Going through a divorce is one of the most stressful things you can go through. It takes a toll on your mind and your emotions, which can have a direct effect on your physical body.
When you go through periods of high stress, anxiety, and tension your body begins to react if physical ways. From headaches to neck pain to shoulder tension to extreme fatigue, the emotional stress of a divorce is not something you should take lightly.
Once your body begins to show the physical signs of stress and anxiety, you know it is time to seek help. It is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong, and you need to do something differently.
Divorces are often ongoing, long, and tiresome battles that take months to years to work through and complete. Since this is so often the case, managing your stress levels is imperative to your physical and emotional wellbeing. When your divorce is over you will want to feel relaxed, free, and at ease. You don’t want to come out feeling exhausted, beat-up, and too tired to happily move on with your life.
One of the best ways to find some “me-time” and relax your mind and body is through massage therapy. Massage therapy not only relaxes tight and tense muscles, but it can also calm the mind by letting your brain focus on the sensation of a massage rather than your racing thoughts about your divorce.
In this article, we will discuss the benefits of massage therapy during stressful times, what types of massages are the best, and what you can expect when you go in for a massage.
Benefits of Massage Therapy During Divorce
When going through a divorce, getting lost and overwhelmed in all of their details is inevitable. However, there are small things you can add into your routine to help combat all of that stress and tension. Massage therapy on a weekly basis or a couple of times a month can help you cope with stress and anxiety.
Massage therapy is considered an alternative medicine or integrative medicine. Many studies have confirmed that massages help alleviate stress, muscle tension, and anxiety. Some studies have also found that is can help with:
- Insomnia related to stress
- Pain in all areas of the body
When you get a massage your body experiences changes in EEG levels, your cortisol levels go down (the stress and anxiety hormone), and your parasympathetic system increases in activity. When this happens, your body and brain will calm down and you will feel more relaxed and at peace.
Studies have confirmed through brain imaging techniques that during a massage many changes occur in your brain. The part of the brain that is most impacted are the areas that are associated with regulating stress levels and emotions.
Of course, massages are also great for reducing physical tension in the body. When you are stressed you to tend to clench your jaw, scrunch your shoulders, and hold onto a lot of tension in your muscles. When this happens, your neck, shoulders, and all areas of your back can get very tight. Overly tight muscles that do not get a chance to relax can cause persistent headaches, neck tension, shoulder tension, pain, and much more.
A massage therapist will be able to identify the root cause of the issue and the areas you are especially tight. They can work out knots, tension, and other issues. Often having tension released from the body will have you feeling like a whole new person when you walk out of the massage appointment. Sometimes all you need is to release physical tension in your body to lift your spirits and get you feeling a bit more human again.
Types of Massages for Stress
There are many different types of massages and they each have unique benefits and specific purposes. Which type of massage you opt for will depend on your needs and what you want help with. Massages that can help the most with stress relief include:
- Deep Tissue
- Hot stone
Swedish massages are great for relaxation and working out knots from tension. It uses gentle pressure and is not overly intense or uncomfortable. Sometimes massages that focus on deep muscle and bodywork can make you feel tense, so if you want something peaceful or are new to massages, a Swedish massage is an ideal option.
Hot stone massages are good for relaxation and working out tension with the use of heated rocks. You will relieve muscle tension, reduce stress, improve blood flow, release stress with this massage. It is more focused on alleviating knots and tension than the Swedish massage.
If your divorce is particularly hard or you tend to carry your stress through a lot of body tension, you may want to opt for a deep tissue massage. This type of massage will really dig deep to relieve muscle tension and deeper knots. This massage is much more intense, so if you are sensitive to pressure you will want to avoid a deep tissue massage.
Shiatsu is a great massage for deep relaxation. It will get rid of stress, tension, and minor pain. It is known for helping to promote emotional healing and wellbeing, promote feelings of calmness, and reduce anxiety, depression, and stress. It is also great for eliminating chronic stress headaches.
If you want a massage that will incorporate massage with stretching, look no further! This massage uses light stretching in addition to traditional massage techniques to help with flexibility, circulation, and upping your energy levels. If you feel like your divorce is depleting and taking all of your energy and you feel tired most of the time, this type of massage may help give you that energy boost you are craving.
An aromatherapy massage may just be the ideal massage for stress and anxiety. If you need deep emotional healing along with the regular benefits of a massage, this is for you. This massage type will boost your mood, reduce stress and anxiety levels, improve symptoms of depression, and relax muscle tension. You will feel gentle pressure during this massage and natural healing essential oils are also used.
What to Expect During a Massage
If you are feeling overwhelmed by a massage, don’t be! Massages are meant to relax you, not stress you out. You should not feel uncomfortable about the way your body looks if you have acne on your back, or any other skin or body imperfections. Any good massage therapist is trained to help you, not judge you. And chances are, they have already seen it all, so you are not going to be the first one to walk in with some pimples on your back.
When you walk into the massage room, your massage therapist will speak with you about your issues, concerns, and goals. They will either ask you to undress and lay on the table under a sheet or if you get a massage that does not require you to undress, you may get right on the table and begin.
Some people will opt to keep a bra and underwear on, so it is up to what you are comfortable with.
Divorces are stressful, tricky, and long. High levels of stress and anxiety are normal, but when this happens, taking care of your body and your mind is essential. Massages are one of the best ways to help reduce stress during a divorce, so book an appointment today and get back to feeling like your normal and happy self again!