Work is Stressful in Many Ways

Love or hate our jobs, working is stressful. Stress can be environmental (noise, bright lights or smells in some work places), physical from doing hard work or sitting too long, or related to the social and intellectual challenges of the job.

In the early stages of work related stress, you might be tired, achy, or annoyed by your job. But those effects can spill over into the rest of your day. Massage therapy can benefit stressed out workers by helping to identify and remediate injuries, and prescribing home care or remedial exercises to help keep your tissues and joints in optimal health. Relaxation massage is another option: this can focus on areas with aches and pains, be an opportunity for a full-body massage, or can be a targeted treatment focusing on the areas that will maximize the effect on your central nervous system. Using relaxation techniques, a massage therapist will help your sympathetic nervous system (the one that shoots out adrenaline) to calm down, and tell your parasympathetic nervous system to take over (this one tells you to rest and digest).

The feet, hands and face have a proportionately higher number of sense receptors in the brain than other areas of the body. If you want these areas worked on, you can have a relaxing systemic benefit, often with a shorter appointment time than you need for a full body massage.

If you like back massages or full-body relaxation massage, your massage therapist can use neuromodulating techniques to get you into rest mode. Rocking, shaking, slow, rhythmic stroking, and prolonged vibrations tell your nervous system to relax, and your massage therapist can work away at tight muscles using kneading and flushing techniques so that the aches and pains drift away.

If your workplace stress isn’t a temporary situation, it might be time for a multi-level approach. Ask your workplace if you can bring in a specialist to check your workstation ergonomics, talk to HR about taking appropriate breaks, and ask a counselor or doctor for ideas to reduce and manage mental and social stresses.

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