your physical pain can help gather perspective about your current mental status. Constant stress can affect your long-term psychological and physical health. As a result, severe problems can develop, like mental disorders, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.

Have you ever heard the expression "stress can kill"?

Maybe the stress won't kill you immediately, but untreated chronic stress can lead to a shorter life span and reduce your quality of life over time.

Our bodies respond to stress by producing the steroid hormone cortisol, which affects every organ and tissue in your body. This defence system protects us when in flight or fight mode. For instance, it regulates the body's blood pressure and blood sugar, suppresses inflammation, manages the body's carbohydrates, fats and proteins and can control your sleep and wake cycle. When the stress diffuses, the body's cortisol levels go back to normal. However, if you are under constant pressure, the switch never turns off, and the body will continue to produce cortisol, resulting in an over-exposure to the steroid hormone. The continual production of cortisol will affect your body's organs and processes and put your health at risk. Some of these health risks include;

  • Increased anxiety

  • Depression

  • Digestive issues

  • Headaches

  • A weakened immune system

  • Muscle tension and pain

  • Heart disease, heart attack, high blood pressure and stroke

  • Insomnia

  • Weight gain

  • Diabetes

There are several ways to counter an overproduction of cortisol. Firstly, reduce the mental stress in your life. Easier said than done, but taking deep breaths for five minutes a few times a day to slow down your heart rate can help improve anxiety and depression. Getting a massage at least twice a month to help curb the stress and increase your circulation will help energize you. Reducing your daily caffeine sugar intake can help with balancing your energy levels. Getting adequate sleep and eating whole foods without added sugars help keep you away from weight gain and developing diabetes. It's essential to take time for yourself and assess your mental well-being.

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