The power of massage is an under estimated therapy that helps the body to relax, rejuvenate and heal itself.
Massage benefits the whole body both physiologically and psychologically. However, some of the body’s systems are more directly affected that others. Massage is particularly beneficial for the skin, muscles, nerves, circulation, blood and lymph.
How does STRESS affect us?
It has been estimated that 75% of disease is thought to be caused by stress and massage may well be the best stress buster. That is a staggering statistic !! Although we cannot avoid stress we need to be able to manage it and not allow the body to work harder than usual in order to remain balanced. The body has to respond to stress, it’s the fight or flight syndrome. We cannot always run away from stressful situations. Several systems shut down and the body works to conserve energy to enable movement and escape.
Adrenaline rushes through the body to warn of danger, the heart rate increases, blood vessels contract which increases blood pressure, the digestive system shuts down and the muscles contract. If the perceived danger is removed then the body returns to a normal balanced state. Unfortunately if this cannot be achieved – for example an office worker cannot run away from a demanding boss or annoying colleague, then the body remains tense and cannot relax.
Typical symptoms of stress include getting nervous about an interview, exam or meeting. These can include butterflies in tummy, racing heart or palpitations, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, shaking, insomnia, sweating.
In the medium term these symptoms if left untreated may cause chest pains, high blood pressure, abdominal pain, migraines, depression, ulcers, asthma, allergies, persistent insomnia, infections and even back ache.
In the long term constant stress has been known to cause heart disease, strokes, cancer and angina.
Stress cannot be cured, there is no pill to take it away, but we can respond in a positive way, rather than negative. For example if stuck in a traffic jam, one person may get angy and annoyed – giving in to stress. Whereas another driver may accept the situation and manage it. The actual stress factor is the same for both motorists. I tend to keep cleaning wipes in my car and take the opportunity the clean the dashboard and steering wheel whilst stuck in traffic.
How to manage stress
We can learn to respond in a healthier way by using relaxation techniques. Telling ourselves to relax is not enough, we have to try doing activities that help us relax. Walking, meeting friends, going out to the theatre or cinema, breathing exercises, visualisation, yoga and massage all help to relax the body.
How can massage help?
Most stressed people tend to over use conventional methods to relax like smoking and drinking to stay calm, but too much alcohol or nicotine can have an adverse effect in the long run.
Massage can help induce deep relaxation helping to remove built-up tension of the stress response, without damaging the body. It is easy to forget what deep relaxation feels like. Many clients are unaware of how much tension their body is holding on to until they have a massage. By properly relaxing, massage enables clients to be more aware of what tension feels like which in turn helps to release more tension.
Massage also allows you to avoid stress altogether, when the body and mind is relaxed, problems and events tend to seem less daunting giving the feeling of calmness, which will prevent tension and stress building up.
How does massage treat stress and its effects?
Massage treats stress in several ways:-
- This treatment relies on touch, one of the most neglected senses. The touch obtained through massage can boost self-esteem and comfort the lonely and bereaved.
- Boosts the immune system which gets weakened by constant stress, stimulates the circulation and lymphatic system, increases energy levels and induces calm in both body and mind.
- Releases endorphins, the pain relieving happy hormones.
- Stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which slows down the body, encourages deeper breathing, lowers heart rate and switches digestion back on.
- Relaxes all the systems of the body, which either shut down or speed up when stressed and helps with stress related conditions like insomnia, headaches, anxiety, backache and constipation.
- Helps with treating depression and symptoms of low self-esteem by boosting well-being.
- Stimulates the body’s natural ability to repair and renew at cellular level.
Given all the positive reasons to have a massage why not escape for the day and enjoy a unique experience at Beauty Haven where we pamper you and help you through the art of relaxation. A full body massage using sacred oils infused with three precious botanical oils – Monoi, Sesame and Apricot to relax and give a feeling of well-being deep down.
Please call to discuss our holistic massage treatments including back, shoulder and neck massage, hot stones, Lava Shells, Indian Head, Reflexology, and Balinese Massage.