Christmas Shopping and Stress
Listening to our body's warning signals
The Christmas Season and shopping for gifts are upon us. Some of us who did our early gift buying can sit in front of our TV sets or enjoy the relaxing company of family and friends. The silent majority, or most of what we call the "busy" types get our nerves so hyped up and over worked performing our last minute shopping. Even looking for a parking spot at the mall is agonizing. Worse, enduring the long line up to pay for what we buy at the counter can be taxing and stressful.
At home, after the Christmas rush some of us nag or find the weekend unrelaxing. So, we find solace in those muscle relaxant pills. Sometimes, we drown our misery and our body's warning signals with more alcoholic beverages. Due to our busy schedules we often neglect to take care of our own body.
Do you ever wonder how we care more for our cars than our body? We do regular oil changes, timely overhaul of our car’s engine and follow the vehicle manufacturer’s maintenance schedule.
The daily routine of our jobs, family and home are taking a heavy toll on our bodies. Research shows that sitting daily at work in front of our computer is more stressful than heavy lifting.
Writers, lawyers and educators know that mental work consumes more energy than manual labour.
Stress and body fatigue are the after effects of our modern day society. But we often ignore the warning signals our body tells us. If our car flashes the “check engine” sign, we immediately drive to our friendly mechanic or car dealership repair shops. Ignoring this sign means more problems for our pockets, being stranded on busy highways or getting involved in a potentially disastrous accident and expensive court litigation.
When our body aches and tells us something is wrong we take pain killers and go on. We continue to overwork and overstress our body. Science proves that the human body organ is more complicated than the most modern computer or car engine ever invented. But do we care to tune up or overhaul our body? Some do but most of us don’t. Unfortunately we only have one integrated body. We can change a car when it conks out but when our body goes caput, that’s it.
A relaxing vacation away from work does wonders as long as we don't add stress to ourselves by over booking our schedules. Another inexpensive way is to find a place or a hobby to de-stress and pamper yourself with things that will nurture and rejuvenate your mind, spirit and body. Above all enjoy the benefits of massage. Since the 90s, massage has gained recognition for helping relieve stress and restoring regenerative powers to our body. Scientists are discovering that massage reduces blood pressure, dampen harmful stress hormones, boost the immune system and raise mood-elevating brain chemicals such as serotonin.
After strenuous exercise, skilled hands by massage practitioners can press lactic acid out of muscles easing the pain of marathon runners and tri-athletes. Many big corporations integrate massage in their benefit package to boost work performance and employees' health and well-being at work.
Take advantage of massage therapy provisions in your worplace as they may be provided for in your collective agreement. Your body will love you for it.
By Edwin C. Mercurio, Massage Practitioner/Reflexologist