What is Stress?

What is Stress?

Stress is a major part of most of our lives. Stress can be due to work, it can be relationships or simply too much on our plates.  Regardless of the cause we all experience some form of stress in our lives.

Stress is perceived differently by everyone.  For some they may feel overwhelmed or irritable.  For others it manifests as anxiety or insomnia or for others it may cause tension headaches or neck and back pain.

These symptoms are a result of our natural fight or flight reaction that occurs in our bodies when we perceive we are being threatened.  The fight or flight reaction increases our cortisol levels (stress hormone), increases  blood pressure and blood sugars and suppresses  the immune system.  All of which helps give us the strength and energy to fend off predators (in prehistoric times).  Without the dangers of predators in our current day and time we still have the same physiological changes in our body in response to a perceived threat.

The above preliminary changes in our body during the fight or flight response result in the following changes to aid in boosting energy.

  • Increase flow to muscles and diverting blood flow to essential organs. Such as heart, brain, lung and liver and decreasing blood flow to non-essential organs such as the uterus or reproductive organs.
  • Increased blood clotting function to prevent excessive blood loss.
  • Increased muscle tension to provide the body with extra speed and strength.

All of these responses are beneficial in the short term but long term stress causing these responses for extended periods of time can cause pain, headaches, emotional changes, sleep disturbances and much more.

In my experience over the years, I have found that stress is a major factor contributing to the cause of many health ailments.  If you are dealing with a high stress job, managing stressful relationships are feel overwhelmed Acupuncture can be a means of helping your body manage stress better, promoting a better sense of mental calm and improving your overall quality of life.  Call us to see how we can help you.