Relaxation Techniques for Stress Relief
Using the Power of Relaxation Response to Reduce Stress
By Agusta Perkins, Licensed Massage Therapist at Four Pillars
Many people think of receiving massage when they are in severe pain or as an occasional indulgence. But did you know that massage can make you happier? Did you know that regular massage can significantly reduce stress, anxiety and depression?
It has been estimated that 75 – 90 percent of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress related problems.
When you are in a state of stress, your body enters a “fight or flight” mode which releases cortisol and activates the sympathetic nervous system. This causes your heart rate, breath and blood pressure to increase. It also causes your digestive system to slow and your muscles to become tense. And while it is a necessary function for our bodies, in today’s busy world we are living in a constant state of “fight or flight” and it wreaks havoc on our bodies and our minds.
Increased cortisol suppresses our immune system, prevents deep and restful sleep, reduces bone and collagen formation, and counteracts insulin increasing abdominal fat storage.
Massage can help to put the body back into “rest and digest” mode by activating the parasympathetic nervous system and allowing the body to recover from the stress of “fight or flight” mode. Physiologically, muscles relax, heart rate slows, and digestion resumes. Neurologically, cortisol levels decrease, serotonin (calming hormone) and dopamine (happy hormone) levels increase, and endorphin levels increase which can promote healing, reduce swelling and speed recovery.
There is good reason why massage has been used for thousands of years by tribes and cultures the world over. It is because it really does promote health and well-being. Not only do people feel better after a massage but massage can accelerate the recovery from a number of illnesses.
It is only in recent years that science has been able to understand some of the reasons why massage is so beneficial to recipients, but the stimulation of natural chemicals in our bodies to support our overall sense of physical and mental well-being provides a strong case to consider regular massage as part of your body, mind and spirit maintenance program.
About: Agusta Perkins is a graduate of Sarasota School of Massage Therapy with over 800 hours of superior training. She is also a member of the Florida State Massage Therapy Association & the American Massage Therapy Association.
She provides relaxation and therapeutic massage incorporating her knowledge of Neuromuscular, Myofacial, Swedish, stretching and deep tissue techniques. She loves to incorporate heat in her sessions using Synergy Stones, river rocks and warm moist towels.
She is also certified in Sacred Lomi, a traditional Hawaiian “temple style” massage that incorporates long and flowing strokes that invite the recipient to completely relax, let go and receive.
Agusta loves spending her free time with her five year old son and exploring and experiencing the beautiful city of Sarasota and surrounding areas.
Agusta provides her massage treatments at Four Pillars, a wellness spa in Lakewood Ranch offering massage, facials, acupuncture, reiki, hypnosis, sound therapy and life coaching. www.fourpillarsflorida.com