Switching off Stress
Therapeutic massage in Whitchurch
Life challenges us to grow. Often that challenge helps us to become stronger, but there are also times when it can feel overwhelming and stressful. This can bring up feelings of fear and anxiety that lead us to make choices we know aren’t healthy or helpful. Also, our society is geared towards constant activity and many of us struggle to stop and do nothing. Yet rest is as essential to growth as activity. Without it, we burn out.
What can we do in those times that life asks a lot of us? Therapeutic massage in Whitchurch is one way to help, by reminding our mind and body that everything is okay and it’s safe to let go. Therapeutic massage works primarily with the nervous system. This is because the nerves control the muscles, so if you want muscles to relax, you have to convince the nerves to let go.
In times of stress, our body runs a physiological process to help get us through the tough times known as the stress response. As an initial response to danger this is very helpful, but it’s not a way to live. The stress response pumps out cortisol, keeps our heart rate elevated and muscles on high alert, ready to run. Stay in this state long term and it can lead to digestive issues, insomnia and high blood pressure. It also creates anxious and worrying thoughts in the mind which may have no basis in reality but seem very real in our heightened state. After the initial crisis has passed, the brain sometimes needs reminding that it’s okay to go back the normal regulation of the nervous system, and not stay in this chronically stressed loop.
In a session of therapeutic massage in Whitchurch, through nurturing touch, the message is transmitted to the nervous system that it’s safe and okay to let go. The sense receptors in the skin feed back to the brain, the control centre of the nervous system, and give it the message that the stress response is no longer needed. This is why you often feel drowsy after a massage, because your body has gone into the rest and repair state that is most commonly activated while we sleep. The mind also comes to rest and either sees that its worries were unfounded or it has the space to come up with creative solutions to solve problems.
On a purely physical level, massage feels lovely, as our skin enjoys the feeling of nurturing touch, but more than that, it gives our body and mind the knowledge that all is well, and we are safe to let go. After this deep rest, we then have the strength to meet our challenges.