So we are just about to come out of a period that has been filled with restrictions, uncertainty, ‘home schooling’ a lack of hugs and kisses from loved ones and no escape from ‘the other half’. For some it has been a struggle for others it has just sent those stress levels off the scale.
There is no doubt that everyone feels stressed at times and we all occasionally need more love than the world has to share but when those feelings of tension overwhelm us this has a negative effect on our physical and mental wellbeing.
This is NORMAL and sometimes it is helpful to know what is happening to our bodies when we feel this way;
The Flight or Fight Syndrome Reflex:
We are all born with an intrinsic stress response and when we are alerted to danger we release stress hormones into our bloodstream. In particular CORTISOL.
These hormones cause immediate mental and physical changes in us, giving us added strength and make us feel pumped-up and ready to fight. Now this was all very well when we lived wild, hunted for food and needed to guard our territories but it no longer really applies to the same degree.
So what’s the problem ?
Instead of using these stress hormones in emergencies, we are now living at such a pace that we activate them all the time – like when we are going to miss a train or can’t get onto the Internet, or we worry about meeting a deadline at work. We don’t have a need, or the ability to get rid of this extra Cortisol unless we ‘chase and kill a beast’ or go for a 5 K run so it builds up in the bloodstream affecting many of the body systems and creating many of the physical and mental problems associated with it.
Cortisol is known to affect so many of the body systems including our motivation and fear, dietary metabolism (its why we reach for the chocolate), Inflammatory processes, blood pressure, blood sugar, sleep and energy levels and whilst most stress can be alleviated by taking a little ‘ time out’ or talking with friends and family, sometimes they are just as stressed as us so we end up ‘bottling it’ and it turns into a monster.
How do Holistic therapies help:?
Most holistic therapies deal with releasing this tension and clearing the blockages within the body systems that are causing the aches and pains and Reiki and Reflexology are known to promote self healing and reduce inflammation and anxiety.
As you start to relax, bathed in your soft music, low lighting, warmth and comfort your body goes into activation mode, waking up your muscles, organs, and glands; moving blood and lymph fluid around and getting the cells to produce and release positive chemicals and hormones.
The physical friction of the massage helps to clear away dead cells and increases blood flow to the tissues joints ligaments and body systems and as you relax, your nervous system enters a “rest and digest” mode, releasing pressure on the nerves.
Endorphins, the feel good hormones, are released (just like a ‘runners high’ but without the effort) and the muscles act like sponges contracting and relaxing to increase oxygen rich blood flow and lymph drainage. The lymphatic system is crucial to the function of your immune system and is thought to hold the key to the link between stress and more serious illnesses. If all the benefits above are not enough you might want to also consider that massage increases blood flow bringing calcium and other minerals to your bones to support their strength and function, so your skeletal system also receives a major boost .
Let’s not forget the crucial organs; The Heart and Lungs which also receive a major boost in particular what we call ‘venous return’ , which in turn lowers your blood pressure and as your therapists gets you to focus on your breathing this fills up the lungs relaxing the diaphragm, neck and shoulder areas.
We recognise that there are many ways you can help yourself and that the causes of pain and stress are complex so please note:
We are not here to diagnose but simply offer some relief if we can.