According to The American Institute of Stress (AIS), 60 percent of all human illnesses and diseases are brought on by stress. I personally believe the percentage is much higher especially in today’s society and the various factors that bring on stress such as the increasing rages of unemployment, violence, and even the advancement of modern technology.

AIS also states that extreme stress (i.e. divorce and job loss) reduces the grey matter in regions of the brain tied to emotion and physiological functions, which can lead to future psychiatric problems.

Did you know that massage therapy increases levels of available serotonin (a neurotransmitter that influences mood, behavior, appetite, sleep patterns and blood pressure) and dopamine (a neurotransmitter that controls emotional responses and the ability to experience pleasure and pain) in the brain? Increased levels of serotonin and dopamine decrease significant levels of stress and depression and elevates positive moods. Note: there are many healthy fruits and vegetables that regulate appropriate levels of both serotonin and dopamine in the brain.

As a licensed massage and spa therapist, I can attest that 90 percent of clients receive massage as a result of some form of stress. The other 10 percent are avid bodybuilders or athletes seeking sports massages and there are those seeking medical massages from a recent injury.

Massage therapy is specifically designed to reduce stress. No matter what level of stress, massage has a guaranteed positive effect on the recipient. Within the very first session, clients express feelings of relaxation they had yet to experience in years. For those who are experiencing some form of insomnia due to stress, many clients schedule evening appointments as a way of naturally preparing their mind and body for a good night’s rest. Those who are grieving the loss of a loved one can certainly benefit from therapeutic massage. Coupled with aromatherapy, which is the scientific and skilled application of essential oils to promote emotional well-being and relaxation, massage therapy has the ability to alleviate emotional and physical stress on a continuous basis with only positive side effects, harmony. For those suffering from frequent headaches and migraines, massage therapy and aromatherapy is the perfect combination to naturally and safely ease its debilitating pain.

If 3 of 4 doctor’s visits are stress-related, try visiting a massage therapist who can, with the use of the science of essential oils and therapeutic touch, naturally reduce stress levels and maintain healthy levels of peace and harmony.

(Note: If taking medication, please be sure to consult your physician before receiving massage therapy)