Holiday Stress

By Adrienne Coats

We are into the holiday season, and many of us may know how stressful it can get.  This can take a toll on the body that we may not realize until it has done noticeable damage.  Stress over the holiday season can come from many areas: regular tension, stress at work with added pressure from holiday expectations, obligations, and disappointments; keeping up the holiday cheer, and the taxing effects of shopping and traveling.  One holiday has come and gone, hopefully without a hitch, and you may feel some relief. But the effects from stress can still linger and even increase with the holidays that’ve yet to come.

Why does stress occur and what is its impact?

Stress occurs when a part of the brain called the hypothalamus that sends out stress hormones that trigger your fight or flight response.  Stress can cause insomnia, weaken your immune system, raise your blood pressure, and increase your risk of a heart attack. Stress which can also cause migraines and muscle tension can, in turn lead to digestion issues, tension headaches, TMJ dysfunction, and body aches.  These are some of the body’s physical response to a prolonged exposure to a fight or flight response.

What can I do?

To help relieve stress, take some time for yourself.  If you have a busy schedule and can’t find time to drive to a massage clinic, we can come to you on your schedule.  Massage can improve blood circulation, ease muscle tension and improve immune health. But anyway you can take the time to pamper yourself is always helpful.  Small things that you can do for yourself everyday brings you one step closer to relaxation. Guided meditation and yoga have been shown to calm nerves and relax the mind.  I, personally, like to recommend a longer night time routine with an epsom salt bath and a cup of herbal tea.

Read more about stress and massage here: