When the stresses of daily living get us down it’s not just our mental or emotional states that suffer. Tension transmits itself throughout the body, causing many physical symptoms too.
Persistent neck or back pain that can not be explained by actual injury can often be caused by emotional stress, whether that’s through family or work situations. The body is designed to withstand small doses of stress and is able to adjust accordingly.
When we’re in stressful situations, the body produces a chemical reaction that’s meant to help us out of it. Symptoms such as a racing heart, tight muscles, rapid breathing all put us on high alert to deal with the situation that’s causing the stress.
Known as the flight-or-fight syndrome, the body is now ready to act to remove itself from whatever is perceived to be harmful. Small doses of stress like this, that we act upon and quickly recover from, don’t do us any harm.
The body is behaving as it should. Long-term stress situations are, however, a different matter, and the body can react with both physical and emotional symptoms, according to the WebMD website.
Physical symptoms can include muscular aches and joint pains and these can often be relieved through massage. When stress is causing the body to tense up, pain can result. When we feel pain we tend to tense up as a defence mechanism against it.
This dual tensing of the body causes a catch 22 situation. Your body reacts to stress by tensing up, causing pain. The pain causes you to tense up in defence which causes more pain and stress. The downward spiral can create many physical problems if it isn’t somehow interrupted.
Types of massage
Massage therapy can greatly reduce the effects of stress and tension in the body. There are simple massage techniques we can perform on ourselves, for instance to ease tension headaches or to relieve tightness in the neck or shoulders when we’ve been sitting for too long at the computer. Trying a few of these will convince you of the effectiveness of massage, and may even persuade you to explore the world of massage a little further.
There are many different types of massage, ranging from Indian head massage to body massage and specialised areas such as sports massage. Establishments such as www.nextstepbeauty.co.uk offer accredited courses in all of these types of massage.
Massage therapists are very much in demand in today’s stressful work and life environment. As a fully qualified therapist you could find yourself working in salons, spas or even as an independent mobile therapist. With courses such as those available at www.nextstepbeauty.co.uk, you can choose how deeply you wish to explore the subject and whether you wish to specialise in any particular area.
Helping people to relax, easing aches and pains and being instrumental in empowering individuals to get on with their lives is one of the most rewarding aspects of working as a massage therapist.
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