Stress affects one in five of the working population at every skill level and is now the single biggest cause of absenteeism in the UK. Over 105 million days are lost to stress every year – costing UK employers £1.24 billion.

Workplace stress affects productivity and impacts health and safety due to a reduced workforce. It causes demoralization and reduced motivation (Health & Safety Executive).

According to NHS Choices, stress is the feeling of being under too much mental or emotional pressure which becomes ‘stressful’ when you feel unable to cope. People have different ways of reacting to stress, so a situation that feels negatively stressful to one person may be a motivating factor to another.

The word ‘stress’ is banded around a great deal and many of the cSwedish massagelients I see for Aromatherapy Massage or Reflexology complain that they feel stressed with life and work challenges. Mental stress can manifest into physical symptoms which can be either acute and transient, improving as the causative factor diminishes; or can develop into a chronic debilitating condition which negatively impacts everyday life.

One of the most common physical manifestations of stress I see as a therapist is back pain. We hold stress and tension in the muscles of our body, across the shoulders and the neck or anywhere within the muscle groups surrounding and supporting our spinal column. Lack of exercise as well as more sedentary work practices compound back problems.

Aromatherapy Massage and Reflexology involve the use of essential oils, each one having a range of therapeutic effects on our physical, emotional and even spiritual dimensions. After an initial medical questionnaire, I use specific questioning and intuition to blend up to three essential oils to suit you individually at that time. I may use essential oils in a diffuser if I am using a Reflexology wax. Massage warms the tissues, stimulates blood flow and introduces the oils into the bloodstream to begin their therapeutic effect. Studies have proved that therapeutic massage reduces the stress hormone Cortisol and encourages the body’s production of neurotransmitters Serotonin and Dopamine (‘happy’ hormones).