What is stress?

Activating the sympathetic nervous system prepares the organism for action (for example, facing a danger or a fear prepares the body for flight), whereas activating the parasympathetic nervous system generally slows down the functions of the organism.  Here is a real example: imagine you ask an employee to finish a dossier very quickly in order to satisfy a client.  Even though  his/her life is not in danger, their organism will react in ‘survival’ mode.  When this situation repeats itself often, the stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol) will exhaust his or her body and affect their mood.

  • What happens then?
  • Breathing quickens to increase oxygen to the blood
  • Blood pressure and heart rate increase to allow more blood to reach muscles
  • Muscles contract so that you can react (either fight or flight)
  • Suprarenal glands  secrete adrenaline and cortisol to maintain the body ready
  • The digestive system slows down to save energy for the rest

The results of all this?

  • Headaches
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Stomach aches
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Muscular pain

By experiencing the feeling of losing control often, we become mentally and physically fragile and vulnerable.

Would massage be an effective means of countering this? Read here