Our bodies are designed in such a way that they react to environmental conditions around us. When talking about stress, you can experience physiological or biological stress, and the reality is that our society is designed in such a way that anxiety is a constant part of our day-to-day lives.
And this stress is prevalent in our jobs as well. Studies have shown that an increasing number of individuals experience work-related stress, and so a massive body of research has been dedicated to methods which help alleviate this type of anxiety. Nowadays, we have the option of meditating, going on holiday, or having a good old massage.
What Are The Effects Of Stress?
What some of you might not know is that stress can be positive, successfully making you ready to avoid danger. In other words, it can be viewed as a defence mechanism. Stress actually becomes negative when a person faces strenuous situations without the needed relaxation at the end of it.
I’m curious to know how many of you relate to the following scenarios: you’re at home after a long day of work and you feel tense, your back aches, your feet feel swollen, you’re suffering from low energy or even lethargy.
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, you may be suffering from some form of stress. And you might also be saying duh, I already know that!
From a more scientific perspective, medical practitioners separate the effects of stress into 2 categories:
Physical Effects of Stress
Heightened blood pressure
Tension in the muscles (e.g. lower back pains)
Elevated stress hormones such as cortisol
Rapid breathing, increased heart rate
Poor posture (e.g. arched back)
Hip pain from sitting long hours of the day
Upset stomach, including diarrhoea, constipation and nausea
Frequent colds and infections
Loss of sexual desire and/or ability
Nervousness and shaking
Cold or sweaty hands and feet
Psychological Effects of Stress
Rapid, disorganized thinking
Poor memory recall
Agitation and frustration
Feeling overwhelmed, or a lack of control
Having difficulty relaxing and quieting your mind
Low self-esteem and depression
Massage Therapy In The Organizational Environment
There is something else that comes with a busy lifestyle: we rarely tend to actually notice things around us. We are responding to multiple stimuli at the same time, however our attention is divided. Although some people thrive on stress, others may not. This means that if we are not the victims of it, someone we know (either in the workplace or at home) might be.
On both a physiological and psychological level, massage therapy can aid with reducing overall workplace stress. And you don’t need to take my word for it, as considerable research has been able to back up this claim during recent years.
For example, a study showed that having regular massages can influence your quality of life, and that’s why certain businesses are now using professionals who can perform massages, all in the comfort of your workplace!
Although the idea might seem far-fetched, or maybe movie-like, it’s actually real. In addition, it has been revealed that pain severity significantly decreases when having massages, thus improving job satisfaction and overall workplace morale. This may have a lot to do with the fact that pre-existing muscular tensions or pains are being looked after, creating a more relaxed and calming environment in which employees can strive.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, once this workplace massage was stopped (for a period of 6 weeks), researchers found that the benefits which they had initially observed (e.g. increased job satisfaction, higher morale) significantly decreased. This may be due to the fact that participants did not feel as valued, relaxed or aware of their environment as they were when having those massages.
How Massage Can Help with Workplace Stress
Sometimes we don’t allow ourselves even a 10 minute break from the hectic jobs we lead. But did you know that it’s been proven that a 5 minute chair massage can have great benefits when it comes to physical and mental health?
Additionally, a massage will help improve your focus, making you feel more aware and happy about the world around, all by relaxing and loosening up your muscles.
Massage helps with desk-related pain The American Institute of Stress revealed that 1 million employees work from home each year, and an even higher number of employees constantly work with computers or laptops. Typing on the keyboard can lead to repetitive musculoskeletal injuries. For example, gamers often develop wrist injuries due to the increased amount of time they spend on their computers.
Massage improves depression and stress As mentioned before, depression and stress are common mental consequences of our fast-paced lives. Surprisingly or not, the University of Rochester researched anxiety and found that job-related stress was associated with major depression in male workers, rather than female workers.
Massage helps with elevated blood pressure Extensive research has found that massage greatly decreased elevated heart rate and blood pressure. Additionally, after a 15-minute chair massage, employees displayed a more relaxed mental state and lower cortisol levels.
It appears that stress can be viewed as a normal part of everyday life, and considering the evolution of our increasingly demanding jobs, it doesn’t appear that we’ll be able to escape it any time soon.
However, if you’re looking for an all-natural solution, research has proved that massage significantly increases positive emotional feelings, along with a wide array of physical functions. Some of these include improved circulation, decreased sensitivity and muscle pain, all whilst evaluating mood and memory.
So if you’re prone to forgetting workplace deadlines and meetings, and you might have already overused the stress excuse, have a massage bound to give you the relaxation and peace of mind you deserve, preparing you for a more positive another day in your job!