Stress

Download our presentation on Stress

Where is your stress setting set – high or low? What can you do about it? If we help you turn it down – then you will be able to cope and feel better!                                      

WHAT IS STRESS?

In a moment of shock, (e.g. diagnosis of an illness, end of a relationship, losing a job, getting bad news) the body temporarily freezes. It is in this moment of freeze, when we don’t know what to do, that the body’s emergency programming takes over. We enter the fight or flight state, and the body responds as if a wild animal is attacking us. This is fine as it is all about survival. The body is very clever as it spreads the load over the body.                                                      

We decide whether to fight or flee… Fighting is rarely acceptable (e.g. at the office!) so we suppress it and our stress level rises.

Years ago it was not cool to be stressed but now the word is used regularly! Half a million people in the UK believe they’re suffering from work-related stress at a level that’s making them ill.

Stress is defined as being when pressure exceeds an individual’s inability to cope.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

Include:

Many more are attributed to stress and are certainly exacerbated by stress.

Raised stress levels are attributed to stressors: worries over finances, relationships, work, family, health, fear of redundancy or dealing with death and grief, anxiety in relationships. Different people react differently to the same stressor so have different signs and symptoms.

Doctors do know that stress causes or contributes to most disease processes but have little to offer apart from drugs.

The more stressed we get, the more we feel we cannot cope! This then makes us more susceptible to more stress. Our ‘stress setting’ is just too high.

WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW:                              

What triggers our stress response?                

Boss, parent, sibling, teacher, bullying?  

If we understand what is stressing us, then we can do something about it. We can note our reactions. Increased awareness helps us.

HOW MUCH STRESS DO WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH?

WHAT IS STOPPING US FROM ‘GETTING ON WITH IT’?                    

HOW CAN WE HELP OURSELVES?

There are unhealthy ways we choose to cope: boozing, overeating, eating junk, smoking. All these lower our ability to deal with what life throws at us and make us susceptible to disease.

There are healthy ways: listening to music, reading, talking to friends or a counsellor, being in touch with nature, relaxing, breathing, exercise, being pampered, having fun.

When we feel fit, strong and energetic, it is much harder for folks to press our buttons!

Massage is a healthy habit to adopt!

Imagine a sponge with all the holes in it being the spaces for blood vessels and nerves to pass through. Now stress it, by squeezing it and realise the effects that tension has on your whole body.

After the stress phase comes regeneration and healing. This is what the body needs. If we stay in the stress phase, things are likely to get worse not better. Health is compromised and organs are challenged.

MASSAGE THERAPY:

  • helps you slow down and take ‘time out’ so that you can deal with the stresses that are in your life. Often after a massage, you know what to do! It is as if your bodymind is given the space to decide how to proceed.
  • helps in body awareness, so you can be more aware of your body, how it feels and how it reacts during your daily life to stressors particularly
  • does encourage the body to go into the second phase of healing. Counselling, meta health coaching etc. are also recommended
  • helps in reducing stress levels. We store our emotions in our muscles. Massage soothes, releases tension and helps in raising energy. There is less energy stored in tense muscles and this helps restore that zest for life
  • a wonderful touch experience and touch is essential for health.
  • a tool to help us shut down the busyness that interferes with our lives. The mind is really the place to start.

MORE RELAXATION MASSAGE EFFECTS:              

  • helps sleep which helps the body heal.
  • blocks the pathway of painful sensations to the brain by replacing them with larger mechanical stimulators which confuse this ‘gateway’ and thus ease or remove pain.
  • encourages the body to release its very own medicines particularly the ‘feel good’ ones as well as pain killers. Endorphins and encaphalins are released during a massage.
  • a lovely feeling of calmness fills you
  • heart rate slows down so your heart doesn’t have to work so hard, blood pressure reduces and breathing rate decreases relieving pressure on your lungs,
  • ‘feel good’ hormones increase, stress hormones decrease
  • anxiety lessens – you can’t feel relaxed and anxious at the same time

Imbalances occur with stress and pain so vital energy pathways are blocked, preventing the body from functioning effectively. Massage helps the body’s natural equilibrium.

Muscles, tendons, ligaments relax with the touch of massage. Deeper layers are affected by easing the tightness in more superficial ones easing pain and discomfort.

We respect that the body is a highly intelligent, self healing organism if it is allowed to do its job!

Organs benefit – helping digestion in the case of abdominal massage – or easing period pains.

Regular Relaxation Massage helps your body recover and repair. The effects are cumulative – you really can’t get enough massage!!

Swedish Massage is wonderful to keep your soft tissues pliable and nourished, helps restore balance in the structure, helping the whole body, mind and spirit. As it improves circulation so oxygen and nutrients reach the cells now the ‘rubbish’ has been moved out by manipulating the soft tissues. An improved circulation helps ALL cells so all systems of the body benefit. Health then improves!

Panic attack – severe anxiety

It is thought that panic attacks occur in one in seventy five people. The signs and symptoms come on intensely and suddenly while doing a normal everyday activity and may include: racing heartbeat, palpitations, difficulty breathing, feeling as though 'can't get enough air, terror that is almost paralysing, dizziness, light-headedness or nausea, trembling, sweating, shaking, choking, chest pains, hot flushes, or sudden chills, tingling in fingers or toes, impending doom, fear of going crazy or are about to die.

Using Remedial and Swedish Massage to help reduce the stress and tension has been found to be of great assistance. Reflexology is excellent at helping hormonal problems – so we also recommend that.

CASE STUDIES

THERAPY OPTIONS AVAILABLE FOR THIS CONDITION AT BROOKS-CARTER CLINIC