If your jaw is almost permanently clenched, your neck taut and your insides tied in an array of knots that would do a boy scout proud, you may well be suffering from the effects of stress.
Take heart though: you certainly aren’t alone… Stress is a universal problem and it’s not going to go away any time soon.
Take our friends across the Atlantic, for example. American researchers recently published a report which reveals that 81% of US adults feel “as stressed” as or “more stressed” than (45% and 36% respectively) they did one year ago.
Perhaps these figures explain why, despite the recent global financial downturn, overall use of massage in the US remains fairly consistent. As Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP) President Les Sweeney, a nationally certified massage therapist, explains:
“Massage therapy has been shown to reduce stress hormones, relieve anxiety and depression, strengthen the immune system and improve attentiveness, so it’s an excellent strategy for challenging times.”
If you’ve never had a massage, you cannot begin to imagine what an incredibly relaxing and therapeutic experience it is. Compared with luxury holidays, it is also a relatively low-cost way of de-stressing – so if you cannot afford a holiday this year, visiting a day spa is one of the next best and most cost-effective ways to chill out.
Of course, as with any product or service, it pays to seek the services of a professional. That way you can be sure your massage will leave you feeling completely relaxed – and that there’s no chance of you ending up feeling more stressed afterwards than you did before!
If you book into a reputable health spa or resort, you can be confident that you’ll be – both literally and metaphorically speaking – in the hands of professionals who are trained in various types of massage, such as Swedish and Indian head massage.
Day spas and residential health hydros aren’t the only places that provide massages. In recent years, many US employers have arranged for their employees to receive a chair massage in the workplace, aware that at roughly $1 a minute, this is an inexpensive – and extremely pleasant – way of managing anxiety and lost work time.