How 10 minute massage breaks can greatly improve your health

Getting massages can greatly improve your health

Taking short 10 minute massage breaks can vastly increase our mental and physical health a new study shows.  Our physiological state is inherently tied to our mental states.  Most of us have heard that taking short breaks during our work or school day can help keep your mind on track better and produce better results.   A new study shows this is critical, not only to improving our work flow, but to helping our mental and physical states, specifically regarding our stress levels.  With more people than ever working from home due to the pandemic, the stress of the new work environment are taking a toll on many.  Not only do we have to contend with the stresses of life with the Coronavirus, social distancing and closures, but now many have to deal with their children who may be remote learning for safety reasons as well as any spouses, family members or roommates who may also be working from home.  The level of possible distractions and stresses have increased 10 fold and our ability to release or de-stress have plummeted.  Well, it turns out, just taking a few minutes to yourself can greatly improve your physical stress levels.

Positive vs Negative Stress Effects on the Body

There are 2 kinds of stress, positive and negative.  We experience positive stress when we are well focused on the tasks at hand and motivated to finish.  Negative stress occurs when we feel unable to perform or deal with the situation. Negative stress can lead to physical illness as your body wears down and many psychological conditions such as depression.  As stress builds up in the body, our bodies undergo observable physical changes we can detect in tense tightened muscles and aches.  Relieving this pressure has been shown to greatly improve our physical states and reduce stress levels.  

What is the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS)?

Our bodies have a built in engine for relaxation called the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), the system responsible for the body’s rest and digestion system by decreasing respiration and heart rate and increasing digestion.  Giving yourself a few minutes break, especially for a massage, can decrease the amount of built up stress and help boost the PNS which, in effect, helps reduce the effects of negative stress on our bodies by slowing our heart rate and promoting digestion.  Stress can cause internal complications like indigestion, the build-up of acid in the stomach that leads to heartburn.  Breaks and relaxation time help reduce the impact of stress on your body.  

Relaxation is necessary

Relaxation is not just a goal for many, but a necessity.  “To get a better handle on the negative effects of stress, we need to understand its opposite – relaxation,” says Jens Pruessner, head of the Neuropsychology lab and Professor at the Cluster of Excellence ‘Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour’ at the University of Konstanz.  With our lives as busy as they are these days, finding a time to relax and activate our PNS can be difficult.  Even a simple resting of your head on your desk will have some positive impact as your mind is able to relax and recuperate from the previous tasks giving your PNS a boost, but the study clearly shows, even simple quick massages like having your shoulders rubbed can greatly impact the amount of stress you feel. 

Increase your health and reduce work stress with massage breaks

Other ways to relieve stress

Sometimes breaks and relaxation time is out of the question.  In those cases, finding other ways to combat stress is necessary.  Essential Oils are a fantastic way to find some relief wherever you are, work or home.  In some cases, a stronger version of these may be helpful.  CBD infused essential oils can help decrease your stress while working, naturally and unobtrusively.  By simply placing a diffuser nearby, you can tailor your oils and blends to your needs, whether its stress relief, calm or increasing focus.  CBD Candles are another alternative that provide natural relief to stress, angst and distractions.  Both are easy to incorporate and will provide a great deal of benefit when you cannot simply take a break.

Sum it up...

When stresses are high, it is necessary to find time to relax, even if it is just short work breaks.  Your work will be more productive, your body will be happier and best of all, healthier.  If you can, go for the massages.  Not everyone has someone around to give them a short massage, and not everyone is willing to ask either.  If you live and work with someone who can help you, AND vice versa, you may find it has life-changing effects that only benefit your home and work life.

be.Happy, be.Healthy, be.Essential!