Stress Management Techniques

Reducing your level of stress protects your health and allows you to get more enjoyment out of life. Stress management therapy can be very helpful for easing stress caused by traumatic or ongoing stress. You can choose from many different types of therapy for stress, including music therapy, stress massage therapy and talk therapy.

Relieving Stress with Massage Therapy

Massage therapy was once a luxury, readily available only at high-end spas and health clubs. Luckily, things have changed and massage therapy is widely available to almost everyone.

Aside from relieving stress, massage therapy is known to reduce anxiety and depression, as well as help control blood pressure and boost immunity. Here are a few types of stress massage therapy you might enjoy:

  • Deep tissue massage: Slow, strong strokes reach deep layers of muscle and connective tissue.
  • Sports massage: This blend of gentle massage techniques is designed for people active in sports, targeting specific muscles.
  • Swedish massage: This gentle type of massage uses deep circular movements, kneading, long strokes, tapping and vibration.
  • Trigger point massage: This type of massage focuses on trigger points or sensitive areas of tight muscle tissue formed by overuse or from an injury.

A good massage is a delightful and relaxing experience that may involve soft music, candlelight and aromatherapy oils. For your comfort and safety, verify the training and certification of a massage therapist before scheduling a session.

Music Therapy for Stress

After the First and Second World Wars, caring musicians visited injured and traumatized veterans to cheer them up. The medical community quickly took note of the emotional and physical improvement patients experienced when exposed to music, and the first college curriculum for music therapy was launched at Michigan State University in 1944.

Music therapy, an enjoyable and effective way to lower your stress level, may involve:

  • Discussion of lyrics
  • Imagery with music
  • Improvisation
  • Listening
  • Performance
  • Song writing.

You can find either group or individual music therapy sessions, and no particular musical talent is required to participate.

Counseling and Talk Stress Management Therapy

Sometimes just having someone you can open up and talk to can greatly lift a burden of stress. If sharing your feelings with loved ones isn’t enough, professional counseling can offer a non-biased ear as well as a great method of stress management therapy.

Here are some of the major types of counseling therapy offered for stress management:

  • Behavioral therapy
  • Cognitive therapy
  • Multimodal therapy
  • Problem focused therapy
  • Rational emotive behavior therapy
  • Talk therapy.

In addition, hypnosis and stress management workshops may also help you limit the effects of stress on your life.

Resources

American Music Therapy Association. (1999). Frequently asked questions about music therapy. Retrieved October 5, 2010, from http://www.musictherapy.org/faqs.html

Centre for Stress Management. (2010). Therapy. Retrieved October 5, 2010, from http://www.managingstress.com/therapy/default.htm

Mayo Clinic. (2010). Massage: Get in touch with its many health benefits. Retrieved October 5, 2010, from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/massage/SA00082/NSECTIONGROUP=2

National Center for Health and Wellness. (2006). Stress management options – Find stress therapy and stress relievers. Retrieved October 5, 2010, from http://www.thehealthcenter.info/adult-stress/stress-treatment-options.htm