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Cascade Quarterly News Archives
Winter 2014: Volume 8, Issue 4

Feature Article: Beating Stress

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In this issue:

1) Beating Stress Before it Beats You
2) How Does Stress Affect Health
3) How Stress Makes Us Old
4) Give the Gift of Massage!
5) About Cascade Massage Therapy

If there is one area of health and well being that bears regular attention, it's dealing with stress. Certainly we're reminded frequently of how stressful life can be. This issue covers some newer information that reinforces just how important reducing and handling stress is to your health and happiness.

Life today just seems to get busier and busier. It's so easy to get swept up in all you have to do and to push yourself too hard. But how long can you ignore the effects of stress before it takes a noticeable toll on your health?

Too many people spend much of their time focused on doing things for their family, work, etc. and put their personal welfare last. But ignoring your health can lead to more serious concerns than getting sick.

Reducing or eliminating stress from your life is a never-ending task. Can you think of any health therapy that can help you to de-stress faster of more effectively than a massage? Or one more enjoyable? Make your life the best it can be by including regular massage in your schedule! See you soon.


Click here to learn more about how I can help you.

1) Beating Stress Before It Beats You

Let's start off with the good news - massage is a great health aid that has been shown to reduce stress and its accompanying physical health threats. An internet search on "effects of stress" supplied over 250,000 related articles, and most of the references in this issue are excerpted from the results. For instance:

Under severe stress, when muscles are over-worked, the body shows many weakening symptoms such as soreness, stiffness, and even muscle spasms. Heightened stress responses accumulate lactic acid in the muscle and waste air inside the body. It exhausts the body and de-motivates the mind to remain energized and active.

Why Massage is Rejuvenating:

  • Massage improves circulation of blood and lymphatic fluids. Increased blood flow brings fresh oxygen to body tissues.
  • Increased oxygen flow eliminates waste products from inside the body, and enhances recovery from diseases.
  • Therapeutic massage boosts circulatory and immune systems to benefit blood pressure, circulation, muscle tone, digestion, and skin tone. It also improves the performance of the lungs.
  • As muscle tone improves, so do the nerves that connect them, including the spinal cord and the brain.
  • Therapeutic massage can promote general well being, enhance confidence, and self-assuredness.
  • Massage in an excellent relaxant that also increases health and well being. (1)

2) How Does Stress Affect Health

The human body is designed to experience stress and react to it. Stress can be positive, keeping us alert and ready to avoid danger. Stress becomes negative when a person faces continuous challenges without relief or relaxation between challenges. As a result, the person becomes overworked, and stress related tension builds.

Stress that continues without relief can lead to a condition called distress - a negative stress reaction. Distress can disturb the body's internal balance or equilibrium - leading to physical symptoms including headaches, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, chest pain, and problems sleeping. Research suggests that stress also can bring on or worsen certain symptoms or diseases.

Consider the following facts:

  • Forty-three percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress.
  • Seventy-five to 90% of all doctor's office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.
  • Stress is linked to six of the leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide. (2)

Stress Management

The University of Washington, Department of Orthopedics, lists three components of a successful stress management program: learn how to reduce stress; learn how to accept what you cannot change; and learn how to overcome the harmful effects of stress.

Reducing stress

  • Identify the causes of stress in your life.
  • Share your thoughts and feelings.
  • Simplify your life as much as possible.
  • Manage your time and conserve your energy.
  • Set short-term and life goals for yourself.
  • Become as mentally and physically fit as possible.
  • Embrace a sense of humor and have some fun.
  • Get help to cope with hard-to-solve problems. (3)



3) How Stress Makes Us Old

It's long been suspected that a difficult life can make people look old before their time. New research shows that stress actually does age us prematurely - right down to our DNA. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, studied the DNA of 39 women who had spent years caring for their chronically ill children. They specifically examined the women's telomeres, which are pieces of DNA that cap the ends of chromosomes and play a critical role in cell division. time a cell divides, the telomeres shorten; they therefore can serve as a marker of a cell's biological age. The women with chronically ill children, the study found, had shorter telomeres than a group of women with healthy kids. The more stressed the women, the greater the wear on her DNA. The difference was so dramatic that the researchers estimated that the cells of the highly stressed moms had undergone the equivalent of 10 years of additional aging compared to the low-stress group. "Older" cells, in turn, can be vulnerable to a host of diseases.

"If we feel stress, it needs to be taken seriously," Elissa Ipel tells New Scientist. "It may be embodied at the cellular level." -The Week, Dec. 17, 2004

4) Give the Gift of Massage!

Do you know someone who needs a little break? Give them a "mini-vacation" with a massage gift certificate!

Click Here to purchase your Cascade Massage Therapy gift certificate online!

Massage gift certificates are ideal gifts for special occasions - birthdays, anniversaries, or just to let someone know how much you care.

"We must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we harden."
- Johann von Goethe

The content of this newsletter is not intended to replace professional medical advice. If you're ill, please consult a physician

Reprinted with permission from Massage Marketing © 2002

5) About Cascade Massage Therapy

My Approach

  • I bring over 18 years of bodywork experience and education to the massage table!
  • I offer you diverse and comprehensive massage therapy sessions. Your treatment goals are foremost and your needs will be heard and addressed.
  • I utilize both traditional and complementary treatment techniques, and recommend self care tips and exercise options that evolve with your individual healing process.
  • This is your time - I encourage you to enjoy the stillness of your session, and sense the changes occurring in your body while we work - you don’t need to be entertaining or start a conversation; that being said, please recognize that I do not read minds. I expect my clients to participate in his or her experience and give feedback as needed during the treatment.
  • Cascade Massage Therapy is focused on education and prevention. It is important that you know what you can do to help prevent stress, tension, and pain when you are not with me. I allow for time at the end of our session to converse, suggest self care tips and exercises that would be beneficial for you, and answer any questions that you may have.
  • I believe that prolonged stress, whether environmental, physical or emotional is a primary factor in disease and a true obstacle to healing. Therefore, I welcome you to a peace-filled and relaxing environment where you can experience relief from pain and tension.

Sonja Rawlings, RMT
Associate Member Ortho-Bionomy Association of Canada

1601 – 30th Avenue
Vernon, BC V1T 2A3



If you have specific health concerns consult your medical doctor.

The information in this newsletter is educational only and is not intended to replace the advice of your personal health care providers.

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Office located in Vernon, BC, Canada. Serving Vernon, Coldstream,
Lavington, Armstrong, Lumby, Enderby, Salmon Arm, Sicamous, Chase,
Falkland, Kelowna and the rest of the Okanagan.