We’ve come to view stress as solely a negative thing, but in reality, stress is a survival mechanism. It’s stress that prompts you to remove yourself from dangerous situations, or face challenges that demand your attention. Even positive changes like a new job, moving to a new city, or beginning a new relationship can cause high levels of stress.
Stress is the source of your “fight or flight” response, and is a big part of why the human species has thrived. Stress becomes a problem, however, when it lingers even after the stressful stimuli are no longer present.
High Stress Damages Health
Chronic stress places an enormous toll on your body. Virtually every organ and system can be negatively affected when you live with ongoing stress. Most people know that stress is caused by emotional issues, but stress is also triggered by pain, viruses, bacteria, fungi, allergens, toxins, antigens, diet, lifestyle issues. Your brain interprets this information, triggering a sympathetic response, fight or flight, which causes your adrenal glands to release chemical messengers such as cortisol and adrenaline. This prevents your body from the “rest and relaxation” response necessary for functions such as digestion, sleep, elimination, and hormone regulation.
Some of the health challenges linked to high levels of stress include:
- High blood pressure
- Blood sugar problems
- Digestive problems(stomach pain, bloating, gas, elimination problems, IBS)
- Hormone disruptions
- Inflammation and pain
- Under functioning thyroid
- Anxiety, panic attacks, heart palpitations
Stress can also lead you to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms, including drug use, alcohol abuse, and addictive behaviors toward sex, gambling, or even shopping.
Stress Management Options at Austin Quan Yin
The team begins by discussing your unique experience of stress and what has and has not helped you in the past. They then explain the available treatment options, helping you make an informed decision about your care.
You may be surprised to learn the close connections between stress and nutrition. When your body does not have the nutrients needed to thrive it becomes difficult to manage stress, and the negative effects are exacerbated. The team can help you find a diet plan and supplementation routine to help you fight stress. Tests help determine which organ systems are not optimally functioning, or what specific nutrients your body needs.
Cupping therapy is also a powerful tool in fighting stress. Cupping is not only incredibly relaxing, it can also boost circulation, help your lymphatic system function at peak levels, and address numerous musculoskeletal concerns.
Acupuncture helps relieve stress by improving the flow of energy throughout your body. Many men and women notice a reduction in stress before the treatment needles are even removed, and those effects continue to develop in the days and weeks following acupuncture sessions.
Asian bodywork is also a wonderful way to manage stress. Consider giving gua sha, tuina, or Chinese acupressure a try. You might just find a therapy that you’ll incorporate into your long-term wellness routine.