According to the American Institute of Stress (AIS), prolonged stress has a host of harmful effects on the body. The stress-induced “hormonal cascade” led by adrenaline and the “stress hormone” cortisol evolved to intensify and accelerate human response to imminent danger. It had crucial survival value during much of the 300,000-year history of homo sapiens on this planet, and still does in crisis situations. But persistent and chronic stress—the kind many if not most of us are subjected to by the pressures of modern life—can cause all sorts of short- and longer-term problems.
Stress doesn’t just induce muscular tension and consequent pain, especially in the head and neck area. It can also affect our digestive systems, inducing stomachache, acid indigestion, and other problems. Prolonged stress can also damage the heart and circulatory system—and if you already have a heart condition, stress can put you at very serious risk. And it can damage your immune system, making you more vulnerable to infection. It can even turn your hair white, scientists now believe.
There are various ways to address prolonged stress in one’s life. The most obvious—but often the most difficult to accomplish—is to change the circumstances that are giving rise to the stress. When those circumstances can’t soon or easily be changed, there are well established, proven disciplines of relaxation, like yoga and various forms of meditation. We at Zen’d Out recommend these and practice some of them ourselves. But especially if you’re coming out of a stressful period in your life when you—hopefully along with your spouse or partner—arrive here in Denver, we recommend massage.
A proper treatment from a skilled massage therapist is a lot more than a simple back rub or neck rub. The therapist will identify the points both close to your spine and further away that are holding tension and proceed to work on them in the most appropriate ways. As the therapist works, not only are contracted muscle segments loosened, but circulation through the surrounding tissue and the whole body are improved. Those stress hormones begin to wash away. Nerves that may be compressed by the tensed muscles stop sending pain alerts to your brain. You begin to breathe more easily, sending more oxygen throughout your body. And in just a little while, your stress dissolved, you start to feel really, really good. Come to Zen’d Out Massage Spa and let us enhance your life with the gift of massage. You’ll be glad you did.