Stress is experienced by everyone at one point or another, and it’s becoming increasingly prevalent in our everyday lives. The extent to which stress affects our mental and physical health is considerable and quite serious in some cases. High stress levels can directly cause or contribute to insomnia, depression, anxiety, sore muscles, headaches and many symptoms that can indicate a more serious condition is developing. According to the National Institutes of Health, chronic stress causes anxiety, depression and heart disease.
The emergency stress response, or the "flight-or-fight" response, is the body's physical reaction to stress. Stress elevates the heart rate, increases muscular tension, breathing rate and feelings of anxiety. Massage promotes the relaxation response--heart rate decelerates, breathing rate slows and muscles relax. Massage also is an effective form of stress reduction and management--it provides physical and psychological benefits that counter the symptoms of stress. There is ample evidence to suggest that treating the stresses that burden the body can be a means to relieve the stresses of the mind. One recent study found that after subjects were massaged, the levels of cortisol (a hormone contributing to stress) in their saliva decreased.
According to the American Heart Association, research does not directly link high blood pressure with stress. However, AHA states that many behaviors that accompany stress elevate blood pressure: poor eating habits, inactivity, smoking, a high-sodium diet and high alcohol intake. A 2005 study conducted by the University of South Florida found that participants who received 10 massages over the course of
three weeks experienced drops in blood pressure. Participants who did not get massages did not see changes in blood pressure. According to a Sept. 4, 2008, Newsweek article titled "Five Surprising Benefits of Massage," massage activates pressure points linked to the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve regulates blood pressure--stimulation helps lower and maintain a healthy blood pressure level.
Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage is a deeper broad based technique using long slow strokes up and down the back creating space in between the vertebrae while elongating the muscle and creating a stretch. Creating an overall sense of peace and ease in the body. Ashiatsu Massage can help you relax and relieve stress and anxiety that is manifested in the body.