In yoga and mindfulness, the cultivation of awareness is key. When we recognise stress and the effects, we can choose to pause and transition from the mode of ‘doing’ (constant activity), to being. We can acknowledge where we are in our body, mind and emotions, then choose to let go, to soften and adjust our breathing which, when stressed is commonly restricted or held. Paying sustained attention to the sensations of the breathing and consciously softening our body, we reduce the stress hormones circulating around our blood stream, calm the nervous system and aid digestion in the process, which slows up and ultimately shuts down when chronically and persistently stressed. Awareness and recognition are key, then we can act. Take a few conscious breaths in the car at a set of traffic lights or in a queue at the supermarket, to recognise what is beyond our control and letting go is a powerful tool for living our lives with less unnecessary stress and more happiness.
Sports Massage and Stress
Let’s look at the effect of stress on our muscular system. In short, when under persistent stress we are prone to holding our muscles in a state of semi-permanent contraction, progressively we develop knots or adhesions, tissue health deteriorates, circulation is inhibited, muscles crossing joints restrict mobility and in the case of tight shoulders or necks, resultant tension headaches.
Sports massage will help to release muscular tension, realign the fibres improving muscle condition/ function, aid circulation and encourage relaxation. The relaxation response will reduce the production of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenalin which will benefit digestion and improve sleep. Postural advice and homework exercises will give the client skills to use in maintaining their own ongoing health and wellbeing.