Everybody understands stress and this is not always a bad thing. Healthy stress is what allows you to react quickly when in harms way or make that big play out on the ball field. However, as WebMD warns, unhealthy, chronic stress can lead to dis-stress in the body. This constant pattern of distress can lead to headaches, digestive problem, insomnia, hypertension, and depression.
Studies show it doesn't matter whether you live in a rural area or an urban community we are all affected by it equally. The demands of work, family, school, traffic, even our competitive recreation can trigger our "fight or flight" responses, flooding our bodies with cortisol (our stress hormone) over 70 times per day. When a body is on a steady drip system of cortisol, it can't fully enter the rest and restore mode that it desperately needs to recover and function properly. Sometimes this lifestyle of chronic stress has gone on for so long, that we don't even know what it feels like to be relaxed.
There is the good news. Clinical studies show that just one 30 min massage session can significantly reduce the production of stress hormone cortisol, thus reducing blood pressure and heart rate while relaxing tense muscles. At the same time, endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine, are produced creating a giant chemical love fest relieving stress, calming the nerves and bringing about a feeling of overall wellbeing.