How many of us experience stress everyday of our lives? How many don’t even think twice about the fact that we are always stressed? While our body’s response to stress is both natural and necessary for our survival, it should not be an ongoing experience. When our brain detects a “threat” the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland signal the adrenal glands to produce cortisol. Cortisol is commonly referred to as the stress hormone and is released as part of our body’s fight or flight mechanism.
This response is important to have in the face of danger and only becomes a problem when instead of running for our life, we are sitting at our desk overwhelmed by our constantly looming deadlines. Without a situation where a physical release occurs, coritsol levels build up in the blood. Higher cortisol levels can lead to many health concerns including but not limited to: a weakened immune system, fatigue, lowered bone density, problems with the reproductive system, issues with learning and memory retention, upset stomach, headaches, muscle tension, interference with sleep, higher blood pressure and weight gain. Besides the physical concerns, there may also be an increased risk of depression, and mental illness.
The American Institute of Stress states the following eye opening statistics:
• Forty-three percent of all adults suffer adverse health effects from stress.
• Seventy-five to ninety percent of all doctor’s office visits are related to stress.
• 80 percent of workers feel stressed at work and almost half say they could use help learning how to manage their stress
With all of this information at our fingertips, it is a wonder that so many of us still go about our days without making a genuine effort to lower our stress. There are many ways to reduce stress and each person needs to find what works best for them. If you’ve never tried reflexology before and you continuously feel stressed, it might be a helpful option for you.
Reflexology gently encourages the body to improve overall health by improving venous circulation, lymphatic drainage, performance of nerve functioning, and muscle relaxation. It also shifts the autonomic nervous system from the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) to the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and repair). This will help your body become deeply relaxed and release stress.
For those who have more than just stress and are suffering from PTSD, I will be writing a blog post in the next week or two that may be helpful. It will discuss various articles that have been written about the the relief many people, specifically veterans, experienced from using reflexology to help alleviate symptoms. I am offering discounted pricing for anyone experiencing PTSD that would like to try Reflexology for a set number of sessions. Please call or email me for more information.