Stress and Stress Management
What is Stress?
What is stress? Stress is the body's reaction to feeling threatened or under pressure. It's very common, can be motivating to help us achieve things in our daily life, and can help us meet the demands of home, work and family life but left unchecked can have devastating outcomes.
Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It can come from any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous. Stress is your body's reaction to a challenge or demand. In short bursts, stress can be positive, such as when it helps you avoid danger or meet a deadline.
Stress is one of the systems buried deep inside us from when humans first appeared on earth, it is part of the Fight or Flight syndrome.
It is also the main connection between the physical and psychological sides of our beings. So often we have a super tough match or competition and hear people say I feel physically and emotionally wiped out. On the other hand when we get stressed, under severe emotional pressure, scared for our livelihoods or unsure about our future, we can suffer a whole plethora of physical symptoms.
The symptoms of stress more or less break down into four main areas:
Emotional symptoms of stress include:
Becoming easily agitated, frustrated, and moody Feeling overwhelmed, as if you are losing control or need to take control
Having a hard time relaxing and quieting your mind Feeling bad about yourself (low self-esteem), and feeling lonely, worthless, and depressed
Avoiding others Constantly arguing and looking at the negative in everyone you meet
Physical symptoms of stress include:
Low energy Headaches Upset stomach, including diarrhoea, constipation, and nausea Aches, pains, and tense muscles
Chest pain and rapid heartbeat Insomnia Frequent colds and infections Loss of sexual desire and/or ability
Nervousness and shaking, ringing in the ears, and cold or sweaty hands and feet Dry mouth and a hard time swallowing
Clenched jaw and grinding teeth High blood pressure Diabetes Thickening of the blood
.......... and a whole lot more besides
Cognitive symptoms of stress include:
Constant worrying Racing thoughts Forgetfulness and disorganization
Inability to focus Poor judgment Being pessimistic or seeing only the negative side
Behavioral symptoms of stress include:
Changes in appetite -- either not eating or eating too much Procrastinating and avoiding responsibilities
More use of alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes Having more nervous behaviors, such as nail biting, fidgeting, and pacing
What Are the Consequences of Long-Term Stress?
A little stress every now and then is not something to be concerned about. But ongoing, chronic stress can cause or worsen many
serious health problems, including:
Mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and personality disorders
Cardiovascular disease, including heart disease, high blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, heart attacks, and strokes
Obesity and other eating disorders
Sexual dysfunction, such as impotence and premature ejaculation in men and loss of sexual desire in men and women
Skin and hair problems, such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema, and permanent hair loss
Gastrointestinal problems, such as GERD, gastritis, ulcerative colitis, and irritable colon.
The problem is that a lot of the detail above is like a downward spiral one leads to another to another to another, for instance: Someone is under stress at work and this leads to an increase in arguing at home with their partner, coupled with this there is a loss of libido due to the stress, this leads to more tension between the couple, this then leads to a lack of confidence which then leads to a lack of performance at work. This then increases the stress at work, and there we are back at the beginning.
Sound familiar, unfortunately becoming an all too familiar scenario in our modern lives.
Coupled with this we have a healthcare system that is very fragmented, the gap between physical medicine and psychological / mental health can be vast, the root cause assessment and symptom recognition is very rarely linked and with an NHS creaking at the seams a lot of the time, there is not the time or money to allocate the desired resources, and the only relief is via prescription medicines. In a lot of cases these medicines, if taken for prolonged periods of time, can cause even more issues.
What Can be Done?
In terms of treatment and stress relief possibly the first step is to realise that stress is causing a concern in your life, after this first stage life will always get a little easier.
Unlike a lot of practitioners I treat stress as a whole body issue linking the two sides of physical symptoms and psychological relief, no tablets will be prescribed and if needs be I shall pass you on to specialists in other linked and relevant modalities.
So what does treatment look like:
Firstly we need to understand the depth of the problem and the triggers this will be done at our first session as part of clinical
registration and assessment.
From there on in it really is what you require, I always put the patients needs at the heart of everything I do.
Treatment will centre around two modalities, acupuncture and breathwork, with physical therapy brought in as and when required.
Acupuncture will be used to calm the mind and spirit and treat the physical symptoms of stress. I might use body acupuncture, place some needles in the top of the head or utilise auricular acupuncture. In most cases it will be a combination of all three.
Breathwork is absolutely amazing, controlling the breath can bring about a whole combination of benefits: relaxation, control of an over active mind, regulating and controlling the hormones and chemicals released into our systems such as, cortisol and dopamine and balancing our blood sugars. Breathwork supports so many of the challenges everyone experiences. It reduces stress, creates feelings of openness, gratitude, clarity, communication, and connection. Breathwork also helps release trauma or mental, physical, and emotional blocks, as well as anxiety,
depression, fear, grief, and anger.
Controlling and regulating our breathing has been proven as a Built-In Stress Reliever. Deep, rhythmic and controlled breathing is not just relaxing, it's also been scientifically proven to affect the heart, the brain, digestion, the immune system and research has shown that breathing exercises can have immediate effects by altering the pH of the blood and changing blood pressure.
If you would like to benefit from my stress management treatments contact me today for an
appointment. 07803 255643