No matter your age or what you do for a living, stress is a constant in everyone’s life. Because of its common nature, it is easy to say that stress is something that we just have to deal with. However, the science behind stress proves that it is a major concern affecting our health, and it is important that we work to reduce stress to keep us healthy. In this article, we take a look at the statistics and science behind stress and explore how a Biomat can aid in the reduction of stress and tension.
How stress amplifies pain
Stress is a major cause of pain. When you feel stress, there are physical changes that occur throughout the body. Stress causes the muscles to become tense. This is most commonly felt in the neck and head through tension headaches, but stress can have an effect on the entire musculoskeletal system. When you feel a “knot” in your back, stress may be the underlying cause of it.
Injuries are often the catalyst to chronic painful conditions. However, the body’s response to the injury is a large factor as to whether the injury will lead to a chronic painful condition. As explained by the American Psychology Association (APA), muscle tension and atrophy from neglect of using the body “all promote chronic, stress-related musculoskeletal conditions.” The APA also conducted a study released in November of 2017, titled Stress in America: The State of Our Nation, the study found that the United States is at its highest recorded stress level. Nearly two-thirds of Americans found that the future state of the nation was a very or somewhat significant source of stress. Healthcare and the economy rounded out the top three stress causes amongst those surveyed.
Chronic pain prevention through stress reduction
The APA states that moderate physical activity at the site of injury (overseen by a physician) helps to aid in injury recovery, and those who participate in such activity are found to have a better recovery than those who remain stagnant and tense.
Furthermore, the APA has indicated that relaxation techniques have been shown to effectively reduce muscle tension and decrease incidences of stress-related ailments, including headaches. Indicated for relief from pain associated with sore and aching muscles, the Biomat is a proven effective tool to help relax the muscles. The deeply penetrating far-infrared rays emitted by the Biomat reach far into the muscle to help relieve stress and tension buildup within. Massage is a physical technique which helps to relieve stress and tension in the muscles, and using the Biomat in conjunction with a massage session will elevate its effectiveness.
Physical effects go well beyond pain
While chronic pain is one of the first indications of prolonged stress, it is arguably one of the least concerning. Stress has been shown to affect many different parts of the body outside of the musculoskeletal system. It has an alarming effect on the cardiovascular system. Acute stress, or short-term stress, caused by events, such as being stuck traffic, a public- speaking occasion, or an approaching deadline causes the heart rate to increase. The heart muscle produces stronger contractions. This is caused by stress hormones produced by the body during such events – adrenaline, cortisol, and noradrenaline. These stress hormones alert the body that a stressful event is occurring and triggers the blood vessels to dilate to spread blood to the muscles and heart. The APA describes this as “fight or flight response,” and once the stressful event passes, the body returns to a normal, stable state. Chronic stress, however, means that the body is constantly put through a “fight or flight” responsive state. This can contribute to long- term problems for the heart, arteries and veins. According to the APA, a constant and prolonged increase in heart rate and long-term elevation of stress-hormones can increase the risks for high- blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. Stress immediately affects the respiratory system. The body reacts to stress by breathing harder and faster to distribute oxygen-rich blood around the body. In a healthy individual, this is not much of a concern. However, for those who have breathing problems, such as asthma, this can be serious. Those with asthma may become short of breath as the body struggles to take in the needed extra oxygen. It can lead to hyperventilation, and this is exacerbated in those prone to anxiety and panic attacks. The gastrointestinal system is prone to negative effects caused by stress as well. Pain associated with heartburn and acid reflux can be exacerbated by stress. Stress can also cause sensitivity to the sensations in the stomach. You may experience nausea, discomfort, or “butterflies.” Chronic stress can even cause ulcers or severe stomach pain and diarrhea.
Quality of life
Aside from the physical side effects associated with stress, the psychological and overall effects on one’s quality of life make it important to keep stress levels down. Remaining in a constant state of stress can turn once enjoyable tasks into unpleasant ones. When stress becomes a chronic problem, it can become overbearing to the point in which it begins to affect relationships. When a person is no longer able to handle their stress, they may inadvertently take out their frustrations on those around them.
Healthy methods for stress relief
Relaxation and relief from stress can be attained even without a vacation abroad or day at the spa. Many methods and tools exist which can help you keep stress levels down and ease your mind. A study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine Review suggested that mindfulness-based stress reduction programs (such as meditation) relieved anxiety systems in people suffering from generalized anxiety disorder. Both groups, the control group and those who practiced daily meditation, found improvement from their symptoms when taught general stress management techniques. However, those in the study who practiced meditation improved more than those in the control group. Time and again, studies have also suggested that maintaining an active lifestyle can help to keep stress levels down and improve mood. Exercise stimulates endorphins, or peptides which activate the body’s opiate receptors, which in turn creates an analgesic effect. Focusing on a physical activity also keeps the mind off everyday stressors.
A daily one-hour session on the Biomat can also help you unwind and relax. Many users of the Biomat comment about the relaxing qualities that the gentle far-infrared rays provide to them both physically and emotionally. Using a Biomat can feel like an escape from reality – like sunbathing at a calming beach or a warm, comforting hug. Countless Biomat users have also found that combining daily meditation with their Biomat sessions amplifies the quality of both, creating a synergistic effect between the two.
It has also been said that using the Biomat before bed can aid in providing a better night’s sleep. The calming far-infrared rays and negative ions help to clear the mind after a long day on the job and relax tense muscles, giving users a gateway to a good night’s sleep. Relief from stress is attainable. Combining different stress management techniques to help you physically, mentally, and emotionally is the optimal offensive strategy to combat stress, and effective tools such as the Biomat are available to help you find better and faster relief.