Medical research indicates that many illnesses are stress related.Stress has been shown to aggrevate or even cause many health problems including heart disease, decreased immune function, gastrointestinal disorders, depression and memory loss.Chronic stress may also increase the speed at which we age.
We all know that when we are feeling tired and run down we are much more likely to come down with a sore throat, cold or generally feel off colour.Massage boosts the body’s immune system which can become compromised from extended periods of stress.When the body is under stress it boosts it production of the hormone cortisol to support the “fight or flight” response.If the hormone remains elevated in your bloodstream for a long period of time though, it wears down the immune system.
Stress doesn’t just contribute to physical ailments.It can rob you of your energy and joy in life leaving you less able to enjoy leisure activities and more prone to be short and irritable with those you love.
Massage therapy is one of the best remedies for stress. A professional massage with aromatic oils and relaxing music can have a powerful and beneficial effect on both the mind and body. Massage creates a sense of wellbeing and invigorates the body by removing aches and pains and diminishing anxiety.
Hippocrates the father of modern medicine advocated what he called ‘regime therapy’, which boosted the body’s own healing power, based on diet, exercise and massage.He said that people would not be ill if they ate well, exercised and had periodic massage to alleviate the stress and strain, whilst in sickness the same procedure lead to a more rapid recovery.
The ancient Greeks and Romans appreciated the importance of this and massage was very popular in their cultures and today it remains an integral part of Oriental societies- maybe we to should embrace this philosophy.