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De-stress Me Please!

Updated: Apr 8, 2022

In March 2020, Remedial Massage Therapists were stood down, due to the global pandemic that is COVID 19, or Coronavirus. This lasted close to seven weeks, whilst our Country tried to understand and manage the situation. At the time, I thought to myself, eventually, people are going to need us.

Since my return in May 2020, I have seen an increase in clients who report high levels of stress, anxiety and not the best mental health but I also get the comments of “I feel like with everything that’s going on I really need to start looking after myself”. The isolation has also added to the stresses, with families not being able to reunite due to living in different parts of the country and even the world. And my clients are confirming to me my initial thoughts, they need us. They need the physical touch and to destress.

At the beginning of the pandemic, our short term survival instinct kicks in and we are motivated by fear. However, we are now two years into the COVID crisis, and we in Western Australia, are only just now going into our highest numbers of COVID cases. We are only just seeing the impact the disease can have on people and workplaces. We are seeing an increase in frustration, stress and burnout in our clients.

Just a few weeks ago, I was asked by a client if we have seen a decrease in bookings with the increase of COVID cases. And I laughed and said no! To this point, my diary has still been quite full. And again, I am reminded, of how our clients need us.

Some stress within the body can be necessary, a good thing even. But high levels of stress, continually, can start to affect one’s health and body. Everyone handles stress differently but eventually it can cause issues in your emotional state as well as physically in your body.

So what are some symptoms of stress that we have seen in the clinic?

Some emotional responses to stress may be an increase in moodiness and irritability, feeling overwhelmed and having difficulty relaxing or calming your mind. I am noticing many of my clients need to talk about their COVID frustrations, to get them off their chests.

Some physical responses to stress may be low energy, headaches, clenched jaw, muscle tension and frequent sickness such as colds.

Upon speaking to some of my colleagues, the physiotherapists have also seen a big increase in stress in their clients. They are seeing an increase in people with neck and shoulder pain and tension.

If we continue to have high levels of stress in our bodies, it can lead to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, eating disorders and gastrointestinal issues, to name a few.

Thankfully, Remedial Massage Therapy has now been recognised by the government as an essential service and we have been helping our clients destress with our massage techniques.

But HOW can massage help with relieving stress?

Well, we, your massage therapist, can use long slow strokes which can help with slowing your breathing. We have various techniques, including deep tissue and trigger point therapy, that can help with reducing muscle tension. If you’re suffering from headaches, we can focus our treatment around your neck, shoulders and jaw, which is a great way to help reduce headaches. We can also provide a full body massage and use our relaxation techniques if you feel that’s what your body needs. It is our job as Remedial Massage Therapists to analyse and assess what the best treatment option is for you, and we can then design a treatment to suit your goals and needs.

With many clients commenting that they want to look after themselves, I am seeing more clients who come regularly for massage treatments, rather than just for a once-off. Clients are reporting the massages help on so many levels, they are feeling less stressed, less anxious and reduced muscle tension. Maybe this pandemic has taught us to put our health and body first, to take the time to invest in our wellness.

If you’re feeling stressed, why not try a Remedial Massage today? With two great locations, in Mandurah and Pinjarra, give our team at 4 Life Physiotherapy a call today on 95835200 to get booked for a well needed destress!

By Tara Cabassi - Remedial Massage Therapist

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