Stress

Is Stress affecting you at work?

Struggling to make the dead line? Not getting the marks you want at school? Not able to pay the electricity bills and a build up of emails? These are just some of the contributing factors to elevating stress.

Stress is a natural physiological response that can be a result of a physical or psychological stressor. This physiological response that occurs in the body can be beneficial if short term, yet if more severe or prolonged can be harmful to the body. It is estimated that over 50% of all visits to the doctors are primarily triggered by stress. Many healthcare practitioners put stress down as the key reason for many illnesses and sicknesses.

THE PHYSIOLOGICAL EFFECT

The physiological effects of stress are associated with the brain and the nervous system, as well as the endocrine system. Your nervous system and endocrine system are interconnected by the hypothalamus, pituitary gland and adrenal glands. The pituitary gland plays a major role in regulating the endocrine system.

As soon as you experience stress, your anterior pituitary gland releases a hormone called adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) in response to corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) from the hypothalamus. As ACTH is released into the blood stream, it reaches and stimulates the adrenal gland to produce chemicals called cortisol and adrenaline. These stress-hormones trigger a series of physiological effects in your body, such as altering your immune function, increasing you heart rate and blood pressure, the release of sugars and fats into the blood stream to supply fuel, slowing of digestion and increase in muscle tension.

 

Once the danger or stressor passes, the levels of cortisol and adrenaline in your bloodstream decline and everything else returns to normal. These physiological effects of stress are designed to be short term. If the stress builds up and becomes long term, it may disturb most of your body’s processes. Researchers have shown how a constant secretion of cortisol can have a negative effect on health and cognitive functions.

REDUCING THE LEVELS OF STRESS

Participating in regular meditation has an overwhelming effect on the physiology and state of mind. It is well known for its relaxing advantages on health, particularly in dealing with stress. Some of the other scientifically proven benefits of meditation include increased immunity, lowered blood pressure and may reduce symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome.

Exercise is also an excellent way to cope with stress, as it is a healthy way to reduce all your built up energy and stress.  Several studies have shown that people who participate in physical activity, demonstrate a noticeable improvement in their ability to concentrate, improved quality of sleep and suffer from less pain.

Please call your Chiropractor at AHS on 9948 2826 or visit our clinic at 9/470 Sydney Rd in Balgowlah servicing the surrounding suburbs of Allambie, Balgowlah Heights, Seaforth, Fairlight and Manly on the Northern Beaches.

References:

  1. Hammerfald K (2006) –
    Persistent effects of cognitive-behavioural stress-management on cortisol responses to acute stress in healthy subjects – A randomized controlled trial, psychoneuroendocrinology
  2. Sapolsky RM (2003) Stress and plasticity in the limbic system. Neu­rochem Res 28:1735-1742.
  3. Ali S, Hayek R, Holland R, McKelvey S-E, Boyce K (2002).
    Effect of chiropractic treatment on the endocrine and immune system in asthmatic patients. Proceedings of the 2002 International Conference on Spinal Manipulation, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA, October 4-5, pp. 57-58

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