Dr Hans Seyle defined stress as ‘the nonspecific response of the body to any demands placed upon it’. Seyle, who popularised the word ‘stress’ in the 1950s, set up the International Institute of Stress in Montreal in 1977. He discovered that hormones released in response to stress participate in the development of many degenerative diseases. He also saw that when faced with demands, be they physical or emotional, people reacted in different ways and what was stressful for one person could be exciting and stimulating for another. Positive stress that motivates is defined as ‘eustress’ and we all need a certain amount of this in our lives in order to function well. Stress becomes harmful (distress) when it occurs too often or lasts too long. Fatigue is one of the first signs of distress and we need to do something about it before it becomes exhaustion and leads to ill health.
Indian Head Massage for Stress Photo Gallery
Note – Indian Head Massage is an ideal antidote to stress as it works on areas of the body that are particularly vulnerable to the effects of stress.
Caroline, a practitioner, describes treating Jane, aged 36, for stress and depression:
Jane is a housewife who was finding life difficult. Her husband left his job and had been at home, feeling unsure about the future, which was very unsettling for Jane and their three children. She became very anxious and depressed and on one occasion felt so low she visited her GP, who prescribed antidepressants. In an effort to avoid long-term medication she came to me for a course of Indian Head Massage treatments.
Jane’s initial five treatments were weekly. During the first treatment she felt like she was “inside a volcano and floating up to the opening where it was getting brighter”. After treatment she felt relaxed, calm and her troubles seemed to dissipate. During the next week she felt less anxious and mentally tired. During the second treatment she again felt her troubles dissipate and described it as ‘a wonderful feeling’. As each week and treatment passed she began to feel more in control of her life and more positive about the future. Each time the feeling of well-being and positive outlook was more prolonged. By treatment five, Jane was delighted with the results and returned the unopened packet of antidepressants to her doctor. Now (one year on) she is continuing a happy medication-free life, helped by regular treatments.’
Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) syndrome
In this condition the temporomandibular joint does not function properly. This joint connects the temporal bone with the mandible and is frequently used – when we talk, chew, bite down or swallow we put the TMJ to work. TMJ syndrome produces pain in the jaw that can radiate to the face, neck, head and shoulders and there may be difficulty opening the mouth fully. Clicking and popping noises can occur when chewing, yawning, or moving the joint. It can contribute to headaches, migraines or tinnitus. The common causes are stress and a poor bite, combined with grinding the teeth, especially at night. Chewing gum can worsen the problem. Note – This condition should be diagnosed and treated by a specialist. Indian Head Massage can alleviate stress and relax muscles in the area.