Observe Yourself for Signs of Stress
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- Shallow breathing located up high in the chest
- Feelings of anxiety, depression, frustration or aggression
- Fatigue and lack of joy or enthusiasm
- Pinched or furrowed facial expression
- Sexual dysfunction
- Poor sleep
- Poor digestion or weight gain
- Frequent colds & infections
- Neck and shoulder pain
Stress Physiology Linked to Illness
Chronic stress is linked to heart disease & type 2 diabetes
- Elevated resting heart rate
- Elevated blood pressure
- Elevated blood sugar
- Elevated adrenaline & cortisol in bloodstream (stress hormones)
- Hypertonic muscles & spasm
General Causes of Chronic Stress
- Pressure and conflict at home or work
- Lack of self-care, recreation and pleasure
- Negative states of mind or emotions
- Unrealistic expectations
- Lack of skill in handling life’s challenges
Stress and Muscle Spasm
Stress is a mental state that directly affects the physiology of the body. When stress is high and continuous, the autonomic nervous system does not switch into its recovery and restoration mode. Cellular physiology is weakened This leads to a general depletion of energy. Muscles all over the body become chronically tight and circulation is impaired. Pain from muscle spasm ensues.
Goals for Treating Chronic Stress with Regular Massage
Occasional stress can be immediately alleviated with occasional massage. Chronic stress requires regular massage to alleviate the symptoms of stress. When stress is super-high, muscle resistance will be very high, making deeper massage painful. Forcing deeper massage upon resisting muscles can elevate blood pressure, increase the stress response, and injure blood capillaries. Deeper tissue work should be done when muscle resistance is low. The first therapeutic goal when working with a highly-stressed person is to encourage the relaxation response. The environment, music, warmth, safety, the intention to rest and therapeutic touch are important to coaxing a relaxation response from the central nervous system and the muscles. The depth of the massage can increase as relaxation increases. It is important to practice conscious breathing during massage. Use your abdominal muscles and aim for slow, rhythmical breathing with long, pleasurable exhales.
Get Treatment Now for Stress and Related Muscle Pain
For the past 20 years, Dr. Joan Sloss, Ed.D. LMT, has treated stress-related muscle spasm and other body discomfort related to stress. Dr. Joan is joint owner of the Healing Unleashed holistic medical center located in the Spring Hill West Office building in South Lakewood, and serving metro Denver and Colorado patients. Joan holds a doctorate in Human Movement and has over 2000 hours certified training in physiotherapy including certification in medical massage and certification in wellness.
Dr. Joan Sloss will review your pain problem with you by phone to determine whether or not muscle spasm is present. Full assessment of the problem and effective treatment take place during your appointment for therapy. Call Healing Unleashed at 303.986.0492 now to make your appointment.