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Chronic Stress and Pain

Chronic stress can lead to pain, and chronic pain can lead to stress. They feed off of each other… chronic stress also leads to or exacerbates all kinds of medical conditions. Sickness, pain, and stress….”Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

Soothing Touch has been in the business of making products for massage therapists (and the general public) for 40 years this year. Our very first product was Narayan Oil, which happens to be my favorite product. I had a massage last night, and I took my own Narayan along with me to the appointment and asked the therapist to use it…she was already using our Versa Creme so she was happy to try another product she hadn’t previously used. Like many people who spend hours at the computer, I have chronic neck and shoulder pain, and the beginnings of carpal tunnel syndrome. Getting massage keeps me from having to take drugs. I just can’t function on painkillers and muscle relaxers! I don’t like the brain fog I get from them. In addition to massage, I try to frequently stand up, take a short walk outside every hour or two, stretch my neck, and do a few shoulder rolls when I’m desk-bound.

Massage therapy is an excellent way to help manage stress and pain. Neuromuscular pain manifests itself in many ways, and stress seems to find a home in whatever part of our bodies are already most vulnerable…our “tension spots.” Massage has also been found to help premature babies thrive, benefit people who exercise, improve sleep, relieve low back pain and tension headaches, help manage the symptoms of depression and anxiety, and can be beneficial for many other conditions. The American Massage Therapy Association has approved position statements on massage therapy that are backed by research. You can access those here.

I won’t promise that you’re going to be “cured” or “fixed” from whatever is ailing you–and especially not in one session. But I urge you to make massage therapy a regular part of your wellness plan. You’ll feel better for it.

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Laura Allen joined Soothing Touch as the Massage Division Director in July of 2015. She is a licensed massage therapist, a continuing education provider, the author of 5 massage therapy texts published by Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, and three other self-published books, numerous magazine articles, and has written over 300 blogs about the massage profession. Her regular Ethics column, The Heart of Bodywork, appears in Massage & Bodywork Magazine. Laura lives with her two rescue dogs, Fido and Queenie, in Rutherfordton, North Carolina.

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