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What is Stress and What Can You Do About It?

April Heath


What is Stress and What Can You Do About It?

Stress is a physiological and psychological response to demands placed on a person. Various things can trigger it, including work, relationships, financial difficulties, or life changes. 

Stress symptoms can manifest physically as constipation, muscle aches, headaches and other ways. It can manifest emotionally as depressed mood. Stress can also manifest behaviorally as nail biting, fidgeting, hair twirling and other ways. For more on manifestation of symptoms, see this article in Healthline.

Not all stressors are negative. Some demands on people are perceived as positive, like the start of a new job, moving to a better living environment, or the announcement of a planned pregnancy.

This type of positive stress is called eustress. When a challenge is meaningful, it can be motivating. For example, a competitive swimmer dives into the water and pushes her muscles to perform to the finish line in hopes of a win. Elizabeth Scott, PhD does a great job describing examples of eustress for Very Well Mind in this post.

Physiological symptoms of a person under too much stress include:

  1. Increased heart rate
  2. Elevated blood pressure
  3. Muscle tension
  4. Digestive dysfunction
  5. Weakened immune system
  6. Disrupted sleep
  7. Undesirable changes in appetite

Massage can help with slowing heart rate and lowering blood pressure, according to several studies cited by the Pacific College of Health and Science. Massage also alleviates muscle tension. Abdominal massage performed in a specific direction relieves constipation, according to the editorial board at WebMD. Massage, especially manual lymphatic drainage, boosts lymphatic flow, and promotes restorative sleep.

How often you need a massage depends on your specific needs and conditions. These should be discussed with your massage provider during consultation and at the conclusion of your service.

If you’re experiencing more stress than you’d like, book a relaxing Swedish massage today! Save $20 off your first appointment using PROMO CODE: Save20

I respond to all comments. What challenges do you find meaningful?

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