The Mental Health Benefits of Massage Therapy

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The hustle and bustle of daily life, as well as the pressures of a hectic work schedule, put us at risk of chronic stress and its related detrimental effects on our overall health.

Studies show that up to half of all adults in the developed countries will experience stress-related mental health issues at least once during their lives. These worrying statistics and the strains of everyday life compel us to hunt for strategies to provide stress relief and help us stay healthy.

Fortunately, there is a natural approach that can help release stress and support your musculoskeletal system.

Over centuries, massage therapy has proven to be a risk-free, non-invasive method to treat numerous conditions, help you unwind, and sharpen your senses. Read on to learn how stress affects our physical and mental health, and how a registered massage therapist can help you diminish or eliminate its harmful effects.

How Stress Affects Your Body

Stress is a critical defense mechanism that affects all organ systems in our bodies to help us tackle everyday threats and challenges. The human body readily welcomes small amounts of short-term stress (fight-or-flight response) as it raises alertness and bolsters the immune system, among numerous other beneficial physiological responses.

However, when we are constantly under pressure without seeking stress relief, we reach a state of chronic stress where hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline are high. We are continuously alert, experiencing rapid heart and respiratory rates, muscle tension, slow digestion, and the inability to relax.

Our bodies find it difficult to cope with these responses in the long term and begin to yield to the ceaseless influence of stress hormones. This results in various abnormalities in our physiology, and an increased risk for numerous diseases.

How Stress Affects Your Mental Health

Similar to the physical responses to short-term stress, the psychological effects assist in prompt decision-making and other cognitive functions such as reasoning, learning, attention, and problem-solving.

Nonetheless, chronic stress is as equally detrimental to our mental health as it is to our physical well-being. We separate symptoms into cognitive, emotional, and behavioral.

Cognitive symptoms may manifest with memory and decision-making difficulties, lack of concentration, worry, and fear. Emotional responses include mood swings, irritability, feelings of hopelessness, unhappiness, guilt, and anxiety.

Chronic stress can affect our behavior to lead to social withdrawal, substance abuse, decreased productivity, and poor dietary and lifestyle habits.

How Massage Helps You Relieve Stress

Numerous studies and clinical trials show that regular massage therapy can significantly reduce hormone levels, thus alleviating the adverse physical and psychological effects of stress.

The resulting stress relief may return your heart and respiratory rate to normal, fix your sleep patterns and reduce blood pressure and glucose levels.

Massages can complement treatment regimes for numerous conditions such as anxiety disorders, depression, diabetes, fatigue, and musculoskeletal disorders.

Additionally, massage therapy brings out an emotional response to touch that leads to increased activity in areas of the brain such as the amygdala and the hypothalamus. These effects result in positive emotions and feelings due to improved stress control.

Schedule Your Next Appointment With Us Today!

Whether you are experiencing the adverse effects of elevated stress and anxiety or suffering from physical pain and stiffness, professional massage therapy is a natural approach to effectively relieving your symptoms.

Calgary’s Intrinsi clinic offers a diverse team of professionals with a unique holistic and innovative approach to wellness. Our registered massage therapists custom-tailor your treatments to center the focus on you, so that you can relax and become the best version of yourself.Learn more about our services. Call us today at 403-229-9214 or book an appointment online.

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