Bodywork is a generalized term used to describe a number of natural approaches to stress management. Bodywork has its place in alternative, complementary, and traditional medicine practices and beliefs.
In the broadest scope of the term, bodywork can be any therapeutic benefit to the body. Bodyworks have roots in both modern and ancient healing and in many different cultures or civilizations. It may involve energy, touch, or even sound therapies.
When dealing with stress management there are several approaches that can be taken. Just as stress affects people differently, so do the methods for reducing, preventing and otherwise managing stress. Many find one or more methods or bodywork techniques helpful.
While these approaches cannot remove stress completely from ones life, they may help with relaxation and to relieve some of the symptoms of chronic stress or to help alleviate some of the pain or discomfort that comes along with stress related or induced disorders.
Symptoms of Chronic Stress
Some of the most common symptoms of chronic stress and tension in the body and many of the reason that people seek treatment and help with stress management are headaches, body aches, tension, or tightness in the back, neck and shoulders, insomnia, digestive problems, and emotional or behavioral issues like anxiety, anger, irritability, indecisiveness, depression and sexual dysfunction.
Some common modes, or forms of bodywork used in natural approaches to stress management include:
Acupuncture– a traditional Chinese medical technique that uses needles inserted at specific areas of the body
Acupressure-also a Chinese medical technique that uses the same principles of acupuncture but rather uses touch therapy of the fingers instead of the needles.
Biodynamic- can be more than one source of bodywork used under the premise that one can be healed through life force
CranioSacral Therapy- A biodynamic approach used by chiropractors, naturopaths, massage therapists and osteopaths it is the manual application of subtle movement of the spinal and cranial bones to bring the central nervous system into balance
Chiropractic- treatment approaches may vary but at the minimal involve physical manipulation of the spine
Massage- there is several different forms or techniques of massage. Massage is the practice of applying pressure, tension, motion, or vibration, either manually or with mechanical aids to the soft tissues of the body
Rolfing- sometimes referred to as postural release or structural integration is a technique that involves soft tissue manipulation so that the body is aligned properly and in harmony with gravity
Reiki– Japanese technique similar to laying on of hands that channels energy and is performed by a practitioner keeping hands close to or on the body
Tai Chi– is a Chinese form of martial arts but is often used as an exercise of the body to relieve tension by using leverage through the joints based on coordination
These are just a few of the most commonly known and widely practiced bodywork approaches to stress management. There are other methods and modes available as well. These and other methods may be used separately, alone or together with other methods as well to achieve desired results.