How stress can lead to physical symptoms 

Almost everyone experiences stress in their daily lives.  This can cause physical symptoms as well as emotional and mental effects. 

When our body perceives a threat, in times of stress, it triggers our inbuilt ‘fight or flight’ response, which releases hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.  However, if these hormones are released too often or for too long, they can have negative effects on the body. 

Stress commonly causes muscle tension.  Our body is preparing for action when these stress hormones are released, which can lead to stiffness and pain due to ongoing tension.  Tight muscles can further exacerbate stress levels. 

These hormones can also negatively impact the digestive system, causing it to slow down, leading to issues including stomach cramps, diarrhoea or constipation. 

Chronic stress weakens the immune system, making it harder for the body to fight off disease and illness.  This explains why we seem to pick up colds and infections more easily when we’re already feeling run down. 

Chronic stress can also negatively affect the heart and cardiovascular system, causing high blood pressure and increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. 

To manage chronic stress, it’s important to practice self-care and seek support from friends, family, or mental health professionals.  Regular exercise and relaxation techniques can also help manage stress. 

Physical therapies can help with the effects of stress 

One of the many benefits of massage therapy is its ability to alleviate stress.  The physical impact of massage helps to release tension in the body, which in turn helps to relax the mind.  This can result in a reduction of stress hormones, which can lead to reduced anxiety, improved sleep and an overall feeling of wellbeing. 

Additionally, massage therapy can help to improve circulation, helping to deliver oxygen and vital nutrients to the body’s tissues.  This can reduce inflammation, promote healing and further help to reduce stress levels. 

One of the main benefits of floatation therapy is its ability to promote relaxation and reduce stress.  Floatation therapy can help reduce stress hormones, promote better sleep and provide relief from the physical symptoms of stress such as muscle tension and pain. 

Massage therapy and floatation therapy are excellent self-care practices that provide benefits for both mind and body.  To learn about the benefits of these therapies, go to our ‘Services’ page for more information. 

April is Stress Awareness Month, held annually to increase awareness of both the causes and cures.  Lots of organisations and websites offer great help and advice to help with stress, The Stress Management Society is just one.  Stress Awareness Month 2023 – The Stress Management Society