The fight or flight response occurs naturally when we perceive that we are under excessive pressure, and it is designed to protect us from bodily harm.
When faced with a stressful situation, the sympathetic nervous system becomes immediately engaged to trigger the release of stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol into the bloodstream. This is known as the Stress Response. Increased cortisol levels cause blood pressure to rise, muscles to tense, breathing to become rapid and allows the brain to become hyper alert so that we can assess the threat and decide whether to ‘fight’ or ‘flee’.
While clearly necessary and protective in the short term, stress can become damaging if it persists for days or weeks, not to mention months or years. As a temporary solution, the stress response is vital, but if the situation is prolonged, with no release of tension, the result can be disastrous. As well as increasing the heart rate and blood pressure, the body also diverts vital resources from the immune system and cholesterol levels rise. Common symptoms of prolonged stress and high levels of cortisol include fatigue, headache, heartburn, indigestion, hair loss, insomnia and depression. It is no wonder that for many people, particularly those of us already predisposed to health problems, chronic stress can cause a variety of mental and physical illnesses.
When our physical, mental and emotional bodies are out of balance we need assistance to restore comfort and harmony. A sense of peace, tranquility and wholeness can then ensue. Xhilarate Office Massage is the perfect way to restore this balance.
Onsite massage is recognized as an effective way of helping to manage stress in the workplace since massage therapy has been proven to release Oxytocin into the body, thereby triggering the Relaxation Response. Oxytocin is nature’s antidote to Cortisol and they function opposite each other; when one is high the other is low. Think of it as the Yin and Yang of survival! The Relaxation Response is a helpful way to turn off fight or flight response and bring the body back to pre-stress levels.
Aside from massage, there are many methods to elicit the Relaxation Response including visualization, energy healing, acupuncture, breathing techniques, prayer, meditation, tai chi, qi gong, and yoga. True relaxation can also be achieved by removing yourself from everyday thought and by choosing a word, sound, phrase, prayer, or by focusing on your breathing.
Research has shown that regular use of the Relaxation Response can help any health problem that is caused or exacerbated by chronic stress such as fibromyalgia, digestive ailments, insomnia, hypertension and anxiety disorders.