MASSAGE THERAPY NEWS & REVIEW:
By Columnist Matthew Nikitakis – Massage Therapist:
Stress, like death and taxes, is unavoidable in today’s environment, whether this be at home, work or just as you carry out every day life. It’s also linked to a staggering range of health conditions, from the common cold to heart disease. In the workplace and even at home, this can make for a vicious cycle – more stress results in poorer health, poorer health causes more stress, more stress results in… Well, you get the picture.
However, the good news is that this need not be the case. A few smart, simple choices can help break the cycle, giving you the freedom to ride the waves of stress that come and hit you, instead of going under and feeling like you’re drowning. Let’s look at how you can ride these waves:
Choose to Talk it Out
Talking about stress is viewed by some as a weakness – as though ‘normal’ people can simply bottle-it-up and move-on. But the term ‘bottling-it-up’ is apt for good reason. Sooner or later, it’s going to fill-up, and spill-over into other areas. Talking out your stress with a friend, on the other hand, can be like gently tipping out what you don’t need without it becoming a torrent. Talking it out can also help put stress in perspective; once we verbalise the problem, the mind can sometimes crystalise a clearer method of dealing with it.
Of course, that doesn’t mean letting-rip and releasing all the tension that’s welling up inside on someone. That would be more like tipping the bottle upside down, where the flow is uncontrollable.
But just saying to someone, “Listen, something’s been really bugging me lately. Do you mind hearing about it?” Can lead to a calming discussion about a situation that may otherwise overwhelm you. Sometimes a stronger person is not someone who tries to fight through challenging situations solo until they hit breaking point, but someone who recruits allies in the fight. I know which one I’d rather be.
Choose to Laugh it Off
As the old saying goes, “There is a time to weep and a time to laugh.” It may come as a surprise to some that one of the best ‘times to laugh’ are when we’re under stress. Why? Because when we laugh, as one doctor explains, “The body produces endorphins and suppresses the production of adrenaline.” In other words, laughter can help the body produce chemicals that soothe, rather than increase tension.
So rather than focus on all the reasons for your stress, why not look for the funny side of a situation? Find some comedy tracks to listen to in the car on the way home from work. This may help you to balance things out too. After all, it’s very hard to feel overwhelmed by something while you’re laughing at it.
Choose to Take Care of Yourself
Both the body and the mind are like a Maserati engine; they’re built solidly to perform. But like that engine, running your mind and body in fifth-gear non-stop without servicing them is going to end in them falling apart on you.
Both the body and mind need regular ‘maintenance’ to keep functioning optimally. But, if you’re screaming, “I’m too busy for that.” Then it’s time to think about the consequences of not maintaining your mind and body, then ask yourself do you have time for a hospital stay? A nervous breakdown? A family crisis? If not, you need to choose to take care of your own health regularly now.
Caring for your own health can be simple. Choose a salad wrap over a burger at lunch a couple of days a week. Put aside one day a week as a “No Overtime” day, and schedule a half-hour massage treatment every few weeks. Yes, this could be the difference between getting years of life out of your engine or watching it splutter to a stop.
And if you’re wondering how a massage can help to maintain your engine, then think short, regular treatments that can help maintain physical health and reduce mental tension. You don’t necessarily even need to take time out of your day to head to a clinic; if a corporate massage therapist services your area, they will come to you and treat you right at your desk. No unnecessary down-time, just simple effective stress relief right in the office. Doesn’t that sound like a healthy choice?
In the end, facing stress isn’t optional. But how we deal with it always will be. Will today be the day you choose to ride the wave?
Matthew Nikitakis is a massage therapist based in sunny Cairns QLD. With a passion for helping people to relax and recuperate that started in his teens, he now focuses on assisting people in high-stress jobs by providing in-office therapy in Queensland under his own brand, Matthew’s Corporate Massage.
Disclaimer: The information published in this column are based on the author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion. This information and opinion is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.