Stress and your body

Stress and Your Body

Let’s talk about stress and your body. We all know it is a part of life. Stress can be positive or negative depending on whether it motivates you or shuts you down. When the body is undergoing stress, the nervous system shifts into the sympathetic mode – aka the “fight or flight” response. Operating in this “fight or flight” mode for long periods of time can disrupt the body’s internal balance, often manifesting in physical and emotional symptoms.

Commonly Seen Stressed Induced Ailments Include:

  • Eye Twitches
  • Upset Stomach
  • Sexual Dysfunction
  • Sleep Problems
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Racing Heart
  • Anxiety Attacks
  • Clenched Teeth
  • Muscle Tension
  • Irritability
  • and More

Studies suggest that long term stress can actually induce or worsen certain symptoms or diseases. In fact, it is linked to six of the leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver, and suicide. Stress can be even more damaging if people choose to indulge in harmful substances  (drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, sex, food, shopping, gambling, etc.) to help deal with the stress or make themselves feel better.

Managing your stress is an important aspect in maintaining wellness. Like many things, it is better to stay on top of it than let it build up until irreparable damage has occurred. Long term it is akin to a pressure cooker in the body and can result in anger outbursts, hypertension or a cerebrovascular accident (stroke).

Acupuncture is great for down-regulating the stress hormones in the body (see April newsletter) and decreasing stress and anxiety. Breathing, meditating, mindfulness, sleeping, exercising, laughing, writing, drawing or doing something you really enjoy will positively affect you emotionally and physically. As American Mythologist Joseph Campbell would say, “Follow your bliss”!

As the saying goes: “Keep Calm and Carry On”.

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