|Nowadays, we are all exposed to tremendous amounts of stress. Stress-related illnesses such as heart attacks, strokes, hypertension, diabetes, etc., affect Americans in pandemic proportions. To better understand how stress affects us, imagine a situation in which you might encounter an aggressive, large dog ready to attack. Almost immediately, your heart rate increases, breathing becomes heavy and accelerated, blood pressure climbs, and you get ready to “fight or flight.” The sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system takes over. The sympathetic division is responsible for vasoconstriction (leading to higher blood pressure), increase the heart rate, stress hormone production, sweating, heavy breathing, etc.
In our stressful daily life routine, the sympathetic division is over-active, and this causes a gradual development and accumulation of the above-mentioned symptoms. Of course when arteries constrict, the heart’s work becomes more difficult. The left part of the heart must constrict and not only pump blood, but also overcome the resistance from the constricted vessels. In fact, this chain of events can actually leads to stress-related heart attacks.
In Volume 2 of Boris Prilutsky’s Medical Massage DVD series, Boris offers a hands-on demonstration of a special method of Medical Massage therapy developed by A. Sherbak, M.D., Ph.D. The techniques shown lead to the balancing of activities between the sympathetic and parasympathetic (the antagonist of the sympathetic system) division of the nervous systems. This balancing results in the unloading of the cardiovascular system, depression of stress hormone production, and the initiation of positive chain reactions in the functions of our organ systems.
By creating impulses under our hands when we perform soft tissue mobilization, we cause the motor centers in our brain to reduce muscle tension, as well as initiate the positive vasomotor reflexes mentioned above.