Stress and the Circulatory System

circulatory systemThe circulatory system comprises the heart, along with all the arteries, veins, capillaries, and blood. These major organs and tissues have a host of responsibilities for keeping the body alive. One of those responsibilities is to move oxgenated blood throughout the body and return deoxygenated blood to the heart and lungs. Oxgenated blood allows all the organs, tissues, and the body as a whole to function normally.

Cardiovascular disease is the general term for diseases of the circulatory system, commonly the heart, arteries and veins. It is believed that the stress hormones make blood thicker and thicker blood clots more easily. Chronic stress could cause blood clots to form within the bloodstream and impact blood getting to and from the heart. This specifically leads to strokes. It is well documented that stress has a substantial affect on the heart – physically, physiologically, and emotionally.

It has been shown that massage will act as a second heart, pumping blood 5 times as fast to the area being worked. Massage has nothing but positive effects on the circulatory system. So please, don’t let your stress go untreated. Massage Therapy can provide the following benefits to your Circulatory System:

  • Increases blood flow (to tissues and organs), which can relieve much muscular and joint pain (especially associated with swelling)
  • Increases the flow of oxygen and nutrients (to cells and tissues), improving and relieving congestion throughout the body
  • Increases the number of red blood cells, especially in cases of anemia
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduces heart rate (helps develop a stronger heart)
  • Elimination of metabolic waste
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How Does Stress Affect Us?

Stress-ZebraStripes Stress is a fact of life and a necessity in many cases but left unaddressed, stress can wreak havoc on your body systems and interfere with the intelligent workings of your body.  Simply put, general health will be impaired and ill effects unavoidable.

So, how does stress affect us?  Before we can answer this question we must know what stress is. Simply put, stress is the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physiological, physical, mental, and emotional responses.

Stress, to varying degrees, is a normal part of life and our body, mind, and spirit is designed to experience and react to stress. Stress can be positive, in that it helps to keep us alert and ready to avoid danger. Additionally, positive life events (such as: a new relationship, wedding, birth of a child, a new home, new career, even exercise, etc.) are all stress inducing events.

Stress, as we know, can also be negative and without relief or relaxation, it will negatively affect every system in our body. In future posts, I will be highlighting the different systems of the body and how stress affects those systems.

Here are some interesting statistics on stress:

– It is now believed that 80% – 90% of all disease is stress induced
– 75% – 90% of all doctor’s office visits are for stress related ailments and complaints
– Emotional disorders are more than 50% due to chronic, untreated reactions to stress
– 43% of adults suffer adverse health effects from stress
– OSHA estimates that stress costs American industry more than $300 billion annually

My intent is to help you understand just how important it is to allow yourself to experience stress relief – it is well worth the time and cost, I assure you. Whether you are an elite athlete, a corporate executive, college student, or average joe, we all need to be active participants in our own care and quality of life.

So please, make time in your life for regular massage; let me support you in living a healthy life.

Spinal Reflex Therapy (SRT)

I have completed the first course in the Spinal Reflex Therapy Certification Program. I am pursuing certification in SRT in order to offer you additional Support/Service to promote a higher level of health, performance, and healing!

[ Spinal Reflex Therapy (SRT) is also known as Spinal Reflex Analysis (SRA) ]

SRT Provides Relief and Mobility for Active Living!

Spinal Reflex Therapy is a safe, non-invasive, and profoundly effective treatment to:

  • Eliminate pain and dysfunction
  • Increase freedom and ease of movement
  • Maximize physical performance and health

SRT is the only treatment system to address the most prevalent cause of nerve, muscle, and skeletal pain and dysfunction, the Spondylogenic Reflex Syndrome (SRS).

SRT reduces these abnormal reflex reactions and provides a profound reduction in symptoms, quickly and safely. SRT can free your body, so you may experience maximum strength, agility, and efficiency and allow you to live a more vibrant and healthy life!

Contact me to schedule your SRT appointment today!

This video will give you a brief overview of the science and principles of Spinal Reflex Therapy and the soft tissue treatment protocol. Spinal Reflex Therapy is not Massage, it is a soft tissue technique.

Visit this link to see what world class athletes have to say about their experience with SRA.

Holiday Specials!

Happy Holidays Dear Friends & Clients,Retro Happy Holidays

I hope that this finds you in good health and that your Thanksgiving Holiday has been a blissful one!

Already, the winter and the Holiday & gift giving season is upon us! Additionally, during the winter it is chilly outside and potentially icy; we are cold, tense, and our circulation is not great lending to muscle tension and a greater risk of injury. This time of year can be stressful; as it involves Holidays, bad weather, multiple family gatherings, travel, and extra expenses.

In the hopes that you will all take good care of yourselves as well as everyone in your life, I am running some specials until Jan 1, 2011.

Book a massage for yourself in December and receive 1 gift certificate at 50% off.
Book 2 massages for yourself in December and your 2nd massage is $10 off regular price.
Get a $10 discount on all gift certificates purchased before Jan 1, 2011.

(All specials apply to 60-min sessions or longer only).
2010 regular rates: 60-min/$70, 75-min/$85, 90-min/$100

Please schedule appointments online and contact me with questions or to purchase gift certificates.

Feel free to share this offer with your friends and family.

Be Well,

National Massage Therapy Awareness Week: October 24-30, 2010

Discover why everyone should make massage therapy a part of their health and wellness routine.

A soothing massage can help you unwind, but that’s not all. Explore the possible health benefits and risks of massage therapy, plus what to expect.

By Mayo Clinic staff

Massage is no longer available only through luxury spas and upscale health clubs. Today, massage therapy is offered in businesses, clinics, hospitals and even airports. If you’ve never tried massage, learn about the possible health benefits of massage and what to expect during a massage therapy session.

What is massage?

Massage is a general term for pressing, rubbing and manipulating your skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Massage therapists typically use their hands and fingers for massage but may also use their forearms, elbows and even feet. Massage may range from light stroking to deep pressure techniques.

There are many different types of massage, including these common types:

  • Swedish massage. This is a gentle form of massage that uses long strokes, kneading, deep circular movements, vibration and tapping to help relax and energize you.
  • Deep-tissue massage. This massage technique uses slower, more forceful strokes to target the deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue, commonly to help with muscle damage from injuries.
  • Sports massage. This is similar to Swedish massage but is geared toward people involved in sport activities to help prevent or treat injuries.
  • Trigger point massage. This massage focuses on trigger points, or sensitive areas of tight muscle fibers that can form in your muscles after injuries or overuse.

Benefits of massage

Massage is generally considered part of complementary and alternative medicine. It’s increasingly being offered along with standard treatment for a wide range of medical conditions and situations.

Studies have found massage helpful for:

  • Stress relief
  • Managing anxiety and depression
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Blood pressure control
  • Infant growth
  • Sports-related injuries
  • Boosting immunity
  • Cancer treatment

Beyond the benefits for specific conditions or diseases, some people enjoy massage because it often involves caring, comfort, a sense of empowerment and creating deep connections with their massage therapist.

Despite its benefits, massage isn’t meant as a replacement for regular medical care. Let your doctor know you’re trying massage and be sure to follow any standard treatment plans you have.

Use massage as another health care tool

Brush aside any thoughts that massage is only a feel-good way to indulge or pamper yourself. To the contrary, massage can be a powerful tool to help you take charge of your health and well-being, whether you have a specific health condition or are just looking for another stress reliever. You can even learn how to do self-massage or to engage in massage with a partner.

Risks of massage

Massage is generally safe as long as it’s done by a trained massage therapist. But massage isn’t appropriate for everyone. Discuss massage with your doctor first in cases of:

  • Unexplained pain or other symptoms
  • Burns or open wounds
  • Cancer
  • Blood clots
  • Fractures
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Severe osteoporosis
  • Pregnancy

Some forms of massage can leave you feeling a bit sore the next day. But massage shouldn’t be painful or uncomfortable. If any part of your massage doesn’t feel right or is painful, speak up right away. Most serious problems come from too much pressure during massage.

In rare circumstances, massage can cause:

  • Internal bleeding
  • Nerve damage
  • Temporary paralysis
  • Allergic reactions to massage oils or lotions

What you can expect during a massage

You don’t need any special preparation for massage. Before a massage therapy session starts, your massage therapist should ask you about any symptoms, your medical history and what you’re hoping to get out of massage. Your massage therapist should explain the kind of massage and techniques he or she will use.

In a typical massage therapy session, you undress. Undress only to the point that you’re comfortable. You generally lie on a table and cover yourself with a sheet. You can also have a massage while sitting in a chair, fully clothed. Your massage therapist should perform an evaluation through touch to locate painful or tense areas and to determine how much pressure to apply.

If you want, your massage therapist may use oil or lotion to reduce friction on your skin. Tell your massage therapist if you might be allergic to any ingredients.

A massage session may last from 15 to 90 minutes, depending on the type of massage and how much time you have. No matter what kind of massage you choose, you should feel calm and relaxed during and after your massage. Pain that’s more significant than momentary discomfort could indicate that something is wrong. If a massage therapist is pushing too hard, ask for lighter pressure. Occasionally you may have a sensitive spot in a muscle that feels like a knot. It’s likely to be uncomfortable while your massage therapist works it out. But if it becomes painful, speak up.

Finding a massage therapist

Massage can be performed by several types of health care professionals, such as a physical therapist, occupational therapist or massage therapist. Ask your doctor or someone else you trust for a recommendation. Most states regulate massage therapists through licensing, registration or certification requirements.

Don’t be afraid to ask a potential massage therapist such questions as:

  • Are you licensed, certified or registered?
  • What is your training and experience?
  • What’s the cost?