Massage Therapy in Central Bristol

Can Massage Help With Stress?

Yes! Massage can help not just relieve overworked and ‘stressed’ muscles but it can also help with psychological stress too.

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You may feel in pain when your feeling emotionally or psychologically stressed, as your mind and body are connected. This is when it’s time to slow down and make time to relax as you may have been over doing it.

Massage can help to relax our mind as well as our body as it’s often a very enjoyable and relaxing experience. It can also help get the muscles back to their original state by lengthening them, or by releasing toxins and getting the blood flowing again.

Muscles tense when stressed because they’re in a ‘flight or flight’ state. They are preparing themselves for action as if preparing for a flight. Our muscles contract, shorten and can feel painful when in this state for long periods, such as when we’re in a state of chronic psychological stress. This is because they’re in a unnatural level of tension for too long.

I treated one of my regular clients today who suffers from anxiety and low mood and the muscles in the middle of his back become short and contracted because of this stress. He finds frequent treatments help to relax him psychologically and this in turn amazingly helps to release tension in his muscles because of this mind/body connection. I therefore don’t have to do too much physically to release tension from his muscles!

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When we are low in mood and anxious we often present as having ‘Upper Crossed Syndrome’ too (as the diagram above shows), which is a ‘slumped’ posture. This is because we’re in a state of fear and unconsciously try to protect our vulnerable areas such as our chest and spine.

We bring our head forward and down and our shoulders protract. This has a detrimental affect on our muscles though as it causes over use and tightness in our Upper Trapezius, Levator Scapula and Pectoral muscles.

Our Rhomboids, Middle Trapezius and Serratus Anterior muscles are weakened and underused, but they can still be painful and sometimes more so then the over used muscles. This is because the underused muscles are dysfunctional and it’s as if they’re crying out to be used and wanted.

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