Stress is connected with being very busy, and sometimes having too much on our plate. The mind gets into an overthinking loop and becomes hypervigilant - always watching out for the next thing to do. A massage is a wonderful way to take some time out:- to calm down, release tension and relax. Here are three benefits to having a massage when you are feeling stressed:
1. You have probably heard of the term mindfulness? Mindfulness brings you into the present moment. It gives you ‘time out’ from your busy mind by slowing your thoughts and brings you back into your body. Having a massage enables you to leave all that busy-ness outside the door, to lie down on a warm, comfortable table and do nothing for an hour. The act of being focused on your body, and the sensation of being massaged, allows the mind to calm down and relax.
2. Have you noticed that your muscles tighten up when you get stressed? Particularly the neck and shoulders? Often when we are stressed we lift our shoulders up just a little and hold them there for long periods of time. Or maybe we stick the chin forward to look at the computer screen. Being in these positions for long periods of time is not natural for the body and over time it becomes painful. The pain then makes us tense up and so it goes on…. Having a massage breaks the cycle and relieves the pain.
3. There is a sense of general all-over body tension that occurs when you are very busy and stressed. Shallow breathing indicates to the body that you are not safe, and it enters into flight, freeze or flight mode. The body tenses up, ready to spring into action at any given moment. Slow, deep breathing into the tummy indicates to the body that you are safe and it can relax. So stress can be dissolved very quickly if you breathe into your belly, gently filling up the lungs all the way up with clean fresh air. I often ask people to “take a deep breath” while I am working with them. This not only helps to release tight muscles, it helps the whole body to let go of tension and relax.
Here are a few tips for you when receiving a massage:
Elayne Lane is a massage therapist and hypnotherapist. She specialises in massage and hypnotherapy. Book here for a massage.
Elayne Lane is an instructor of the Universal Healing Tao. She has been teaching and doing bodywork in excess of 20 years.