Stress, and its effect on our lives, is a popular topic of conversation and concern. We all live highly active, busy lives and are confronted with stress from every direction. A closer look at our stress reveals that it comes in many more forms than we may be consciously aware.
Stress is any physiological response by the body to any stimulus that creates an imbalance leading to cell breakdown. The key to dealing with stress is to recognize and repair the short-term effects of stress before they become long-term health concerns. Stress comes in many forms: physical, chemical, emotional, thermal and electromagnetic. All of these stresses have a common effect, stimulating the adrenal glands and this sets off a compensatory reaction throughout every system in the body.
The nervous system is the body's main communication system, telling all the other systems in the body what to do.
The nervous system tells the adrenal glands to react to a stressor. This process leads to a cascade of reactions throughout the body that affects every cell. Remember stress leads to sympathetic dominance which leads to short term survival, not long term health. Our bodies are not made to sustain this physiology and therefore this stress to the system contributes to the causes of many modern diseases: diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, chronic pain, fatigue, decreased sex drive, etc. are the norm instead of the exception.
The sympathetic nervous system helps the body operate for short term survival not long term health. For millions of years if we ran into a tiger we had two choices; we would run from the tiger or we would fight the tiger. In this instance, the body needs all its energy for this life-threatening event.
Man, while operating in this sympathetic, “fight or flight” mode, has no need to digest his steak or perform the act of sex and therefore shuts off the parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system suppresses the immune system, suppresses cellular healing, increases free radicals (cell damage) and decreases every long term health promoting process in the body.
The parasympathetic nervous system controls digestion and reproduction. The body, while operating in this parasympathetic mode, is enhancing all long term health rejuvenating processes. For millions of years if man encountered a tiger twice a year he was having a bad year. However, today we encounter the tiger numerous times a day in various forms: being late for work, traffic, financial worries, relationship and/or family problems, eating processed refined foods, drinking soda, lack of rest, etc.
Patients suffering from stress should contact their Chiropractor or other Health Specialist who can develop a program to help repair the cellular injury caused by stress.
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