Simple Steps to HELP with STRESS
When you watch this video or read this blog – you’ll wish you’d known these simple steps to help with stress a very long time ago.
This blog goes through some easy ways to reduce the effects on your body, in particular long term stress. The effect of this stress may not seem obvious. Find out more…
When the body and mind are going through prolonged stress then the flight or fright part of the nervous system called the sympathetic system goes into overdrive. The feelings of needing to run from something stay and the body can slow down it’s normal rest, digest and repair activity. The steps to help with stress that are outlined in this video are designed to work on the deeper, brain level, where the bad habits are hard wired.
When we are running from a stressful situation, whether it is a tiger, a work drama, or a fear of flying, the body doesn’t need to focus on a few things. These include:
- Dealing with a cold
- Making a baby
- Logical thought processes
We don’t need to worry about these things when we are running from the tiger (stress), we need to get blood to our arms and legs so we can run for our lives. Digesting lunch is not a priority. We need this sympathetic system for survival however we need to be in a parasympathetic state for growth and repair.
So how do we get out of the sympathetic state when we have been stuck in this state for a while?
If you health issues that are concerning you then it is important for you to see a doctor to rule out anything nasty. Some people, even after a series of negative tests results, may still feel something isn’t right.
Dr. Wayne Todd has written the book SD Protocol and in this book he goes through a protocol to help to calm down the areas in the brain that are wound up when we are stuck in this flight or fright mode. He calls it Sympathetic Dominance (SD).
This way of looking at the CAUSE of an imbalance in our nervous system and working on getting the balance back through the SD protocol, I feel, is what can help to prevent the onset of illness and assist those who are not expressing full health.
Not surprising that 75% of the population have 1 or more chronic disease.
We are going to go through some of the points in the protocol that will help to calm the sympathetic system down. In our last post we went through the areas of the brain that are fired up when we are in SD. CLICK HERE to watch or read this blog.
1. Reducing Noise
When the inferior colliculus is wound up in SD then we can become sensitive to sound. Noisy places and people and be too much for us. We can use things like ear plugs when appropriate and get children at home to listen on their devises using headphones.
2. Controlling Bright Lights
The superior colliculus controls vision and light input. When overstimulated in SD, then constantly wearing sunglasses and acting like a vampire seem normal. Bright lights can even give these people headaches by the end of the day. Computer screens are bright too and the red light from them adds further aggravation. Try the following:
- wear sunglasses when you can, preferably polorized
- Wear red lenses at work or shift phones and computer to night mode to cut out red light
- Keep bedroom dark, close blinds and avoid alarm clocks that are bright
For Leaky Gut Often with SD people will have gut issues. These may include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), bloating and a leaky gut is associated with autoimmune problems too. These may include eczema, psoriasis and allergies. The SD Protocol is not curing these conditions, by all means, but if we look at healing the gut, then these problems may improve.
The SP Protocol looks at the following to help the gut:
- food sensitivity testing, IGg test
- Cutting out wheat and diary
- Vitamin D, this helps with cell regeneration
- Glutamine, in bone broth or as a supplement. This helps heal the gut lining.
- Probiotic, for gut health and immune health
Withania This herb is an adrenal tonic. When in SD the body will slow down the production of cortisol as the adrenal get fatigue. The production of cortisol slows down as the adrenals cannot keep up with the demand. Withania is a great herb to assist the overworked adrenal gland.
Magnesium This mineral is needed in more than 300 cellular activities. It will help with;
- energy production, remember energy is needed to sleep!
- Removes toxic forms of oestrogen from the body (SD will place females in oestrogen dominance as progesterone levels drop)
- Relax muscles, especially needed for those big muscles that get super tight in SD. These are the trapezius muscles, pectorals and calf muscles
The rounded shoulders and forward head posture what we see in a SD person. The interesting thing is that there are many times in our modern lives where this posture is seen. In the office, at school or university or at home on the couch. Does this mean we are nearly all in SD? No, not really, but being in this position too long, will give the brain negative feedback and your brain will think you are in SD.
Do you sometimes feel ‘I don’t know why I am feeling stressed or anxious, but I do’?
So we can help to improve our posture in a few ways.
1. Posture Awareness.
Imagine you have a hook in your sternum and a long string is attached to it. The other end of the string is attached to a massive helium balloon that gently elongates you up. Imagine this while sitting or standing. Do this consistently during the day.
dIt’s important to sit in a neutral position. Sit with ear over shoulder and shoulder over hip. If you feel your posture is tiring, then get up and go for a minute of so walk. Aim to get up every half and hour. AVOID sitting with head forward. This will further aggravate the tight shoulder and pectoral muscles.
3. Thoracic Extension Posture Pole (or similar) device
This device is a long semi-circle that you lie on. It will go from your head to your tale bone. Lying in that position face up, with palms up and knees bent for 15 minutes a day. Start with a few minutes and gradually building up to 15 minutes. Great idea to use this as a break if you have been sitting at your computer for a period of time.
Remember too, that better upright posture means your ribcage can expand with greater ease and your oxygen intake will increase. Your brain needs oxygen as a requirement, so better posture means better brain health too. A simple step to help with stress.
When your spinal joints are moving well and your posture improves then getting out of SD becomes easier. Chiropractic can help. Having a healthy spine assists in the normal flow of messages from your brain to your body and back again. After all we are taking about our brain here and we know that the chiropractic adjustment will positively impact our brain.
When your posture has been distorted for a long period of time, stretches and awareness work can seem impossible. This is because the back and rib cage get stuck in the wrong position. Joints get stiff and when this happens, stretching is impossible. This is where getting a chiropractic check up can help.
Getting a spinal adjustment also help to fire the brain in a way that reduces the SD. Improving the function and movement of the rib cage also helps with rib expansion, muscle relaxation in the upper back and less SD. Definitely another step to help with stress.
6. Calm your Mind
Slowing down the chatter in our heads is important. Finding ways that help you can take time. Here are some suggestions:
- breathing exercise CLICK HERE for this exercise
- Guided meditation
- Mindfulness apps, such as Smiling Mind
Exercise is important for fitness, strength and also for stress reduction. A few things to be aware of when exercising include:
- minimise pectoral exercises, such as push ups
- Include stretches for trapezius CLICK HERE for the stretch,
- Stretch for pectorals CLICK HERE for the stretch.
- Stretch for hamstring CLICK HERE for the stretch.
- Stretch for calves CLICK HERE for the stretch.
Any questions, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 9329 1118.
Lisa, principle chiropractor