What is stress?
Stress isn’t all bad. It helps us adapt to our environment and motivates us to perform. It makes that we can react to a threat by fighting or fleeing. Adrenaline and cortisol flood the body. Blood pressure, breathing and heart rate increase. Glucose is released into the bloodstream for ready energy. Digestion, growth, reproduction and immune system functions are suppressed or put on hold. Blood flow to the skin is decreased, and pain tolerance is increased. Thanks to this instinct we survive. Chronic stress however is not good. The body operates as if it is in a constant, low-grade state of emergency, with no real end in sight. It elevates the stress hormones in the body and can cause a lot of issues.
What does chronic stress is do to you?
- It damages your brain. Chronic stress affects your ability to concentrate, act efficiently and makes you more accident-prone. It has devastating effects on memory and learning and it actually kills brain cells.
- It reduces your immune system. Chronic stress definitely dampens your immune system, making fighting infection much more difficult. People seem to be much more susceptible to infections and experience more severe symptoms when they come down with a cold or flu if they’re stressed.
- Chronic stress contributes to weight gain. Since digestion is minimised during the stress response, chronic stress can contribute to a variety of digestive disorders. Cortisol contributes to the accumulation of dangerous belly fat and worsens cravings for fat, salt and sugar leading to weight gain.
- It affects your mood. Constant stress can affect your sleep patterns and make you irritable and fatigued, unable to concentrate and highly reactive. You may become unable to relax and operate in a state of anxiety. Depression is a common reaction to chronic stress.
- Chronic stress increases pain. Links between pain severity and chronic stress have been established with headaches, joint pain and muscle pain.
How can you better manage stress?
There are plenty of relation and stress management techniques to help you deal with chronic stress. Some of them are:
- Exercise and Yoga
- Spending Time in Nature
- Use calming and relaxing essential oils like lavender, myrrh, frankincense and bergamot.
Acupuncture is increasingly being used to treat the symptoms of many stress-related conditions. It will help the body to reduce the stress response and will help you to relax.
How can I make an appointment?
If you’re interested in trying acupuncture you can call us on 0414 067 874 or send us an email at email@example.com. Alternatively click here to make your booking online.