Nurses suffer from back pain, neck pain, stress, and anxiety on a daily basis. A relaxing massage might just be the trick to rejuvenate and energize a worn-down nurse.
The Stressed-out Nurse:
With demanding schedules and workloads, nurses are under more stress than ever! This work-related stress takes a physical and mental toll in every facet of their lives. According to a 2016 study that examined 120 nurses from a Midwestern Hospital in the United States, they found that “92% of nurses had moderate, high or very high levels of work-related stress”.
This stress may lead to health issues, negative coping behaviors, and poor work performance. All of which can result in workplace burn-out, for dedicated nursing professionals.
The need for nurses is growing much faster than the average for all occupations. The reasoning being, that an increased emphasis is being placed on preventative care, growing rates of chronic conditions (diabetes and obesity), and the increased demand for healthcare services from the baby-boomer population. Baby-boomers are living longer and have much more active lives, than generations of the past.
How can we help our nurses?
If our nurses suffer, so do we! To help, we first must understand what their stress may be doing to their physical and mental health.
Unresolved stress has been shown to have numerous adverse effects on the body. Per the Mayo Clinic “stress symptoms can affect your body, your thoughts, your feelings, and behavior. Stress can contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.”
Common effects of stress on the body:
- Muscle tension or pain
- Chest pain
- Change in sex drive
- Stomach upset
Common effects of stress on your mood:
- Lack of motivation or focus
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Irritability or anger
- Sadness or depression
There are many options available to help reduce or manage stress, such as regular physical activity, relaxation techniques, socializing with family and friends, setting aside time for hobbies, reading, or listening to music. Primarily, learning to take time for yourself, reconnecting with yourself, and unplugging from activities that trigger stress.
Massage therapy is another great way to reduce stress. Massage therapy is scheduled relaxation time. It allows the brain, body, and soul to take a break, regroup and revitalize. The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) lists the following benefits from getting a massage:
- Relieve stress
- Relieve/reduces pain for (postoperative, low-back, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic neck pain, lower joint replacement pain)
- Reduce anxiety
- Reduce muscle tension
- Enhance exercise performance
- Relieve tension headaches
- Sleep better
- Ease symptoms of depression
- Improve cardiovascular health
- Decrease stress in cancer patients
- Improve balance in older adults
- Temper effects of dementia
- Promote relaxation
- Lower blood pressure
- Decrease symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Increase range of motion
- Decrease migraine frequency
- Improve the quality of life
- Reduce chemotherapy-related nausea
An interesting aspect of massage therapy, is the increased interest by licensed nursing professionals, in also obtaining their massage therapy license. Finding a nurse, which is also trained in massage therapy, provides an asset to the patient and the hospital.
Having a comprehensive educational background in the traditional medical field and combining this knowledge with therapeutic bodywork, allows the nurse massage therapist to aid patients who suffer from a variety of specific medical and physical challenges.
Massage therapy is a benefit to both patient and provider. It is a combination of the nurses’ need to help decrease suffering, effect positive changes in patient health and comfort, and manage stress.
Consider treating yourself, a loved one, a co-worker, or a healthcare provider, with the benefits that massage therapy can provide. It could make a world of difference!
Book Yourself or Your Favorite Nurse a Massage @ Zen Massage
5520 South Van Winkle Expy
Salt Lake City, UT 84117