Tag Archives: Stress

Reading for Relaxation

I was having lunch the other day with a good friend that I haven’t seen in a while. Life got busy, and our monthly lunches decreased to a quarterly if not a bi-annual event. After we caught up on the usual family, work, friend details, my friend mentioned to me that she has ‘re-discovered’ a good form of stress relief.

Reading for Relaxation

She asked me to recall the last time I read a good book. I responded by saying, “Well, I read all the time….personal development books, subscriptions, notes, Facebook posts, blogs, professional development books and publications, etc.”

She asked me again, “When did you read for pleasure?” Ah, I sat back, thought about it and couldn’t actually recall – it has been that long…

There are many forms of stress relief out there, and not all will benefit the same with people, but if you look and match them to your own personal values, the benefits will be there.

The suggestion did not resonate with me at first, as I thought I’m way too busy to find time for that. However, after a few weeks, I remembered what she shared and decided to give it a try. My friend couldn’t describe enough how different it made her feel and how beneficial it was. I’m not a big television watcher, so instead of getting back on the computer, I went to Borders and bought 3 books to ‘just read’.

I had forgotten that reading is one of the simplest forms of relaxation for the mind and body. Picking up a book and allowing our minds to use our imaginations to add colour to the black and white pages can be a form of stress relief that modern life places upon us.

The pressures of the modern working day, the television and the computer game culture we live in, often hide the pleasure and benefits of reading. Although we can read, or even listen to books on the internet, a book can open a whole world of escapism and adventure for the reader, as our imagination is guided by the author.

The choices are virtually endless. It’s no different than choosing a DVD! If it is a difficult choice, the ‘best sellers’ list is always a good place to start. The reader may find a book that inspires them elsewhere like at the library or by recommendation from family or friends. Actually, you may even be lucky enough to stumble upon a book which literally changes your life!

heart-book

Travel For Health

Travel for HealthThe saying goes, “Change is as good as a holiday.”  I will disagree with this.  Change is good, but I prefer the holiday when possible.  It can be a weekend getaway, or an overseas trip, but the end result is what counts.

There are various valid reasons to travel, and all of them have the potential to bring great benefits to the traveler.

Traveling is a fantastic experience and something that most people look forward to at some point in their lives. For many people traveling is an escape from the daily grind of life, but for other people travel is a way to grow as a person and broaden their horizons.

In my case, my latest trip to Singapore brought a little of all of the following forms.  I wanted to be able to get away from my every day surroundings to fully refresh.  I learned a lot about the culture, the history, the people and the wonderful food in Singapore.  Not only that, but the shopping was nothing short of amazing!  Now for some that would be stressful, but for me, not the case.  I enjoyed it immensely and felt that is was “just what the doctor ordered.”

Forms of Travel

Escapism

One common form of travel is escapism. People from all walks of life get exhausted with their work and the stresses of daily life, and going on a vacation helps them to forget those problems and stresses for a while and recuperate, and return to work refreshed. Sure, you could relax at home and reduce your stress a little, but changing your environment completely helps you to remove yourself from your stresses and daily routine. That makes for a much more effective stress release. This type of traveler tends to visit resort areas like Bali, Phuket, Fiji, the Caribbean Islands, etc. The tropical weather of such destinations makes for a comfortable escape at any type of year.

Culture And History

Another type of traveler is the traveler with an interest in culture and history.  For example, someone who has an interest in Buddhism can visit India to discover the roots of Buddhism in real life.  It is an opportunity to experience the cultures that they have read about or seen on television.  It also gives a chance to gain deep insight into our planet, the various countries and how they interact and function.

Inward Journey

This type of traveler wants to understand themselves better by removing themselves from their surroundings, from work pressures, family and friend pressures and their own inner struggles.  It gives the chance to see what the person is really like at the core.  This traveler may enjoy the people they meet and all of their daily experiences and adventures more than a specific destination or culture.  Learning ways to interact with new types of people, different problems as they arise and learning how to find inner peace anywhere regardless of the place, are experiences this type of traveler will appreciate the most.

All of the above travel styles can be very enriching and rewarding to the traveler.  Some people may appreciate a mixture of them all, which would be ideal.  Whichever style you choose, enjoy it the fullest.  There are experiences waiting to become memorable treasures.  Life is short, refresh and recharge sooner rather than later ~  don’t wait for retirement!

Instrument Adjusting

I was speaking with a group of people over the weekend, and I’ve come to realise that there are people who still share a few untruths about chiropractic.  Let me share these 2 myths primarily, and shed some light on these topics:

Myth #1:

“Chiropractic care is only for back pain.”

This is just not so.  Chiropractic care can benefit a wide variety of health problems that stem from the spine and nervous system.  Old injuries, everyday wear and tear, stress (emotional, physical, mental) or repetitive daily activities can contribute to the spinal bones (vertebrae) losing their proper position and/or motion.  This dysfunction of spinal joints may cause pain and nerve interference in one or more areas of the body.  Any type of dysfunction of these spinal joints can be a source of irritation to the nervous system.

Myth #2:

“Chiropractic care is either rough, painful, dangerous, or all three!”

I would like to share with you that there are alternatives to what would be considered mainstream manual chiropractic techniques.  There are several other low-force, gentle, safe techniques that would be an alternative, yet with health benefits.

One of the main techniques on instrument adjusting is the Activator Method Chiropractic Technique (AMCT).  The Activator Method uses an activator instrument.  An activator instrument is a hand-held instrument designed to give the patient a very specific, low-force adjustment.  The activator instrument delivers a controlled, light and fast thrust without causing undue strain to patients.  The activator adjustments are so quick and controlled, that the body’s muscles are less likely to resist, allowing for a more precise and exact adjustment.  It’s so gentle and it is actually relaxing.

Activator Instrument

Activator Instrument

Another technique involves an instrument called the Impulse Instrument.  This is an electric powered instrument that offers specific, low-force adjustment to the affected area.  This instrument offers all of the benefits associated with the Activator instrument.

Impulse Instrument

Impulse Instrument

Perhaps there is an ankle or wrist, hip or shoulder, or hand or foot that may need an adjustment.  There are bones and joints in these areas as well that can benefit from an adjustment by a chiropractor.  This may not be well known either as chiropractors can be streamlined as “back doctors” only.

Conditions that have been helped through chiropractic care include, but not limited to:

Neck Pain

Headaches

Sciatica

Infantile Colic

Reflux

Hip Pain

Pain between the shoulders

Pain associated with arms & legs

Bedwetting

Pain associated with Pregnancy

I hope this sheds some light on the 2 very common myths associated with chiropractic.  Have you had an experience with ‘instrument adjusting’? Activator or Impulse?  Are you aware of the health benefits that can be obtained through chiropractic care?  Comments welcome…

Sciatica

The sciatic nerves are the largest and longest nerves of the body, about the size of your thumb in diameter. Each of the two sciatic nerves is formed by four or five nerves branching off the spinal cord and running down the back of each leg. Sciatica is a severe pain in the leg caused from compression or irritation of the sciatic nerve.

What Causes Sciatica?

Pain is caused when the sciatic nerve roots are irritated, scraped, twisted, stretched or pinched as they exit the spine. Causes of this may be chemical, physical or the emotional stress of everyday living. A full-blown sciatic flare-up can involve the entire sciatic nerve path resulting in symptoms of lower back pain, burning, cramping or numbness that radiates into the thighs, legs, ankles, feet and toes. Pain may also be limited to various points along the nerve such as the buttocks, knee and calf.

One of the major causes of sciatica is the Vertebral Subluxation Complex. This can be associated with or without disc problems. It can be accompanied by the bulging or herniation of the discs which separate each spinal bone. This can irritate or put pressure on the sciatic nerve roots as they leave the spinal cord. The result can be an intense pain shooting down either or both legs. Other possible causes are pregnancy and childbirth, tumours, and non-spinal disorders such as diabetes, constipation, or sitting on one’s back pocket wallet.

Can Chiropractic Help?

Sciatica (like other health problems that can be traced to the spine) often responds dramatically to the restoration of normal spinal function through chiropractic care.

The chiropractic approach is to use carefully directed and controlled “adjustments” to remove the interference from spinal and associated structures. These chiropractic adjustments can be very effective in reducing nerve irritation and pain that is associated with it.

Sometimes the cause of sciatica is beyond the scope of chiropractic care. If this is the case, your chiropractor will refer you to the appropriate specialist.

Groin Pain

groin

GROIN MUSCLES ON LEFT; PELVIS ON RIGHT

Last week in practice, the ‘special of the week’ was groin pain.  It can be related to hip pain, but is different nonetheless.

Apart from hip pain which is usually caused by a specific injury or an arthritic hip joint, most pains in the hip, groin or top of the leg are caused by a mechanical overload from a problem elsewhere. This usually stems from the lower back or pelvis, but can be from the knee or even the foot.

Recurring groin strains are very common in sports people, especially footballers. A twisted or misaligned pelvis is often the root cause of the problem, which causes a weakness and an overload of the muscles and tendons in the groin.
Pain in the groin area often makes walking quite difficult and patients have a tendency to seize up if they have been sitting for too long.

If a chronic groin or hip problem is not treated, it usually causes problems in the lower back as the patients start to adapt the way they walk.  Different muscles end up compensating for the weakened area.

‘Wear and Tear’ is occasionally found on X-rays. This form of wear and tear is called osteoarthritis.  Osteoarthritis is a degenerative process in the joints which cause them to wear, and occurs in most people as we get older. It is rarely the wear and tear that causes the pain, rather it is the stiffness and muscle tightness.  The good news is that this usually responds very well to chiropractic treatment!  Adjustments to the areas that are involved can be very effective.

Whichever term you use:

  • Groin pain
  • Groin strain
  • Groin pull injury
  • Adductor strain

The reality is that it is a very common muscle strain injury that currently plagues sports like soccer, basketball, football, hockey, track & field and racquet sports.

The groin, described as the junction between the lower limbs and torso, is vulnerable to a lot of different injuries. Hernias, stress fractures, and avulsion fractures are all common injuries that affect the groin.  One of the most common groin injuries is groin pull or groin strain.

What is a Groin Pull?

Depending on the severity, a groin pull can range from a slight stretching, to a complete rupture of the muscles that attach the pubic (pelvis) bone to the thigh (femur) bone.

A groin pull or strain specifically affects the Adductor muscles.  These muscles are located on the inside of the thigh, and help to bring the legs together.

What Causes a Groin Pull?

Competitors that participate in sports that require a lot of running or rapid change in direction are most susceptible to groin injuries.  Other activities like kicking, jumping and rapid acceleration or deceleration also place a lot of strain on the groin muscles.  Another activity that puts a lot of strain on the groin is any movement that results in a sudden pressure being applied – such as a fall, landing awkwardly, twisting, or bending while stress is applied to the groin muscles.

How to Prevent a Groin Pull?

The basis of prevention comes down to two simple factors:  a thorough warm-up and physical conditioning; flexibility & strength.  Firstly, a thorough and correct warm up will help to prepare the muscles and tendons for any activity to come.  Secondly, flexible muscles and tendons are extremely important in the prevention of most strain or sprain injuries.  When muscles and tendons are tight and stiff, it is quite easy for those muscles and tendons to be pushed beyond their natural range of movement, which can cause strains, sprains, and pulled muscles.  To keep your muscles and tendons flexible and supple, it is important to undertake a structured stretching routine. Stretching is one of the most under-utilised techniques for improving athletic performance, preventing sports injury and properly rehabilitating sprain and strain injury.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking that something as simple as stretching won’t be effective.

Wellness

A wellness approach to health incorporates a variety of healthy habits for optimum function on physical, mental, social and spiritual levels.

http://www.wellnessaustralia.org

Why It Is Wise To Have Chiropractic When You’re Not In Pain

Many people think that if they don’t have pain or symptoms that they are healthy.  Chiropractic care focuses primarily on the nervous system.    The nervous system controls virtually every aspect of our body’s functions.  In order to be your very best, it is essential to have a properly functioning nervous system.  Chiropractic care can be a very important choice for a wellness lifestyle, as well as exercise and good nutritional habits.  Those who want to be at their optimum health add regular chiropractic care to their health choices.  The health benefits include more vitality, endurance and the ability to enjoy life to the full.

Chiropractic Helps More Than Just “Bad Backs”

Wellness and maintenance care are often thought to be the same thing.  However, the objective or goal in these types of health care are actually very different as are their results and benefits.  What is most important to understand is that if we want areas in our life to continue to function properly – they require regular maintenance.

Our car, our house, our teeth, our health, our relationships, and yes…our spines!  So in any aspect of our life that we are not applying regular maintenance (adding energy and organisation) over time it will breakdown and lead to a crisis.  If you don’t maintain your kitchen…crisis!   If you don’t maintain your bathroom…crisis!  If you don’t maintain your relationships…crisis!  And of course, if you don’t maintain your spine…crisis!

The vast majority of people today were not aware of the necessity of spine and nervous system maintenance from birth, therefore it is very likely that even with regular maintenance that a person will still experience the occasional relapse.  Why?  Imagine trying to maintain your teeth if you hadn’t brushed them for the first thirty years of your life. Of course you would need to go through an extensive process of correcting the problem first just to get your teeth to a place where they can be maintained.  Even then with regular maintenance it is likely that you would still experience some problems over time.

Let’s introduce wellness!   The main difference between maintenance and wellness is that maintenance simply looks to “maintain” the current state by adding just enough energy or organisation to try to maintain the current state. Whereas wellness looks to find even better states of organisation through a process of “constant and never ending improvement”.

Let’s use our kitchen as an example.  We can look to maintain our kitchen in its current state of organisation and over time we will realise that it requires more and more energy to simply maintain the kitchen in its current state.  Now if we use a wellness approach toward our kitchen, we would not only be maintaining its current state but we would continue to look for ways to improve the level of organisation, which in turn saves on the energy needed for maintaining it.

The exact same rule applies to every aspect of our lives.  If we simply look to maintain our car, our home, our health, our teeth, our relationships, as well as our spines – we will find that over time it will naturally require more and more energy to simply maintain its current state.  With wellness care we can continue to look for and implement new strategies to actively organise our lives.

When we look at this in terms of our spine and nervous system we realise that using a wellness approach toward our care is not only a wise investment, it is a better way of life.  When we look at what today’s research says in relationship to wellness care we realise that maintaining the spine in a wellness model offers our body the opportunity to learn new strategies for dealing with all the natural stresses in life.  In fact, people who have been actively maintaining their spine in a wellness model show increased healing and repair processes at levels which are not seen in otherwise healthy people.

Where do you see your health in 5 years? In 10 years? Do you simply want to maintain you current level of health or would you prefer to see your health continuing to improve every year for the next 10 years?

Superwoman Tips

Of all the tips for working mums, top of the list has to be taking care of yourself.  Mum’s needs often seem to come last – after the kids, their dad, the job, the pets, and endless errands, that is.  You can’t always stay on the back burner.  Whether it’s exercise or meditation, massage or coffee with a friend, take time out to avoid the superwoman trap.

Here are 4 reasons for women who are headed toward the superwoman trap to look after yourself:

If Superwoman Isn’t Happy, Nobody’s Happy

When mum is stressed or burnt out, everyone in the house suffers.  Even a baby gets fussy when the mother is tense or upset.  Older children may respond by acting out.

If you take an hour or two to yourself, with whatever nourishes you, the rest of the day (or week) will be easier and more fun.  Your family will enjoy having an energetic and refreshed mum, even if they complain about your absence. The bottom line here is:  by paying attention to your own needs, you’ll actually be better at meeting everyone else’s.

Stress and Sleep Deprivation Make You Fat

Stress and sleep deprivation release cortisol into your bloodstream, which triggers fat storage around your waist.
It is unhealthy to carry more weight than your ideal.  It increases your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and arthritis, as well as other conditions.  Having good quality of life will allow us to live long enough to play with our grandchildren, and maybe even see them get married.

The next time you may be tempted to stay up until midnight sorting, folding, and putting away everyone else’s laundry, go to sleep instead.  You can dress the kids out of baskets of clean laundry.  Also, taking your work lunch break to exercise can actually give you a burst of energy and make the afternoon more productive.

Other People Are Capable, Too

So many working mums fall into the superwoman trap, thinking we have to be in charge of everything because we’re the only one who will do it right.  That mentality not only overloads you with work, it doesn’t give enough credit to your other family members.  Even worse, it prevents them from learning skills that can lighten your load and make them feel more capable.

Try leaving the kids with their dad or grandfather for a Saturday morning while you have brunch with your girlfriends. He may not change the nappies as often as you would, or feed them perfectly balanced meals, but I bet they have fun regardless.  Not only will he feel rightly proud of his caregiving ability, your children will develop a different perspective, seeing that they’re all right without mum always needing to be nearby.

At work, see if there’s a junior employee to whom you can delegate some tasks. Again, they won’t be completed the way you would, but you’ll have more free time for yourself.  You’ll also be assisting someone who could use the experience.

Life Is for Living

This is your life, right now.  Would you rather spend it rushing around to finish your ‘to do’ list, or actually enjoying yourself?  Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you’ll relax once you reach the bottom of the list – there will always be something more to do.  Instead, ruthlessly prioritise and eliminate tasks that don’t absolutely have to get done.
If you are having trouble taking out time for yourself, start small.  If you always wanted to meditate, wake up five minutes early for some deep breathing and visualisation. If you miss exercise regularly, schedule a once-a-week power walk during lunch.  If it’s on your calendar, you can plan work around it.

Remember, the next time you have some breathing space, don’t fill it with errands.  Instead,  ‘just breathe’.

Superwoman Trap

superwoman

Ladies, have you fallen into the Superwoman Trap?   Are you a woman who operates on overload because you spread yourself too thin?   Or if you are a male reading this, perhaps this sounds like your wife, sister or mother?

Women are well known for trying to be all things to all people.  We are cooks, maids, chauffeurs, teachers, and on top of all that, many of us also have careers outside of the home.  Why do we feel the need to be Superwoman?  We superwomen are so determined to do everything perfectly, we lose sight of the physical and mental toll it takes on us. I know how difficult it can be to relinquish control.  However, if you want to hold on to the last bit of sanity you have left, you must allow others to take on some of the household and work responsibilities.

The bottom line here is we’ve all got to juggle competing priorities – work, family, personal goals and so on.  But it is equally important to remember to take time for self.  As women we don’t take time for self as often as we should and we pay for it big time.   We pay with our health, peace of mind, emotional well-being and the quality of our relationships.

If you are a superwoman who needs to take off the cape, I invite you to take some time out this week and think about one thing that you can do to take off the superwoman cape – or at least put it down for awhile.  Try to get in the habit of taking 15 to 30 minutes each morning to get back in tune with you.  When you put yourself at the top of your ‘to do’ list you feel less ‘dazed and confused’ and life becomes more manageable.

The ability to delegate tasks is equally valuable at home and at work, and it is a vital skill employed by many successful managers and mothers.  There is a significant amount of guilt felt by mothers who work away from the home.  We beat ourselves up about not spending enough time with our children, and worry that the lack of time we spend with them will keep us from forming strong bonds.  We often feel the need to compensate for having children by bringing work home or pushing ourselves harder.  We need to prove that raising young kids will not harm our career. We’ll work from our children’s bedtime until the wee hours of the morning, or get up before everyone else and get a few things done before taking the kids to school.  Sometimes we aggravate our spouses or partners by working in the evenings or over the weekend.

Many women push themselves too hard to do something that can wait until another day.  They seem to get into situations that created more stress than could really be handled, placing unnecessary physical and emotional strains on themselves as well as others.

Why do we do these things?  We either fail to realise or don’t want to believe that it is physically impossible for us to accomplish everything we task ourselves (or have been tasked) with.  To stay mentally and physically healthy, we need to learn how to better manage our time. It has been said that the best way to manage your time is to prioritise and delegate.

A good friend of mine helped me begin the process of letting go of the need to be Superwoman.  She advised me that other people may not do things the way I do them, but that only means they do things differently, not poorly.  For example, the father might not bathe the kids the way you would, but they get clean and probably have a lot of fun in the process.  This is also true at the office.  A co-worker might not present to a client the way you would, but they can probably articulate the company’s message in a manner that could lead to getting the job done effectively.

Pushing ourselves to do everything can lead to frustration, resentment, poor performance, and illness. Not to mention the constant guilt we feel when we are thinking of things we need to get done at work while attending to our children’s needs.  When we acknowledge that we may not have the ability to complete all the tasks on our ‘to do’ list in the time we would like, and we put our trust in others to assist us, we give ourselves a chance to do the most important tasks well and keep our sanity in the process.

How can we honour our lives in the moment, identify what’s draining us and retrain friends and family to respect our energy constraints and priorities?  Stay tuned for next post on some tips to avoid the superwoman trap.

Burnout

Burnout

If you want a less stressful and more balanced life, then addressing BOTH externally-imposed and self-imposed pressures are essential.  There are times when you can’t change stressful circumstances such as a demanding workload or an annoying co-worker, but you CAN minimise the negative effects of stress by counteracting attitudes that perpetuate stress and limit attention to self-care.

Key To Preventing And Counteracting Burnout

Self-care strengthens your resiliency, which can reduce susceptibility to burnout.  Self-care is not just making healthy lifestyle choices.  It also includes self-compassion, having healthy boundaries, being aware of your needs, and staying true to your values.  Self-neglect takes a toll on your health, relationships, and your effectiveness.  Therefore preventing burnout and understanding how stress plays a role is essential.

Simply recognising the importance of taking better care of yourself is not enough.  You also need to address the psychological obstacles that limit attention to self-care and foster stress.  For example, putting pressure on yourself to always perform with excellence at work while being critical of your mistakes can cause you to become overextended and overlook your needs.  This may stem from being judged harshly and having unrealistically high expectations of you.

Self-care practices like meditation or tai chi are great, but won’t stop self-criticism or perfectionism; nor will it address attitudes that foster burnout and undermine self-care such as defining yourself by the good you do for others, an exaggerated sense of responsibility, and difficulty tolerating discord.

Stress Is Unavoidable – Burnout Is

Stress

You can take courses on time management and attend seminars on stress management techniques and still suffer from burnout.  These strategies are often helpful, but will not lead to lasting changes if you do not address personality traits that foster stress.  Much of the literature on burnout focuses more on external pressures than on self- imposed stress. While external pressures such as a demanding workload, juggling personal and professional life, unclear job responsibilities do contribute to stress and burnout, so do beliefs and personality traits.  Worries about uncertainty and lack of control can drive to burnout.  Even authors who write about personality characteristics that cause stress tend to emphasize overt and extreme behaviors such as the type A personality- overly driven, highly competitive, aggressive and obsessed with work.  There are many burnout prone people, however with personalities who do not fit this profile.  The most prominent personality characteristics that contribute to burnout are exaggerated responsibility, self-judgement and self-definition.

Perfectionism

Late at night Jacqui lies in bed restlessly, unable to sleep.  Two weeks into her new job, she is feeling nervous day and night.  She is obsessed with trying to make sure that nothing goes wrong and that no one sees her make a mistake. She has to prove to everyone, including herself, that she is worthwhile.  Jacqui believes that she is a failure if anything goes wrong.  She needs to realise how never being appreciated growing up causes her to think that self worth comes from perfection.

If you are a perfectionist you push yourself, get overscheduled, promise too many things to too many people, or take on too much work.  You judge yourself harshly when you fall short of your expectations or when you make mistakes. You probably would not treat someone you care about in the harsh manner that you treat yourself.  You learn to measure your worth by your performance and equate excelling with deserving attention or praise if your parents rewarded you primarily for excelling.

The pursuit of excellence is different from a relentless need to be the best. When you seek perfection and are unable to measure up to your ideal, your self esteem decreases. Developing realistic standards and self- compassion go a long way to counteract stress that leads to burnout.

When you make mistakes, notice how you feel about yourself.  Take notice of the ways that you talk to yourself when you fall short of your ideal.  You may not recognise that your standards for yourself are excessive.  Pay attention during the day to the ways you tell yourself how you did not do something well enough or how you could have done things better.  Has anyone else ever spoken to you in this way?  You may have internalised the ways that your parents spoke to you.  Now picture someone else talking to you the way you speak to yourself.  Chances are you would not tolerate them talking to you in this same manner.

Remember, you can’t always control the circumstances that may cause stress, but you can control how well you take care of yourself.  Taking proper care of your body, mind and soul can keep you in optimum health and wellness.

Stress

Everyone experiences stress on a daily basis.  What causes one person severe stress, may be a minor source of stress for another.

Zebra stripes - Stress

Causes of Stress

Stress is defined as “a reaction to any internal or external stimuli that upsets normal functioning and disturbs mental or physical health”.  Internal conditions such as illness, pain, or emotional conflict; as well as external circumstances, such as a death in the family or financial problems can cause stress.  Even positive experiences like a new marriage or job promotion can provoke stress.  Long lasting or chronic stress suppress the immune system, which in turn increase the susceptibility to illness, especially to immune-related disorders or cancer.  Emotional stress also leads to hormonal imbalances that interfere with immune system function.

Knowing the causes of your stress is an important step to relieving stress.  Everyday annoyances can lead to stress-related health problems.  While your own daily hassles will vary, the important thing here is the frequency and duration and how you react to them.  To gain a better understanding of your daily stressors and how you react to them, try using a stress diary.  If you reduce stress, you will help to maintain balance and health.  The fact is that something needs to be done to reduce stress levels.

A basic principle in mind and body balance is that chronic stress can contribute to illness, and that relaxation restores the physical and mental functioning that improves one’s health.  More important than the stressors themselves is our ability to cope with them.

Meditation has been shown to have a positive effect on immune functions.  Meditation is extremely effective in that it slows the breathing rate, increases oxygen consumption, creates a relaxed brain wave rhythm, and increases blood flow.  These are effective reactions to reduce stress and tension.  Just close your eyes, take a few deep, easy breaths, and recall a time and place when you felt relaxed and peaceful.  Maintaining this relaxed state is said to help the body to heal itself.  Yoga has been effective to reduce stress and anxiety, lowering blood pressure and heart rate, alleviating pain, providing relief from addictions, and improving memory, intelligence, and motor skills.  It can also help your metabolic and respiratory functioning.  The concept behind all relaxation therapies is the relationship between mind and body, that when the mind is restless and agitated, the health of the body will be affected.  Conversely when the body is ill, mental functioning will decline.

Many symptoms of stress can be explained by examining your diet and nutrient levels.  You can reduce stress by avoiding caffeine and food additives; and by eating  fresher, whole foods.   Limiting simple sugars and alcohol should also be incorporated.  Eating the right foods, like superfoods can make a huge difference.

A complete balance of exercise will work in making the body healthier, thus reducing overall stress.  Make a plan to exercise everyday and stick to your program!  It’s important to understand that the way we think or feel can play a very significant role in our overall health.  Reducing stress is necessary to restoring and maintaining good health.  Our immune system can be enhanced or suppressed by what we think and how we respond emotionally to everything around us.

Stress and Chiropractic

Some of the most common symptoms of stress that many chiropractors see involve headaches, fatigue, and pain in the neck and back.  If left untreated, unhealthy stress could cause more serious problems in the body like high blood pressure, ulcers, and disrupted sleeping patterns.  Millions of people are unaware of how stress can be directly tied to these symptoms but can become educated about the correlation through chiropractic care.

Chiropractors who deal with stress management aim to revitalise the body to a healthier state of being.  Chiropractic care can assist people who suffer from various problems due to chronic stress.  If the body isn’t processing stress in an efficient manner, it suffers consequences later.  Chiropractic care is one way to help the body process stress more effectively.