Modern Stress - Find Your Balance!
In some aspects, stress is positive and protects us from ‘threats’. This is particularly true back in the day when a caveman experienced threats from saber-tooth tigers. The stress response caused an increase in his heart rate, blood pressure and breathing, allowing his muscles to have the energy required to react. His response is called the ‘fight or flight’ response (Most, 2016). Today, in our world, stress is different—less physical and more associated with the demands in our life (work, school, family). The stress response may be activated by our thoughts or perceived view of our external environment. For example, two people are in heavy traffic—one person experiences this situation as ‘stressful’—he/she has many things to do and does not have time to waste on the road. The other person perceives traffic in a way that serves him/her—some alone time to catch up on a good audio book. Based on our perception of the heavy traffic, we may trigger the ‘fight or flight response, however, our body does not require a burst of physical energy for the situation.
When we are constantly activating the stress response, chronic stress develops and our bodies do not return to a state of relaxation. The constant ‘fight or flight’ response wears out our bodies, our minds, and our spirits and has serious consequences to include fatigue, anxiety, depression, and weakened immune systems (Holden, 2010). It also may cause chronic high blood pressure, chronic digestive issues, and difficulty thinking straight (Most, 2016).
The good news is that we are able to take steps to manage our responses and effectively deal with various stresses in our life. As individuals, we must find the ways that resonate and work for us. Some ways to bring our bodies back to a state of relaxation include exercise or simply taking a walk, breathing exercises, meditation, Qi Gong or yoga, visualization and reframing the situation.
Also, Acupuncture is a clinically proven way to promote relaxation and reduce stress. It brings the body, mind and spirit into balance. Recent research indicates that acupuncture reduces stress by facilitating the release of oxytocin, a hormone that normalizes the parasympathetic
nervous system or as it is sometimes called the “rest and digest” system (Kresser, 2010). Experience acupuncture at Bluewater Acupuncture in Gambrills, Maryland--you may come in stressed and leave revitalized.
Holden, L. (2010). Qi Gong for health & healing: A complete training course to unleash the power of your life-force energy. Boulder, CO: Sounds True.
Kresser, C. (2010, March 11). Chinese medicine demystified (part IV): how acupuncture works. Retrieved from https://chriskresser.com/chinese-medicine-demystified-partiv-how-acupuncture-works/.
Most, H. (2016). Mind-Body Science: The stress response [PDF document]. Retrieved from https://learn.muih.edu/courses/3795/pages/module-7-resources?module_item_id=57155.