WHAT STRESS DOES TO THE BODY
Stress is a very common condition in the modern world. Almost every patient that I see is experiencing some kind of stress in their lives, whether it’s from work, their personal relationships, or family… but what does stress do to your body? On a cellular level when you are under stress the sympathetic nervous system kicks in and tells your body to go into fight-or-flight mode, releasing hormones such as cortisol and norepinephrine into the blood stream.
This body response can be useful under life threatening situations because it actually diverts blood flow to the heart, lungs and brain (and away from other parts of the body), allowing you to escape- however, in the real world being under chronic stress can have detrimental effects to your health. Chronic, ongoing stress can lead to a myriad of health issues; heart problems, high blood pressure, digestive issues, diabetes, insomnia, depression and anxiety disorders, to name a few.
ACUPUNCTURE HELPS YOU COPE WITH STRESS
What can you do to cope with stress? A recent research study at Georgetown University found evidence that acupuncture can help combat the effects of chronic stress. In this study rats that were given acupuncture before being exposed to a stressful situation had lower levels of stress hormones in their blood. “The acupuncture seemed to help recalibrate, or normalize the [stress] hormone levels”
Similarly exercise, yoga, massage and breathing techniques can help to ease the body’s response to stressful situations! What do you like to do to help you cope with stress?