When you hear the word stress do you think about tension? Pressure? Sleeplessness? Flying off the handle? This is mental stress but it’s only one type of stress. The stress of meeting a deadline at work may only be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to weighing up all the stressors in your life. There are others you may want to consider because these will almost certainly be contributing to your health issues.
What are the causes of stress?
- Biological: exposure to bacteria, viruses, moulds, parasites & micro-organisms.
- Chemical: exposure to toxins, pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, household and industrial cleaners, dust, smoke, alcohol, pollution and drugs.
- Environmental: exposure to extreme heat or cold, noise, sun, altitude, allergens, xenoestrogens and electromagnetic fields.
- Nutritional: caused by refined and highly processed food, poorly balanced diets and nutritional deficiencies.
- Physical: caused by strenuous physical exercise, surgery, trauma, starvation, intoxication, drug abuse, sleep deprivation, severe illness, infection and lack of oxygen.
- Psychological: caused by anger, anxiety, depression, grief and loss, mental illness, negative thinking, overwhelmed by a change of circumstances eg new baby. Psychological stress often accompanies physical stress.
How do we treat stress?
There are 2 key points to make here related to the treatment of stress:
1.It’s VERY important to support the stress response in the body as stress is the underlying cause or major contributing factor to a very large number is diseases and disorders.
2.Natural and nutritional medicine has a lot of tools to help support the body during times of stress that work exceptionally well.
Ways to treat stress
- Support the adrenal glands: the adrenal glands secrete our stress hormones and this process requires a lot of nutrients. So we supplement these nutrients eg vitamin C, the proper kinds of sodium, magnesium, B-vitamins etc.
- Support the endocrine system: the adrenals don’t work on their own. They are intimately connected to the pituitary gland, thyroid, blood sugar hormones and the reproductive glands. The whole endocrine system can be supported with adrenal herbs (adaptogens), herbs that calm the nervous system and herbs that support endocrine function in the body.
- Encourage exercise: Helping a client to find the right exercise or activity for them is a critical part of the foundation for health.
- Teach relaxation: At Sivanna we may suggest our clients find a relaxation technique that works for them but we also have sessions for learning breathwork and individual yoga teaching.
- The magic of listening: All our therapists are trained listeners. Coaching and the gentle art of active listening are powerful tools for creating mindset change and assisting people through difficult life stages.
- Meditation- a still mind reduces the stress response, focus and attention into the present moment removes the worries of the past and anxiety of the future. Mindfulness brings about peace to mind body and soul.