Dysfunction of the stress response may occur in 3 ways:
1. frequent stressful events that hinder your ability to adapt
2. A stress response that doesn't resolve or switch off
3. An inadequate response or failure to respond to a stressor
Our modern lifestyle has exposed us to new stressors and increasing levels - decreased rest, inflammation, more information to process, technology 24/7 so we struggle to switch off, financial pressures, higher toxic burden, more noise, constant stimulation, breakdown of families, lack of connection in communities, and little time in the natural environment.
What does chronic stress look like?
well, some of it you can see and feel...sometimes though it's less obvious. Take a look at the list below (grab a tissue if it reads too close to home)
Anxiety (I think it should classify as an epidemic), depression, cognitive dysfunction (eg poor memory, focus, concentration )
Increased susceptibility to infection (hands up who always feels like they're fighting something?)
Obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance (belly fat a give away sign)
Osteopaenia, osteoporosis (cortisol, an adrenal stress hormone has catabolic or breaking down effect on tissues)
Hormonal problems such as reduced fertility, menstrual problems, PCOS, low libido
Ageing, oxidative stress, early mortality
Sleep disorders - problems falling and/or staying asleep, daytime sleepiness (this is the most common sign I see in patients esp peri and post menopausal women, and teenagers)
Cardiovascular issues such as high blood pressure.
Many patients I see in practice have more than one of these going on, and while someone may not be medically diagnosed with major depression, I've got to say how much lack of joy, poor motivation, disinterest, zero care factor etc, I hear my patients express.
FOOD NUTRITION IS KEY TO EVERY HEALTH PROBLEM...please never underestimate the benefits of good nutrition - adequate, good quality protein, healthy fats, stable blood sugar levels, caffeine, alcohol etc all have a major impact on the stress response. See your Naturopath for a tailored food plan to suit your individual needs.
SLEEP, EXERCISE, RELAXATION TECHNIQUES, RELATIONSHIPS/CONNECTION, AND GOOD BOUNDARIES ARE KEY TO YOUR STRESS RESPONSE SUCCESS.
Our Counsellor DEENA Thompson 0438 811 117 is very experienced in helping people and couples navigate the path through stressful times to calmer waters.
And our Massage Therapists MARIA 0414 524 909, MARK 0409 446 920, and ROSLYN 0419 691 960 are here everyday to offer their lovely healing hands with understanding and compassion.
Ok, here's the deal with herbs and nutrients to help restore your adrenals and support your stress response...
I really love...Withania, Rhodiola, Rehmannia, Kava, St John's Wort, Lemon Balm, Passionflower, Lavender, Schisandra, Liquorice
Nutritionally I use Activated B vitamins, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Zinc
Now, not all at once and the Herbs can be dispensed in one bottle, but generally two to four of these may be required for 12 weeks. A Naturopath only prescribes medicinal herbs that have been tested for quality and purity, and nutrient supplements that come with co-factors included in the formula and in forms that the body can absorb and utilise. And some herbs and nutrients are contraindicated if you have a health problem (eg Liquorice and high blood pressure, some anti depressants and St John's Wort), so talking with your Naturopath will fine tune all these recommendations for you.
Until next month, rest, renew, revive, replenish the best way you know how....sometimes simply saying "NO"to the endless requests is a big step forward.