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Sleeping with the Enemy? (Hint: It's Stress)

Oct 14, 2012

Lying awake at night? Can’t stop your mind from worrying about what happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow? It’s not healthy — and that’s not just a saying.

Stress and the way you react to it may be affecting your health, even though it may not be apparent to you. You may think that persistent headache or inability to focus is caused by a physical illness, but the culprit may actually be excessive ongoing stress in your life. And it can lead to serious health problems.

According to the National Institutes of Health, stress is at the root of 80 percent or more of all illness and doctor visits in the U.S.. Here's how stress increasesyour risk of serious disease, your healthcare cost and your productivity.

Stress and the way you react to it may be affecting your health, even though it may not be apparent to you. You may think that persistent headache or inability to focus is caused by a physical illness, but the culprit may actually be excessive ongoing stress in your life. And it can lead to serious health problems.

Health effects of stress

The health effects of stress identified by The Mayo Clinic can range from relatively minor symptoms and conditions including …

  • Headache
  • Back pain
  • Upset stomach
  • Sleep problems
  • Irritability
  • Lack of focus
  • Forgetfulness
  • Overeating

… to more acute and critical health conditions including …

  • Chest pain
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Decreased immunity

What can you do to reduce stress?

First, recognize that you can’t prevent stress. It’s part of everyday life — and some level of stress is actually good for you. It’s how you react to stress, as well as a lifestyle that brings a frequently elevated levels of stress into your life, that can get you and your state of health into trouble.

Health experts agree that making lifestyle changes to help you identify your stress triggers and, most importantly, better manage your reactions to stress, can bring numerous health benefits.

Stress management techniques recommended by medical experts include massage as well as exercise, guided relaxation and breathing techniques, meditation, yoga and tai chi.  (please spell check)

How massage can help you manage stress

The Mayo Clinic notes that studies have found massage helpful for stress relief and for managing anxiety and depression, as well as boosting immunity. Massage has been shown to help regulate hormones including norepinephrine, cortisol and serotonin — naturally occurring chemicals in the body that are associated with stress, relaxation and mood.

Beyond the physical effects of tactile manipulation of the muscles, tissues, joints and organs, the stress-relief and health benefits of massage also come from the caring and comfort of physical touch.

These benefits of regular massage can help you cope with stress when it’s occurring — and also develop a stronger everyday resilience to the stresses life will inevitably bring.

Stressed to the max? We can help. Our team of massage therapy professionals is trained to help you identify your stress “storage” points and release the tension physically ­— so you can let it go more easily and feel calm, cool and in control of whatever comes at you. Life brings it on. We get it out.

 

Be sure to check with your doctor if you’re experiencing chronic stress. Your symptoms could be associated with a serious health condition.

Share your thoughts, leave a comment!

Comments (1)

Kathleen Suneja on Mar 12, 2016
Hi there! Great article you have, I would also want to share my thoughts that
Meditation indeed has positive effects not only in the body but also in the mind,
a total holistic wellness that brings us to know our inner-self better. It gives
us a peace of mind that helps us have a much better perception about our lives.
Our advocacy is to promote the positive effects of meditation, yoga and inner
wellness.Help us, visit our website at http://www.iamthechangeiseek.org and also
www.goodreads.com/kathleensuneja. You can also download the app at
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.goodbarber.iamthechange.
Thank you and have a great day!

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