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Stress & the Body: Take the first step to de-stress

By Nicole Jacobsen

There are many different experiences and encounters in the past and in our daily lives that can result in stress being stored in the body. Perhaps from past traumas and fears, arguments or interactions with overbearing people, the weight of our responsibilities or our own doubts and criticisms towards ourselves. These and many other situations can leave our body in a high state of tension and stress, and for those especially sensitive, the energies of the world or environment where you live or work can see your body absorbing the collective stress of those around you.

Stress can manifest anywhere in the body but the most common areas are the neck, shoulders, back and stomach. Yet interestingly our hips, knees, feet and hands are also key areas where stress likes to hang out. When we are faced with stressful situations our body will naturally tense up in some areas and even though the stressful situation has past or may be from long ago, the nervous system can still react and hold the body as if the stress was still occurring. For those currently still experiencing a stressful situation, where possible removing the source of stress is the ideal first step. Sometimes this isn’t possible, such as for those caring for an unwell loved one, those in high stress jobs who still want to be there and other situations of difficulty that are unable to be changed at this moment. This is where self-care becomes vital, with the understanding that the better you look after yourself, the higher level of care you are able to give to yourself and others.

Things that you may like to consider and that may be helpful include, adequate rest, asking for help, making time to do things you love, trying something new, spending time with friends or enrolling in an activity that is fun and allows you to have some time out from your lifestyle stresses. Other helpful ways to reduce stress are spending time in nature, dancing, walking, exercise/movement, yoga, meditation, Qi Gung, Reiki, relaxation massage and acupuncture.

Here at Prana we have a variety of therapies and massage styles we can offer to help relieve tension, relax your nervous system and bring your energy centres back into balance. Massage and Acupuncture are amazing modalities that can support you in minimizing and releasing the stress and tension held in your body. In the meantime take one tiny step to begin that process of lowering the stress levels in your life.

Perhaps spending five minutes admiring a beautiful flower, or taking the time for a walk in the park on your lunch break, maybe it’s time to take those singing lessons or organize that catch up with your friends. Find something that gives you that time out or makes you smile, even if it’s only for a brief moment, knowing that all journeys start with the first step.