Massage – Complementary Therapies – Massage for Health, Healing and Stress Reduction
STRESSED? The credit crunch, redundancies and low employment all add up to low moods and anxiety for many.
Stress is one of our country’s biggest killers!
Whether you are under pressure at work, your marriage is on the rocks or you are facing a life or death situation, your body reacts in exactly the same way – the fight or flight reaction.
Your blood pressure rises, your muscles tighten, your heart beats faster and your senses become heightened.
Long-term or chronic stress unbalances almost every system in your body and can lead to many health problems such as anxiety and depression; skin conditions such as eczema; disturbed sleep patterns; pain of any kind; and it increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes, to name but a few.
I could go on, but it is far too depressing and stressful!
Many of my clients come to me because of back problems. They have, perhaps driven a long way; picked something up awkwardly; sat for hours at a computer or just twisted round too sharply, and this or that has caused the pain in their backs.
These clients, carrying out the same tasks while relaxed and balanced would probably have suffered little or no damage.
The effects are similar to that of another client, who was an over aught driver involved in a car accident.
She had been driving for two hours, the roads were congested, and she was stressed out when the accident happened. Her body was ‘up-tight’ and she was badly injured.
However, her passenger, who was asleep and oblivious to any problems until the point of impact, suffered very few injuries due to her relaxed state.
No, the moral of this tale is not to have a snooze while driving!
However, stopping the car after an hour of driving and asking your passenger to give you an Indian head massage is.
Massage is the antidote to all stress.
During a back massage you may have heard your therapist say “you are very knotty”, and you may have felt intense pain as she has pressed and pummelled these toxic lumps into submission.
The theory is that once these ‘knots’ have been dispersed towards your body’s natural waste disposal system (the lymph glands), the toxins will then be flushed away by the many litres of water and herbal teas your therapist has coerced you into drinking during the next 48 hours.
This is a very physical description of how massage can work to restore your body to its former glory, but it does so much more than that.
Massage is a holistic treatment, so it treats the whole of your body, mind and soul, and not just your lumpy back.
The kneading, stroking and rolling increases the circulation so fresh oxygenated blood pumps through your veins nourishing you from the inside; the lymph system which transports waste out of your body works overtime to detoxify your body; your muscles are stretched then relaxed adding tone; your mind has been given time to switch off and become still; the therapeutic touch heals on many levels including emotionally; and your entire being becomes rebalanced.
Once your body is balanced, your natural energy levels return; your mind feels calm; and your glands (endocrine system) release the correct amount of chemicals into your system to enable it to function healthily.
There are many forms of massage including aromatherapy, lymphatic drainage, and reflexology. My favourites, because I practise them, are Indian head massage, Swedish massage and hot stone massage, all with a bit of Reiki healing thrown in for good measure.
The right massage for you will depend on you. Some people enjoy the therapeutic heat and gentle massage of hot stones. This treatment involves the placing of hot (but not burning hot) stones and massage incorporating the hot Basalt stones to increase the blood supply and sedate the nervous system.
Others prefer the more intense, deep tissue treatment of a Swedish massage which removes toxins, increases circulation, tones muscles and stimulates the nervous system.
Some clients would never deviate from the stress reducing, energy increasing benefits of an Indian head massage which send them into a hedonistic paradise.
So, next time you suffer memory loss, moodiness, lack of sex drive, or sleepless nights, just ask yourself: “Is this really the menopause? Or am I suffering from stress?”
Actually, massage is very effective for menopausal symptoms too.
Helen is a massage therapist offering treatments to ladies in Ipswich and Suffolk. For more information on swedish massage treatments and hot stone massages, please click on these links. Or click here to contact Helen.