This time of year can be very hard on students of all ages as they face their exams at school, college or university.
The pressure they put themselves under, that they feel from parents, teachers, or peers, can be immense. Combine this with the other tumultuous feelings that go hand in hand with being a teenager, worrying about what comes next whether it is college, moving away from family and friends to begin adult life at university, worries about passing the year, or whether it is time to enter the competitive and frankly scary job market following a degree. It’s no wonder that stress manifests with physical symptoms which is the last thing anyone needs when trying to concentrate, focus and be at their best.
Symptoms of Exam Stress
The physical symptoms associated with stress include the release of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline - the fight or flight response which begins to disrupt all your body’s natural systems when it is overexposed to them.
Common symptoms of stress include:
Loss of appetite.
Studying for exams can also add to the physical problems experienced during exam season. Carrying heavy books and bags, hunching over books or laptops, and the exercise and leisure activities taking a backseat all take their toll.
How Can You Support Yourself or Others During Exam Time?
If you, your child, your friend, your partner or someone else you know is struggling with exam stress there are a few things you can suggest or encourage them to do that will help.
Eat nutritious food - even if you don’t usually cook or prepare meals for them it is a great idea to do so and sit together to eat rather than eating while studying.
Stay hydrated - water is your friend - try to avoid caffeine, the slump following the initial caffeine rush won’t help.
Keep exercising - a bit of time out for fresh air and exercise will aid study, enable better concentration and help with insomnia.
Encourage regular breaks. Many people find that setting a timer to allow for intense periods of study for 20-30 minutes with a 5-minute break in between works for them.
Book an osteopathy treatment or a massage - see below to see how these holistic therapies can help with the symptoms caused by exam stress and intense study.
How Brixton Therapy Centre Can Help With Exam Stress
How Osteopathy Can Help With Exam Stress
Physically, mentally and emotionally exams put added stresses and strains on the body. Osteopathic treatment will begin with an assessment to find out where those particular strains and stresses are.
There are a few common symptoms that we commonly see in young adults and teens during exam time including:
Headaches and migraines.
Neck, back and shoulder pain.
The initial assessment will find out if these as well as any other problems are present and a treatment plan discussed which will involve a mix of some or all of the following:
Prescribed exercises such as stretches or gentle resistance work - will help manage symptoms in between and after the osteopathic treatment. It also gives people a sense of control and ownership over their body and their specific problems.
Advice regarding posture and ergonomics - by helping patients to avoid the poor postures and positions that cause or exacerbate pains and stresses this may help people to avoid requiring long treatment programmes now or in the future.
Osteopathic massage - combines the stretching techniques that osteopaths use together with both light and deeper strokes, rubbing and kneading associated with massage to relieve tension from soft tissues, muscles and joints.
Traction - the gentle lifting and pulling of parts of your body, usually the head, arms and legs to support, stretch and release stress and tension.
Counterstrain - by positioning joints or muscles an osteopath can ease painful muscles or joints and ease muscle spasms.
MET (muscle energy technique) is a form of advanced stretching used to improve and restore range of motion.
Joint manipulation - when your osteopath gently moves joints in your body which may be causing pain or limiting movement due to being out of alignment.
Cranial osteopathy - is a more gentle technique perfect for younger people or those recovering from serious accidents and injuries. It is also a helpful technique in relieving pain and stress.
How Massage Can Help With Exam Stress
At the Brixton Therapy Centre in South West London, we offer a range of different massage therapies to suit your needs and preferences as well as Osteopathic treatment and massage.
Massage of all kinds is known to release serotonin in the body, one of the feel-good hormones which help to relieve stress and anxiety.
Massage is also an excellent way to help regulate sleep which is vital not only for general health and wellbeing but also for the consolidation of all that learning!
During exams, many teens and young adults find their sleeping patterns disrupted through late-night study sessions and insomnia due to the worry, stress and anxiety associated with this important time of their lives. It becomes a vicious circle when lack of sleep causes difficulty in retaining and remembering which then increases anxiety and stress which in turn cause sleep difficulties.
Massage will also help to relieve muscle tension caused by the stressful exam season and by the often slumped or hunched positions students adopt when studying hard and for long periods. The release of this tension with a massage will help to promote better posture and ease aches and pains that may be an unwelcome distraction from revision and will improve concentration when it comes to the exams themselves.
Book a Treatment
A holistic, relaxing, revitalising and tension busting treatment which can not only help students to feel less stressed, more relaxed and comfortable but may also help boost their exam performance is only a call or email away or you could even use our easy online booking system.
Simply decide which treatment is going to be the most suitable, pick a time that is most convenient, book either online or over the phone and then leave it to our dedicated and professional team to do what they do best.