In many ways, men are like a boiler without a pressure release valve. They can overheat. Stress can build up inside them without the rest of us realising. They start to make strange banging, whistling or burbling noises when stress levels get too much. And, as they get older they start dripping and leaking.
Of course, when they are working well, men are also central to providing a glowing feeling of warmth and comfort in our homes.
So how do we avoid the pilot light going out?
We are all living longer but women still live longer than men. In fact, out of the top 6 causes of death worldwide, men suffer more than women in all of them. So what are men doing wrong?
The physiological make up of men’s bodies is a key aspect of susceptibility to fatal diseases when compared to women. However, there are also some important emotional aspects of men’s attitude to health that also contribute to their poorer performance in the charts.
Men put checking their health lower down their list of priorities. They are less likely to go to the doctor than women. They are more likely to brush off an unusual blemish or lump as “nothing to worry about”. They are prone to bottling up anxiety and stress.
Excluding unintentional injuries and accidents, the top six causes of death amongst men are unsurprising.
1. Cardiovascular disease
3. Lung cancer
4. Alcohol abuse
5. Depression leading to suicide
If someone is suffering from any of the above there is usually a complicated myriad of reasons, which can vary from individual to individual. Everything from your DNA and genetic make up to your daily lifestyle choices can affect your risk of suffering one or more of these top six diseases.
There is however one contributing factor which pops up repeatedly in almost all cases. That factor is stress.
Unmanaged, escalating stress and anxiety can lead to higher blood pressure, poor diet, excess drinking and smoking. All of these increase the risks of heart disease, stroke and lung cancer.
Suicide from depression and alcohol abuse is inextricably connected to stress and anxiety that has not been managed and reached out of control levels.
Diabetes sufferers can also be adversely affected by mental stress. Blood glucose levels rise when we are feeling stressed. Left uncontrolled, increased blood sugar levels in diabetics can cause sight problems, kidney failure, nerve damage and heart disease.
The risk of the above men’s health issues generally increases with age. Once men reach 40 years old, more attention should be paid to warning signs for risk factors and it’s a great idea to have a full medical check up at 50, 60 and 70 years old.
The good news is that men in London appear to be taking increasing care of themselves as they age and reducing stress and anxiety through massage. The large majority of men that book a massage at home are aged over 40 and the most regular repeat bookings are from those aged 50 or over.
Massage is an excellent and easy way to reduce anxiety and have a positive impact on your health. The option of having treatments delivered to the comfort of your own home with as little as an hour’s notice means you should be able to squeeze in some relaxation therapy on a regular basis. There’s no doubt that even one massage can make you feel happier. But for truly effective reduction of your general stress levels, consider some regular massage therapy over a period of several weeks.