Harmantherapies.co.uk stress


A stressor is the body’s ‘fight or flight response’ to an emergency. It was needed in primitive times for survival against danger and was designed for short bursts of activity.


Chemical substances such as alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, additives, drugs, and environmental toxins also cause stress on the body’s systems, which in turn deplete energy levels.

When stress hormones flood the system, the blood vessels that supply organs involved with exercise or fighting off danger dilate, allowing a greater blood flow through their tissues. The blood vessels that supply organs that are not essential to the ‘fight or flight’ response such as the kidneys and the gastrointestinal tract constrict to enable the blood to go to where it is most needed. The processes that are not essential for meeting the stressful situation are inhibited such as muscular movements of the gastrointestinal tract. Digestive secretions slow down and may even stop for a while, interrupting the normal activities of digestion and excretion. The body needs to expel fecal matter regularly as this waste product provides a home for many unfriendly bacteria which will multiply and therefore could result in poor colon health and inflammation of its lining.

When the body relaxes, the opposite of the ‘fight or flight’ response occurs, this is known as ‘REST AND DIGEST’. During this period the bodily functions that conserve and restore energy during times of rest and recovery are more active. The blood is diverted back to the digestive system and impulses are sent to the muscles of the gastrointestinal tract allowing energy-supplying food to be digested and absorbed.


Relaxation has the opposite effect to that of stress on the body.
It will decrease the amount of adrenaline, the stress hormone, which in turn will lower blood pressure and therefore relieve pressure on the cardiovascular system.
It helps to increase the activity of white blood cells which will make the body less susceptible to illness.
Due to the body not being in a state of alert the blood supply will be diverted back to the digestive organs.

Massage Therapy

Massage is the therapeutic manipulation of the soft tissues of the body, which has been used for centuries, worldwide, to promote health and relaxation. The mechanical action of massage physically loosens muscles taking pressure off arteries, veins, lymph vessels, and nerve pathways, thereby relieving the restriction of their functions and helping the body’s healing processes.

The loosening of the muscles also aids in the relief of pain and decreases tension, producing a feeling of deep relaxation and a state of well-being. I offer a range of massage techniques.

The massage can be peacefully relaxing, using light pressure only which will help to relieve stress and increase circulation. A stronger pressure can be used to break down the deeper, knotted tissue, and stretching techniques can be used to increase the range of movement and to increase the elasticity of contracted muscles.

I also use neuromuscular techniques and soft tissue release which are very effective to increase the range of movement of a muscle and therefore relieve the pressure and tension on the joints and nerves.