You on Stress
Up at six. Off to the office by 7:00. Sit in traffic 'til 8:58. Hit the door at 9 on the dot. Bring up computer by 9:02. 300 unopened emails. Note from System Administrator: ACTION REQUIRED – your mail box is over limit. You will not receive or send emails until you dump 150 emails. Note from Real Estate: ACTION REQUIRED – we will be changing out the carpet on your floor of the building. You are required to get everything off the floor in your cube by Monday. Note from Executive Director’s Executive Assistant: ACTION REQUIRED – your entries in the purchasing database are incomplete. Complete the Transaction Checklist for each of the 50 transactions that you have completed year to date, have your supervisor sign them and upload by next Monday.
And so it goes... Downsizing/Upsizing of assignments and responsibility. Is it any wonder all of Corporate America wears their shoulders around their ears?
Effects of stress
Distress causes body-wide reactions: arm, leg and jaw muscles tighten, the body braces for action, blood re-routes from core restorative functions & digestion to the extremities for action. Blood pressure skyrockets. Excessive stress brings on stress-related diseases, such as headaches, gastrointestinal difficulties, high blood pressure, anxiety, sleeplessness, weight gain and muscle tension and body aches.
Bracing Patterns – The Fish Bowl Effect
We hold stress in our bodies, experiencing bracing patterns or somatization as a "locked down" feeling. Our bodies toughen and harden under the long term effects of stress. Muscles that remain tense are like your goldfish bowl that never has the water changed: new blood and oxygen cannot get in and old blood and metabolic wastes cannot get out, resulting in toxic atrophy and tissue damage. Muscles may shorten from constant contraction or may even transform into fiber, with resulting loss of range of motion and quality of life. Long term stress also causes release of coritsol, which causes fluid retention, hypertension, muscle weakness, osteoporosis, breakdown of connective tissue, peptic ulcer, impaired would healing, vertigo, headache, reduced ability to deal with stress, hypersensitivity and irritability, weight gain, nausea, fatigue and emotional disturbances.
Massage to the Rescue
Most Americans are looking for release from the bracing patterns of stress and its body-wide effects. Massage reverses the fishbowl effect by inducing the "relaxation and restorative" response, resulting in the renewal of the inner and outer person. Massage enhances general wellness and releases bracing patterns, creating space in the body. Massage keeps your body-mind functioning optimally: improves circulation of blood and lymph, relaxes muscles, opens connective tissues, improves immune functioning and brings about relaxation, renewal and rebalancing of your entire body-mind. Massage is a component of your wellness plan. Being in Balance is Living Well!