Don’t you stress; Eustress!
In a tale of two cities, Dickens stated, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” This is the sentiment of many people. With the Patriots in the Super Bowl once again, we can all agree it is certainly the epoch of incredulity.
On top of the stresses we all felt before, sometimes we have an added layer. Did you know there is a technical term for stress – level 2? According to WebMD, when you have a consistent flow of stress, it becomes distress. Distress can lead to headaches, high blood pressure, upset stomach, muscle tension and more. Massage can help these symptoms.
Once upon a time, a client was wearing a Fitbit. We talked about how stress lowers blood pressure. He remarked that we could check that on his heart rate monitor. He took a reading near the beginning of the massage; his baseline. He had a very healthy resting heart rate. He stated he would be surprised if that number went down with massage.
During the massage, he checked at half hour intervals. To his surprise, his heart rate went down a little each time.
This was during a Traditional Thai Massage. The decrease in heart rate took us off guard due to the active nature of the massage. Thai massage doesn’t utilize the long flowy strokes that accompany a deep tissue massage. Be it an effect on physiology, or an atmosphere of nurturing, massage reduces emotional stress as well as muscle tension.
Most of the time, stress hits us when we are nowhere near our massage therapist. A bit of stress in your body is normal. In fact, you can turn that frown upside down and experience good stress. Eustress comes when you challenge yourself, like with a difficult work task or a physical challenge. When I learn I’m trending toward distress, I make a point to head toward eustress. Nothing helps distract my tensing muscles like the challenges of garden work, dog training, or launching a new blog.
I’d like to know: What do you do to avoid stress?