Graduation is one of life’s biggest rites of passage. Each commencement marks the next stage of a person’s life journey and it is a time of great excitement and also a time of trepidation as a person steps out of the shelter of the familiar, into the great unknown. Couple this with the residual stress that accompanies the juggling of academia, social life, part time jobs, and everything else life throws at them, and it is safe to say that our beloved grads need and deserve a bit of tlc, and what is better than a therapeutic massage?
Stress has quite the profound effect on a person, and these effects are far wider and a bit more subtle than you may realize. Stress affects all aspects of a person’s being: body, mind, emotional state, and behavior. Massage therapy has the ability to calm these stress reactions and restore balance.
So, what exactly is stress, anyway?
The stress response is the way in which a person reacts to anything that throws off his or her balance; the body’s natural response is to either run away or fight back. Now, this fight or flight response makes perfect sense when facing possible physical danger from, say, a bear attack, but it can work against us in these modern times. Ancient man’s fight or flight was only engaged when there was a tangible threat and when the threat was gone, so was the fight or flight response and all of its related symptoms ranging from tensed muscles to hyperalertness to elevated heart rate and shallow breathing.
Today, many of us are in a perpetual state of fight or flight. Looming deadlines, traffic, too many obligations in one day, combined with the ceaseless media streams and sensory overload from electronics make our bodies think that we are always on the precipice of danger. We simply have forgotten how to turn it off. Massage can remind you to do so in a most enjoyable way!
Stress and the body
From tight, sore muscles, to headaches, to chronic fatigue, our grads are testaments to how stress can manifest in the body. Even after exams are studied for and passed, even after nailing that important interview and being offered that first job, our grads still need help communicating to their bodies that all is well. Massage, in addition to feeling amazing, calms the nervous system, taking a person out of the fight or flight response and into the rest and digest system. It also takes taut, unyielding muscles and connective tissue and makes them longer and more supple. Massage also provides relief from pain associated with tense muscles and from psychosomatic symptoms.
Stress and the mind
In addition to the physical manifestations of life’s pressures on a person, stress also manifests in our mental state. Aside from anxiety, depression, and low confidence, characteristics commonly associated with feeling overwhelmed, stress may also lead to sluggish cognitive abilities, forgetfulness, trouble sleeping, and indecisiveness. Massage can help on many different levels. Massage helps lower blood pressure and is very effective at reducing anxiety. While there are not enough studies to conclusively prove this, it is believed that massage stimulates the release of endorphins, chemical neurotransmitters that help reduce pain and induce a euphoric state. Serotonin, in particular, is especially important to a good night’s sleep because not only does it provide a feeling of well-being, but it is a key factor in regulating the sleep cycle, as it is what the pineal gland uses to synthesize melatonin.
Modern Salon and Spa offers massage in 30 minute increments to 120 minutes. A shorter massage is perfect for the grad who is holding tension in a particular area, a longer session allows for a full body experience, ideal for those who are tense both mentally and physically. Add a 15 minute hot stone add-on to the massage, and the grad will be sure to leave feeling relaxed, balanced, and ready to take this new world opening up in front of them head-on!
Call or text us to schedule your appointment, or to reserve a gift for your grad! 704.339.0909
About the Blogger
Massage Therapist since 2004
Modern Salon & Spa | Phillips Place
Mama, lover of cats and the written word, massage therapy enthusiast
I spent half of my life in a small beach town on Long Island, NY, and the last half in Charlotte; Charlotte is where I have chosen to put my roots down and am raising my son. My attraction to healing touch has always been a part of me; from a young age I have always rubbed my loved ones’ sore shoulders and feet after a long day. It was something I did that was completely intuitive. After realizing that, while having a great affinity for the English language, I didn’t necessarily want to be an English teacher, my mother, knower of all the things, told me she wanted to send me to massage school, so I went and I have never looked back!
My passion for massage is definitely fueled not only from my desire to help my guests feel as relaxed and pain-free as possible, but by the support of my MSS peers, whose excellence in their crafts inspires me every single day. The ongoing education of both our team and of our guests is a huge part of our culture at Modern Salon and Spa and being able to share my passion with an audience wider than 3 cats and a bored tween boy is a dream come true for me!