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Last revision: 3/21/03
When confronted by a sudden threat, the human body instinctively prepares for "fight or flight" as a stress response. A number of biochemical and physiological changes take place to prepare the body for sudden, energetic activity. When the threat is over, a relaxation response is triggered which stops or reverses these changes and the body gradually returns to the normal pace of everyday living.
Unfortunately, modern stressors, such as relationships, job performance, and financial pressures, are more likely to be on-going than immediately life-threatening. As a result, many people experience continual or chronic stress. Their bodies are constantly going through biochemical, physiological, and psychological changes that can affect their well-being, productivity and personality. The constant presence of stress hormones in the body can weaken the immune system and render one more susceptible to disease and dysfunction.
Recurring massage or bodywork on a regular basis has proven to be beneficial in the reduction of stress. Massage and bodywork techniques trigger many relaxation responses and help slow the body down to a normal pace for every day living. Massage is useful for
- relieving fatigue
- improving circulation
- stimulating the release of endorphins, the body's own pain-killers
- acting as a sedative to the nervous system.
To Relaxation Article