How Stress Can Affect Your Body

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An image of a massage which can get rid of the effects of stress.

Life is full of near-constant stress triggers that we all have to navigate. But are you aware of the potential effects of stress on your body, and how they can affect your total wellbeing?

Have you noticed a dull, lingering ache in your neck or your head? Are you seeing facial lines and wrinkles deepen? Do you suffer from occasional indigestion? How well do you sleep, and for how long? While they may seem unrelated, these issues can all be effects of stress.

How Stress Causes Physical Problems

The experience of stress releases “stress hormones” that aid the body and mind in coping quickly with the stressful situation. The “fight or flight” reflex is our mental response to the stress. The liver fuels that reaction with a surge of glucose—the body’s gasoline. Heart races, muscles tense, blood pressure rises, stomach acid increases, and attention sharpens all at once. If the stress dissipates, then hormone, glucose, and blood pressure levels usually go back to normal.

However, prolonged stress makes the adrenaline glands and heart work overtime. A body under constant stress may not properly metabolize the extra blood sugar. Not only can chronic stress increase the risk of stroke, heart attack, diabetes, and hypertension, but increased stomach acid can also produce stress-triggered indigestion. Because it’s so closely related to blood pressure, hormones, and mental focus, libido can also seriously suffer from the effects of stress.

Tangible Stress Effects on Muscles

Stress in other areas of the body can manifest in the face. It can happen to people who work at computers each day, which can cause persistent neck and back pain. If they don’t correct their posture at work, their stressed muscles never really relax, and so they “lock” in painful misalignment. The muscular pain worsens at night and causes sleep deprivation. The face is also made of muscles, and over a short time the combination of pain and lack of sleep can also tense up facial muscles and accentuate the appearance of wrinkles.

Relaxation: The Antidote for Stress

The key to reversing or preventing many physical effects of stress is relaxation. Massage therapy, for example, releases cortisol, as well as lactic acid that gets trapped in the tender knots of taut, stressed muscles. Improved circulation and pain relief may in turn help alleviate stress-related conditions like indigestion, chronic headache, and TMJ, also known as lockjaw.

To reduce the effects of stress on your body and mind, treat yourself to a stress-reduction spa session at Complexions. Choose from over 18 massage options including head and neck recovery, deep tissue work, hot stone/poultice applications, traditional eastern techniques, and more. For the utmost in relaxation, we also offer massage combined with custom-blend essential oil and salt baths and aromatherapy. Finish with a custom facial rejuvenation to help restore your complexion and confidence. Book your stress solution at Complexions today.

About the Author:

I serve on and support several community charity committees as I believe it’s important to give back. In my spare time I love hiking and fishing in the Adirondacks, equestrian sports and thoroughbreds, fine wine, skiing, golf, and traveling to distant locations. I also love early mornings in the gym exercising, pilates, my dog, cooking, and sharing time with my husband and two children, good friends and family.