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Stress and Massage - What you need to know

It is no secret that we are currently the most stressed that we have ever been as a society. Stressful situations set off the sympathetic nervous system which releases stress hormones.

These hormones trigger the fight-or-flight response so that we can respond to any perceived threat - be that a physically dangerous situation or a tight deadline. This causes a range of physiological responses including an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, as well as tense muscles.

While everyone gets stressed once in a while, problems can start to occur when it becomes a chronic issue. Chronic stress can contribute to high blood pressure, clogged arteries, and physical changes to the brain that are correlated with anxiety and depression. Chronic stress has also been linked to chronic pain, with the increased muscle tightness associated with stress causing greater inflammation and pain over time.

The parasympathetic nervous system is the antagonist to the sympathetic nervous system; where the sympathetic nervous system stimulates activity in the body, the parasympathetic nervous system puts the brakes on and helps your body relax and return to its normal operating state.

Massage has been found to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, resulting in a reduced heart rate, lower levels of stress hormones such as cortisol, and lower blood pressure.

Research also suggests that massage therapy stimulates part of the brain related to experiencing pleasant sensations. Massage therapy, particularly Remedial Massage Therapy, has been proven to reduce muscle tension and pain, which is also linked to a greater overall sense of wellbeing.

Your leading Canning Vale Remedial Massage Therapists are trained in a range of techniques to reduce your pain and help you feel better sooner. Book an appointment at our Queensgate Centre clinic today!


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