Holiday season is upon us…economic hard times are upon us…change in government is upon us. Lots going on right now. Stress is something that most of us feel at one point or another. There are many physiological benefits of massage chair therapy, one of which is stress relief. Now, you may think that stress is only a state of mind. Well, it is to some degree…but the effects on the physiology of our bodies is certain and measurable.
Stress triggers mental, physical, and emotional responses from the body. Some stresses are good, some are negative. Of course, we associate stress with a negative connotation, and it is these associations that I will address here. So, what are the effects of negative stress (aka “distress”)? Here is a good list to sink your teeth into:
1. Distress can lead to the following symptoms: headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, and problems sleeping.
2. Distress also can bring on or worsen certain symptoms or diseases.
3. Stress elicits the release of adrenalin in the body. Sustained adrenalin can fatigue the adrenal glands. Adrenal fatigue can lead to weight gain, fatigue, insomnia, fuzzy thinking, depression, cravings, and mood swings.
4. Stress can lead to muscle tightness, tension, and spasm.
Here are some interesting facts from WebMD*:
Forty-three percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress
Seventy-five to 90% of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints
Stress can play a part in problems such as headaches, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, skin conditions, asthma, or arthritis in addition to depression and anxiety
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) declared stress a hazard of the workplace. Stress costs American industry more than $300 billion annually
The lifetime prevalence of an emotional disorder is more than 50%, often due to chronic, untreated stress reactions.
Since stress is, for the most part, a very personal situational and chosen response, there are things we can do to ease our minds of a stress reaction, like exercise, massage, laughter, etc. Here is where a massage chair comes in. Of course, we always think of massage as a pain relieving therapy, but there is a mental/emotional component to the massage chair therapy. Relaxation therapy is a wonderful tool for reducing the stress response. What greater way is there to relax than sit on a massage chair? Countless numbers of my patients have expressed stress reduction following massage chair therapy. I have seen the effects with this stress issue and it can be quite profound.
So, if you are feeling stress this holiday season…get a massage chair and relax! Your body will certainly thank you today and for years to come.
Dr. Alan Weidner