Massage Therapists in Toronto Help Ease the Harmful Effects of Stress on the Body and Mind

Understanding the effect of stress on the body
Flight or fight response
The body undergoes several different changes when experiencing stress. The first stage of stress is known as the ‘Initial Alarm Reaction' or the ‘fight or flight' response. A situation is encountered and the brain recognizes it as being stressful stimulus, almost instantly the sympathetic nervous system is activated and begins to release stress hormones like adrenalin. These hormones prepare the body for both physical and mental reactions like:
  • Dilated pupils,
  • Increased heart rate, respiration and blood pressure,
  • Sweating,    
  • Tensed muscles,
  • Increased liver function, and
  • Halted stomach and kidney functions.
Intensification or recovery
The second stage of stress is ‘intensification or recovery'. The ‘fight or flight' response is quite taxing on the body. This second stage is where the body determines if it is going to use all the energy it has just assembled through the initial alarm reaction. If the stressful situation is alleviated the body then recovers, returning to a normal state.
Adaptation leading to exhaustion
If the stress is not removed or only slightly alleviated then the third stage that the body undergoes is known as ‘adaptation'. The body maintains the physical and mental changes,adapts to the level of stress, and functions accordingly for a longer period of time. This prolonged stress response manifests in a number of ways:
  • Physically: heartburn, muscle tension, excessive sweating, headaches, upset stomach, skin irritation, heart palpitations;
  • Emotionally and behaviorally: anxiety, irritability, distractedness, disturbance in regular sleeping patterns, irregularities in eating habits such, increased use of stimulants like smoking, caffeine, alcohol, or drug use, and anxiety-related habits such as nail biting.
‘Exhaustion' is the last stage of stress where, prolonged exposure can create serious health consequences:
  • Physically: continual illnesses due to an overtaxed immune system, high blood pressure, heart attack, ulcers, colitis, strokes, rheumatoid arthritis, migraines, reproductive issues in woman as well as a decrease in sex hormones;
  • Emotionally and behaviorally: depression, suicidal tendencies, rage, hysteria, frequent serious accidents, loss of libido, and even eating disorders.
Integrative therapy can help ease stress
Each person deals with the adverse effects of stress in a different manner so massage therapy is an excellent form of treatment for those seeking relief. This is because a massage therapist is a health care professional that has been trained to assess the soft tissue and joints of the human body and suggest a course of therapy that will be most beneficial to the individual.
Using a combination of different techniques is known as integrative therapy. Integrative therapy is often suggested by massage therapists because it offers a more comprehensive total body approach that incorporates a variety of methods.
The focus and variety of each treatment is prescribed subject to the requirements and desires of each patient. Each method of treatment has its particular advantage, with the overall desired result being to encourage overall physical and mental well-being. Many stress specific conditions like hypertension can be addressed by the benefits of massage therapy and the treatments that are provided in integrative therapy. Stimulated circulatory system, improved immune functions and increased toxin removal. Flexibility and range of motion can also be enhanced.
Stress is simply a fact of life for most people, so it is essential to stay on top of one's physical and emotional well-being, especially when the stress-related complaints can be so easily addressed by contacting a local clinic to book an appointment with a regulated massage therapist.
Royal York Massage Therapy
4887 Dundas St. West
Etobicoke, ON M9A 1B2
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