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What Is Stress?

 

 In our fast-paced world, the use of the term “stress” is used in a wide variety of situations. Over the last 100 years, there has been much debate about stress, the causes, and the effects on the human body.

 

Endocrinologist Hans Selye made huge strides in this area starting in 1936. He defined it as “the non-specific response of the body to any demand for change”. Through his experiments on animals, he demonstrated that “stress” caused very real negative effects on the animals, including diseases similar to those found in humans.


Selye’s found that most people viewed stress as an unpleasant threat. He then created a new term, stressor, to explain the difference between the stimulus and the response. Selye’s noted that stress could be good when it motivated people to accomplish more. There were also situations where people would come under a tremendous amount of stress such as when planning a wedding, starting a family, buying a home, and so on. He labeled this type as “eustress”. Many have disagreed with Selye’s and formulated other theories over the years.

 

There are very few situations where having a stress reaction is helpful. A calm, controlled and logical approach is usually the better option.  Regardless of the stressors that present themselves, maintaining a more even course of action is the better way to go.

 

Finding the time to take care of “you” physically and emotionally is critical to being a happy and productive person at home, in a relationship, and in the workplace.  Most people wear multiple hats and put their needs last, if ever, over those that they feel a responsibility to.

 

It doesn’t matter what definition or theory you agree with, finding ways to handle stress is important. Massage has been proven to help with both the emotional and physical responses. Setting aside time to have a massage makes you feel good, helps to center your thoughts, is relaxing, helps with many physical issues, and lets you engage the calming and regenerating part of your nervous system, even if just for an hour.

 

If you have been debating on whether to try massage – now is a great time to do so.  Don’t think of it as a guilty pleasure, but as a way to really take care of yourself which will undoubtedly have an overflow positive effect on everyone around you.

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