It often takes a dramatic event like whiplash or reaching the point where chronic pain becomes unlivable before peeps decide to schedule regular bodywork sessions.When you begin to experience what regular bodywork can do to not only help your body heal, but to help you function at your optimum, you realize there’s a whole lot more going on than a froufrou treat.
Aside from pain reduction or elimination, increased mobility and flexibility, massage has a profound effect on our stress levels.
Stress has been called the “stealth disease” because so many of us experience it without realizing how seriously it is impacting the physical systems of our body:
- Digestion slows – increases our inability to absorb vital nutrients from our food, which explains why even people who “eat well” experience bloating, indigestion, cramping, nausea, irritable bowl syndrome, or ulcers.
- Immune system is suppressed – how many of us get sick when we’re stressed? Stress can impair the body’s inflammatory response. Conditions caused by excess inflammation include allergies, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular diseases and infectious diseases.
- Respiratory system — shortness of breath; chest pains; lack of oxygen to our cells. How important is our breath? We can live without food and water for a few days, but not so well without oxygen. 😉
- Eliminatory system — we may experience excess sweat, constipation and/or diarrhea (fun times). When toxins back up in our system, they release through our skin (the largest elimination organ), which can cause rashes, outbreaks, and blemishes.
- Muscular system — chronic tension in muscles leads to decreased mobility, strain, tension headaches and crappy postural imbalances.
- Anti-aging hormones are sabotaged — people age faster under stress; our adrenals also produce more cortisol, the infamous “death hormone.”
- Loss of libido — the fight or flight response inhibits the release of the hormone responsible for sexual behavior. Stress can affect our fertility and our menstrual cycles – and certainly our interest in having sex. Let’s face it — there ain’t nobody out there feelin’ up for sexy times when they’re stressed out.
Therapeutic bodywork can help all of those areas:
- Massage improves digestion
- Gets the lymph flowing and boosts the immune system (massage has been shown to increase natural killer cells, responsible for fighting cancer)
- Reconnects us with our body, deepens our breath, centers our thoughts, and increases our sense of well-being
- Massage improves the circulatory system
- Releases muscular tension, increases joint mobility and overall flexibility
- Has a balancing effect on the adrenal glands; lowers cortisol by 31%
- Increases the production of serotonin and dopamine (the feel good hormones)
Even health insurance companies are beginning to embrace the benefits of bodywork by changing their policies to include coverage for massage therapy. With increased awareness, the healing power of touch — especially when mixed with the uplifting and soothing effect of therapeutic grade essential oils, is now viewed as an integral therapy for increasing your overall health and wellness.
Learn more about therapeutic bodywork at www.katfleming.net.