STRESS & REFLEXOLOGY
“Stress is like an iceberg. We can see one-eighth of it above, but what about what’s below?” Anonymous
For most of us, stress, is the feeling that we are unable to cope with the demands made upon us. Our body’s response to this pressure, goes beyond rising to the challenge, and instead becomes exhausted with the effort of trying to be ever ready to deal with the demands. Soon, we become susceptible to minor illnesses and we begin to feel overwhelmed by even the most minor of problems.
As individuals we all react differently to stress. It can affect us psychologically, emotionally, physically or behaviourally. For example you may find it difficult to concentrate, you may feel worried or anxious. You may find yourself feeling tearful, angry, defensive and frustrated. You may find you pick up every cold or viral infection doing the rounds. You may have difficulty sleeping, have headaches, palpitations, chest pains, indigestion. You may develop an increasing reliance on alcohol, caffeine or smoking.
If this stressed state continues for a long period of time, more serious illness can occur, as the body and mind becomes totally exhausted. Stress is a known contributor to conditions such as heart disease for example. The World Health Organisation estimate that 75% of all illness is stress related.
HOW CAN REFLEXOLOGY HELP?
Reflexology is a deeply relaxing treatment for the mind and the body. Sometimes, when we have been stressed for a long period of time, we can forget what being relaxed feels like. Being able to recognise when you are stressed and when you are relaxed is the first important step in managing stress.
When we have been stressed for a long period of time, many systems of the body can be compromised, the immune system for example, which makes us more prone to viral infections. Reflexology relaxes the mind and the body gently supporting the body’ own natural healing process. The sense of calm that the treatment induces allows the mind and body, time and space to recuperate. Symptoms may gradually start to ease, helping you to feel better and allowing you to cope better with everyday stresses.
Chronic health conditions can also be exacerbated by stress. Reducing your stresses levels with reflexology may help to manage symptoms more effectively.
Once feeling more relaxed and more in control of your own stress and with greater awareness of how stress affects you, you should be able to make changes to your lifestyle and perhaps find a relaxation method or exercise which allows you to deal with your stress. Indeed, some of my clients chose to have regular monthly or six weekly reflexology treatments as one way of achieving this.
You can test your own stress levels by clicking on the PDF below and completing the questionnaire.