for my first blogpost this year, I decided to shed some light on an issue literally everyone deals with from time to time. Stress.
What exactly is stress?
Stress has a bad rep, let’s be honest about it. But stress has always been a vital part in our survival. So we need to get some things straight first.
Stress is the body’s natural response to a demand or threat. It’s a chemical reaction putting the body in the so-called “fight-or flight”-mode.
The nervous system releases a flood of stress hormones and chemicals, such as adrenaline, cortisol and norepinephrine in order to prepare the body for a physical reaction.
The heart rate increases, muscles tighten, breathing quickens, blood pressure rises and sometimes even unnecessary bodily functions are being shut down. Energy increases, focus is sharper and reaction time is sped up – all these changes happen to enable us to react as quickly as possible against the threat.
E.g. if you are on a safari and a wild animal is preparing itself to attack you, your first response would be to run and find a safe place to hide instead of calmly staying where you are. Or if a bully is heading your way in the corridor and you see him/her early, you would avoid confronting them head on. Or if you have a deadline at work, stress will drive you to do anything that’s possible to ensure you will make it.
As you can see, stress is a vital part of our lives.
When does stress become harmful?
Now that we have cleared up that stress is actually good and normal to experience from time to time, we get to the kind of stress that can become detrimental to our health.
Chronic stress. Imagine your body would always be in a “flight-or fight”-mode. It would be unable to think straight. Not so good, right?
Chronic stress can suppress your immune system, upset your digestive and reproductive systems, increase the risk of a heart attack and stroke, and speed up the aging process. Elevated levels of cortisol can increase blood sugar and blood pressure levels and decrease libido. The body becomes more vulnerable to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.
Other common consequences of chronic stress are:
- Obesity and eating disorders
- Cardiovascular disease, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes
- Menstrual problems
- Sexual dysfunction, such as impotence and premature ejaculation in men
- Skin conditions, such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema
- Permanent hair loss
- Gastrointestinal conditions, such as gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome, GERD, colitis ulcerosa
How do I know if I experience too much stress?
Good question, because the body adjusts itself to increasing levels of stress. We’re not able to distinguish the good and bad kind of stress anymore. Mostly because often, stressful situation don’t have to be negative experiences.
Just remember the festivities in December, party planning e.g. for a wedding, finding a new passion etc. That’s stress too. As well as a very demanding job, an illness or an argument with a loved one are.
When you don’t know if you experience normal amounts of stress, just like I did, here’s the solution. A nerve conduction velocity test. A what? 😀
Nerve Conduction Velocity Test
A nerve conduction velocity test (NCV) is an electrical test that is used to determine the adequacy of the conduction of nerve impulses sent throughout the body. This test is used to detect signs of nerve injury, such as a nerve disease or abnormal amount of pressure on the nerve.
Electrodes are attached to the head, hands and feet in order to measure the speed of the impulse transmission from a mild electrical impulse between those electrodes.
Four mild impulses are directed through the various body segments. Is the electric impulse inhibited, one or several interferences are present. A decreased speed of transmission therefore indicates abnormality in stimulus.
The roots of those interferences are often vegetative dystonia. That’s an imbalance of the vegetative nervous system due to anxiety, panic or stress.
Vegetative dystonia can cause several symptoms including flatulence, high blood pressure, abnormal sweating and heart palpitations. When becoming chronic, these symptoms lead to serious diseases like cardiovascular diseases, immunodeficiency or cancer.
Furthermore, the NCV can give indications concerning the body’s energy reserves and therefore is the easiest method to diagnose burn out syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia.
I want you to get an idea how those results are evaluated, so I’m going to include my results here now:
Analysis of my NCV
On the agenda, there are 4 colours. Red are manifestations, orange preclinical, green disorders and blue observations.
So, as you can see, there are many interferences in my body. Especially the segments: neck, teeth, vegetative nerves, arteries, nose sinuses and tonsils are affected.
Out of 4 impulses, 3 were inhibited in the segment where my arteries lie, 2 where my teeth, nerves, veins and neck are. The rest is preclinical.
This test opened my mind to the idea and conclusion that my stomach issues started with my jaw issues, known as cmd. It’s a condition that puts the body in chronic stress, so it makes sense that my body is totally out of balance. These jaw issues manifested about 6-7 years ago, but could have been slowly increasing up to that point in time.
The second picture are some load indicators with therapy suggestions. The most important ones for me are chronic degenerative processes, atlas blockage and psychostress. My therapy now includes infusions, wearing a splint and physiotherapy.
Obviously I could even try more therapies, but we’re trying to find the most effective/least cost effective path for me. I trust my doctor completely with it.
How you can cope with stress
- Regular exercise, especially if having a desk job. 30 minutes vigorous exercise and 10.000 steps a day suffice.
- A healthy diet. When you give your body all the nutrients it needs, you can heal minor imbalances and help maintaining overall health.
- Enough sleep, at least 8 hours. How you divide them throughout your day is up to you. But due to the different cycles throughout sleep I would recommending staying with 8 hours at the piece.
- Selfcare, like meditation, autogene training, massages and breathing techniques.
- Surrounding yourself with uplifting and positive people and a healthy environment. Loads of fresh air, less hecticness.
- Going to therapy, like hypnotherapy.
Congratulations, you reached the end of my post. But listen, if you have questions or any other tips, feel free to share them with the community in the comments below 🙂
I wish you a great start into the new year,
*This post is based on research and personal experience. All products mentioned are bought and tried by myself if not written otherwise (affiliate linking could occur there though).