How Can I Cope With Stress Naturally?
Author by Rashmi Murthy
Stress. It may be a small word, but it certainly packs a powerful punch.
We experience stressors on many levels, but normal stress response is an important part of a healthy life. It allows our bodies to adjust to changes in the environment, as when we wake up in the morning or deal with life-threatening situations such as avoiding a swarm of bees.
When our bodies are healthy and in balance, stress responses are moderate and short-lived. But when the stress stimulus becomes too frequent or intense, it can become a harmful influence as stress hormones continue to flow through the body at elevated levels. Research* now shows that long-term activation of our stress hormones can have a hazardous effect on the body. It can impair one’s immunity, reproductive system, and growth. In taking into account one’s family history and genetic predisposition, it can also increase the risk of obesity, high blood pressure, heart attacks, depression, and a variety of other illnesses.
It is also extremely common to see stress manifest as physical symptoms. The following symptoms are frequent presentations of stress:
· Back pain
· Joint pain
· Labile temperament and mood swings
· Loss of focus and concentration
· Gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g. constipation, irritable bowel syndrome)
· Poor sleeping patterns
No matter how harmful the effects of stress, however, it is difficult to avoid stress completely in the modern world. Furthermore, allopathic medical therapies such as anxiety medications therapies can be employed to treat symptoms of stress, but they are not permanent solutions. Instead, the key is to learn how to manage stress and develop healthy strategies for diffusing its effects.
Natural therapies such as meditation, cranio-sacral therapy, applied kinesiology, and acupuncture are gaining popularity among patients and healthcare professionals alike. Many of these therapies work on reversing the impaired energy flow that develops in the face of persistent stress.
These modalities mobilize stagnant energy resulting from chronic stress, creating an active state of relaxation. By restoring a proper circulation of energy, the body is able to harness its own restorative healing process.
Natural therapies are being embraced by many academic institutions. Harvard, Johns Hopkins, University of California – San Francisco, the National Institutes of Health, and many other high profile institutions are studying these healing modalities and offering them to patients alongside traditional, allopathic care. A growing number of allopathic physicians are also incorporating natural therapies into their practices, blending the best of conventional treatments with natural healing.
If you live in the modern world with its deadlines, pressures, and stresses, there is a good chance your body and mind could benefit from natural healing therapies. The effects of chronic stress are powerful. The more you can harness your body’s healing energy to counteract these effects, the better your chances of living a healthy and peaceful life.
Rashmi Murthy grew up in South Florida and after completing her postgraduate training in NY, she has recently returned to open her own medical practice in Miami. She currently provides care in Family Medicine, natural healing therapies (Cranio-Sacral therapy, Applied Kinesiology, Visceral Manipulation) and cosmetic skin care.