Controlling Cortisol Levels

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CHARLOTTE – Fall is definitely a season for massage. We are getting into the final quarter of the year which seems to be crazy busy, with no let up until January 2nd. It’s easy to let your events and activities take priority over your self-care. The thing to remember is, if you’re not well rested with your stress properly managed, then you’re not going to be able to do all those fun fall things without some sacrifice of mind, body or spirit.

What happens to our bodies when we are stressed? Our adrenal glands (located on top of our kidneys) produce a hormone called cortisol.  Cortisol mainly regulates stress in your body but it also helps suppress inflammation, regulates blood pressure and blood sugar and helps control your sleep. It also has a hand in controlling your metabolism. Cortisol is not a bad word, but it can certainly cause problems if it is elevated for longer than normal. Mainly talked about in women, it is also an important hormone in males.

Some examples of high levels of cortisol or prolonged high levels are weight gain, extra fat between your shoulder blades, wide purple stretch marks on your belly, muscle weakness in upper arms and thighs, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, excessive hair growth in women and osteoporosis.

Massage can help. Talk to your massage therapist about how we can limit the stressors for your session, perhaps by adding some aromatherapy to the mix, or using warm towels on your feet.

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