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Have we got choices about how we respond to stress?

Have you ever considered why such emphasis is placed on Stress as a cause of illness? Or why some people seem to think that most if not all all illness is either influenced or caused by stress?Strangely we seem to have become desensitised and dismissive of stress ‘oh she’s a bit stressed at the moment’ ‘he worries to much, a real stress head’ without really thinking what we mean, or the seriousness of stress.

Stress affects us in many ways, especially our body’s. People often under estimate the impact stress can have on our physical well being, it affects most of our body systems in some one way or another. Our hypothalamus, pituitary gland and adrenal glands combine in a triad response to any situation that we experience as stressful. In the short term, this can be helpful by giving us a boost of energy to run away, or respond to a threatens situation.

Over time though this triad pattern of chemical change become unhelpful, then damaging and in the longer term can become dangerous. Neurotransmitters interact directly with the tissues of our endocrine system, the system that produces the hormones which are the chemical messages to manage our other body systems such as digestion, circulation and respiration. The hypothalamus releases a hormone called cortisol which acts on the anterior pituitary, which releases another chemicals. If this chemical is constantly present stimulating us then we are in a constant state of readiness to respond to a perceived threat.

Our digestion slows and becomes less efficient, our respiration is increased sending more oxygen to give energy to our cells, our circulation is altered to provide more blood and thus more energy to the major muscle groups used in running, fighting ETC. Over time this can lead to digestive problems, poor nutrition, heart disease and peripheral nerve damage.

Elevated levels of cortisol, the so called ‘stress hormone’ can lead to suppressed thyroid function, cognitive impairment and increased blood pressure, decreased bone density, lowered immunity and increases in inflammatory responses.

But hey, we have choices! Much stress is lifestyle related, based on how we organise our time, the choices we make about priorities and family life’s and spending choices. Some stress is a result of other people’s pressure on us, but often we have choices both in how to react and how to take care of ourselves. So what if we chose to make positive personal choices and avoid unhelpful or unnecessary stress factors. What if we chose to look after ourselves?

Complimentary therapies can help in a number of ways, lets look at some examples. A massage stimulates the production of endorphins, another hormone, but one which encourages relaxation of body systems, potentially combating the effects of cortisol. Reflexology can produce a more balanced internal state, this can enable your body to cope better with the elevated levels of adrenaline and cortisol, but can also enable your body to rest, relax and release the chemicals that have built up in the system as a result of the imbalanced biochemistry experienced as stress. Aromatherapy can use specific oils to stimulate and regulate glandular responses such as he secretion of cortisol, certain oils such as lavender have an impact on both the emotional and physical state, leading to very deep relaxation to enable you to rest and let go of things that have been troubling you.

We can choose to use complimentary therapy to help you manage stress and limit its impact on your body and mind. A good place to start might be to book a session with one of our Hypnotherapists, to learn some stress management techniques. this might be followed by a series of treatments with our therapist, perhaps starting with some reflexology and progressing to massage or aromatherapy massage.

To book consultation please ring 01922 649142 or email info@walsallmindandbody.co.uk why not Visit our website www.walsallmindandbody.co.uk like our Facebook page where there are lots of tips for health and wellbeing.Keep an eye open for our special offers, events and open days, which give you a chance to experience the benefits of a treatment at a much reduced price.

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