Doctors tell people about how stress can lead to heart attacks, strokes and a number of diseases. They also often tell people to reduce stress in their lives to prolong their life. However, many people either ignore the advice or don't know ways to reduce stress.

Although exercise and eating a healthy diet can reduce stress, people can improve their health in a number of other ways. Singing, massage therapy, acupuncture and essential oils are four ways that help people reduce their stress and live healthier lives.

Singing Boosts Endorphins

To lower your heart rate and blood pressure, try singing, said Patricia Preston-Roberts, a board-certified music therapist in New York City.

Through music, her patients get help for a number of psychological and physiological conditions. For example, patients undergoing some type of trauma can get relief by singing because singing grounds them when they would rather be somewhere other than in their bodies. Singing also stops pain from traveling in the body.

When people sing, vibrations pass through the body and alter it physically and emotionally. Singing releases endorphins, which have been proven to lower stress levels. Group singers having a feeling of euphoria because they show a vulnerable part of themselves to a roomful of people. Singing on stage can be life-changing, said Mick Pulver of Breakthrough Performance Workshop.

"We have seen people go through our workshop who never sung in their life.

When they get on stage, something magical happens in their lives," he said.

Massage Therapy Relaxes

Many people believe that massage therapy is a luxury meant to felt during a spa. The truth is that therapeutic massage helps people in a number of ways. Getting regular massages reduces stress and anxiety and builds muscle tone.

Massage therapy also improves health by putting people's heart meridian back in balance. It can relieve shortness of breath, cold feelings in chest and limbs, palpitations, cold sweats, an inability to speak, lung problems, fatigue and restless sleep. Emotional stress also can cause problems with the heart that can be relieved by massage therapy, said Tiffiny Rudkin of Jade Tree Wellness Center.

"Through the massage and stone therapy, I work on these areas of the body to bring serenity and balance," she said. "The massage relaxes your mind and body, which helps you release those issues that are causing you stress and your heart meridian to be out of sync."

Acupuncture Takes Away Anxiety

Acupuncture reduces stress and anxiety by putting the whole system in balance, said Tom Elman AP, founder of Jade Tree Wellness Center. In Chinese Medicine, stress and anxiety have roots in imbalances in other parts of the body. To determine what needs treating, Elman uses a variety of examination techniques to differentiate a specific pattern or diagnosis.

“A surprising number of people have heart arrhythmias, and I had an irregular heartbeat,” Elman said.

“The cardiologist couldn't find a root cause, but in Chinese Medicine, I was a simple case and the causes were obvious. I want to bring my expertise to others to help them with their heart issues.”

Essential Oils Relieves Stress

Many essential oils are known to calm the whole body, which will relieve stress. Lavender oil is the most common essential oil that reduces stress levels. Many people who put lavender in a vaporizer at night report a better night's sleep. Those who breath lavender throughout the day are more focused and relaxed. They can face problems at work without added stress.

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