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Andrew Axelrod 6/30/2016
Stress comes in many shapes and sizes. Here are the different forms and ways to reduce their effects.
Psychological stress occurs when the body to senses danger and diverts energy to systems that would help the organism survive. Sickness is more likely when the body spends a prolonged time in this "flight or fight" response. The key to dealing with this form of stress is to reduce the sources of it and find time to relax.
Physical stress is literal stress on the body that occurs with movement. Improper movement of the body can cause damage and pain. Pain can cause the mind to think less clearly and even contribute to psychological stress. Even a sore back or stiff limb can lead to stress on the central nervous system. Having good muscle balance, alignment and posture as well as avoiding dangerous activities can significantly lower physical stress.
Nutritional stress occurs when one's diet is causing spikes in hormones and blood sugar. Sugar, for instance, can spike your blood sugar and when it falls shortly thereafter, the adrenal gland spikes to release cortisol to raise sugar levels again.
Have you ever eaten something sugary before bed and woken up wide awake in the wee hours of the morning? That's your adrenal gland trying to normalize your blood sugar. Another source of nutritional stress is an abundance of omega 6 fatty acids. These fatty acids often come from grain and are turned into arachidonic acid. Too much arachidonic acid again stimulates your adrenal gland to release more cortisol.
Stress Affects Posture
Any of these three stresses can have a significant effect on muscles. These effects can cause "Crossed Posture Syndrome." CPS, for short, occurs in two forms, upper cross syndrome and lower crossed syndrome.
In upper cross syndrome, short muscles are tightened at the base of the skull and in the chest muscles. This tightening causes other nearby muscles to weaken. The end result is a slouching, head protruding posture that has been associated with neck and back pain, headaches and carpal tunnel syndrome. Lower cross syndrome causes the pelvis to tilt forward and constricts the low back joints, simultaneously weakening the abdominal and gluteal muscles. Lower crossed syndrome is associated with back, knee and hip pain.
Learn how to get immediate relief from stress with this simple breathing technique!
Dealing With Stress
There's no easy answer to preventing stress on the body, there's far too many factors we can't control. It may seem cliché, but the best solution is to eat healthy, get plenty of sleep, exercise and try to eliminate avoidable stressors in our lives. Simple changes can have massive effects.