What’s getting on your nerves?
Answer: You – and most likely the environment you’re in!
Read on to learn about how Massage and the Vagus Nerve can work together to reduce stress.
You know that old saying, “no pain no gain”? Well actually, this can be quite true if you’re training for a sports event but quite untrue in our everyday life.
If you’re experiencing too much pain, fatigue and stress, it will wreak havoc on your body and its systems.
Why is too much pain, fatigue and stress so bad for our bodies?
When our nerves are constantly stimulated and don’t get enough time to rest and repair, we’re left feeling burnt out. This can lead to physical, mental and systemic discomfort. It can also cause pain, inflammation, illness, and affect mental health.
One nerve in our body the Vagus Nerve, (called this as its like a vagabond that roams everywhere), is our 10th Cranial nerve, and the largest outside of the spinal nerves. The Vagus Nerve is largely responsible for the regulation of stress. It plays a major role in our flight or flight reaction and tries to balance this out with our rest and digestive system.
How does the Vagus Nerve do that?
By taking continuous information to the brain for a feedback response. When we respond to life’s stresses (even the wonderful but challenging stresses like starting a family, or business), if we don’t take time out to relax, this really takes its toll. This is especially true once we are over 40 years of age.
You know you’re really stressed, when you start getting on your own nerves! You can become frazzled – just like an over cooked piece of toast. The most beneficial thing you can do is learn how to recognise when you are beginning to feel this way.
There is no one size fits all approach to health. Everyone has the access to their own instinct and natural intelligence and it pays to remember that you’re the expert on you, not some one else.
Tips on creating a Path to Wellness
Massage and the Vagus Nerve
I know this could be seen as biased, but I can’t speak highly enough to the benefits of massage and how underrated it is! Massage is a safe and effective way to work alongside the Vagus Nerve to help reduce life’s stresses, keep you more balanced and can even help you avoid disease.
A good Swedish Massage, which lifts the muscle fibres and allows the blood to move, will result not only in feeling good, but will reduce your stress levels and keep those nerves calm.
The nervous system is a physical system in the body and maintaining it to a high standard requires regular maintenance. A good massage can bring you back to “remembered wellness”. It improves how you feel and breaks the “fight or flight” mode we get into with life, kids, jobs and projects. This melting pot can leave us on edge and wired.
Touch can access so many nerve receptors and calm you via the skin. It is a wonderful way to focus on yourself by nourishing and nurturing your body.
I practice what I preach and treat myself to several big pamper packages each year! I also regularly use Osteopathy (which can adjust the nervous system quite promptly through some lovely twists and bends) and Acupuncture (which also affects those nerves but using a system that balances your internal organ network and how they all function together).
These work well for me, but if you’re into sports Physiotherapy may suit you better. If you’ve suffered any injuries, a Chiropractic may be suitable.
We’re all so different – the way to find out what suits you, is to try them out!
Many of my clients have combined massage with various treatments above and have achieved wonderful synergistic results.
Breathing correctly is important and very underrated in terms of the benefits it can provide. Learning a few breathing techniques, and practicing them daily can help you calm those nerves and is a great habit to form.
Nutrition and Hydration
Nutrition and hydration nourishes your body – and your body will thank you for it!
Exercise (suitable for your age) is super important! Choose something you enjoy and make it part of your daily routine. Your fitness and energy levels will improve, and again, your body will thank you for it.
For your soul, and emotional well-being, hang out with friends, your partner, your family. This is so very important! If your emotions are getting the better of you, I suggest joining a group. There are all sorts of groups around that may appeal to you and be just what you need. For example, support groups, sports teams, creative minds, groups with a business focus.
We NEED human contact and to feel connected. Sometimes we feel like socialising or being with people is the last thing we want to do, but in reality, that social contact is very healing.
The Tough Stuff
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and just can’t get yourself into a good space, I highly recommend getting some counselling.
I sought counselling when I was 29. I remember my therapist saying that if you do one hour a fortnight for two years, its actually only 24 hours, or one day in your life which will give you skills you won’t find elsewhere and that you can use forever.
She was right.
It doesn’t matter if you’re facing issues now or if they’re lingering in your head from the past, its never too late to look at ironing them out.
Think of it like this; If you have a leaking down pipe, you call a plumber -and there’s no shame in that! If you need a bit of help to straighten your head out, there’s no shame in that either.
For some, spirituality is all about how you feel about your life. For others, its about religion or other philosophies.
Over the years I have experimented with a wide range of things with regards to spirituality. I personally love the new trend – Diversity which is helping us to evolve and not to judge others.
Whatever your take on spirituality is, make sure you take time out to think about who you are and what your personal values and morals are. Thinking about and acknowledging them will help you to incorporate them into your everyday life and be your authentic you. This promotes self-development and encourages us to be more positive.
Thanks for reading my post! I hope you’ve enjoyed it and learned something as well. Keep and eye on my website for more articles in the coming months.