Several recent news stories report that stress levels among Americans are on the rise. Contributing factors are the usual ones such as anxiety about money, job dissatisfaction and concerns about personal well being. High levels of stress are directly linked to a number of serious health issues, so it’s important to work to mange stress, and not simply live with high levels of stress indefinitely.
A “lack of time” is the most common reason as to why people are unable to manage their lives and their stress levels. According to a recent article in Massage magazine, what so many do not grasp is that: “the regular practice of aerobic and postural realignment exercises and eating a well-balanced diet helps reduce stress and benefits the mind and body by improving blood chemistry, digestion and bowel function; increasing circulation; lowering blood pressure; improving posture and self-image; and decreasing pain.” In short, making time for routine massage sessions could dramatically decrease stress levels and improve one’s health!
In both European and Asian cultures, massage is widely viewed as routine and its benefits are well known. According to the Massage magazine article, Americans are finally coming around and using massage therapy as a stress reliever. A 2015 study revealed that, “23 percent of Americans said they got a massage for stress reduction, and 53 percent said they would consider regular massage to relieve and manage stress.”
The same article also discussed new research which shows that massage may reduce anxiety and depression. Furthermore, incorporating regular massage therapy into one’s health and wellness routine can also relieve pain from headaches and backaches and the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Massage has also been proven to lower stress hormone levels, improve immune system function, sleep quality and self-image.
Here’s another point to ponder. A 2015 study from the Center for Disease Control discovered that 50 to 70 million Americans have trouble sleeping. “Insufficient sleep disorder” has now been cited by the CDC as a “national epidemic”. Massage can also be a powerful tool in the battle against insomnia. There is variety of relaxation and sleep inducing massage practices that combine elements such as breathing techniques, moist heat, focused muscle relaxation and soothing music.
Don’t allow stress to rule your life and negatively impact your well being. Get a massage on your calendar today.
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