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“The good news is that there is a culture change sweeping through Western medicine: recognition that the mind and body are connected in ways that the last generation’s textbooks refused to acknowledge, and that better patient care requires integrative approaches to health.”

(via holistic-novo)

In modern-day society, stress is virtually unavoidable. But while the word “stress” is used often, many underestimate the impact that this evolutionary physiological response can have on the body and mind. Stress is defined as a state of mental or emotional strain resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances; from an evolutionary standpoint, the body’s response when faced with a stressor (for example: a potential predator) enabled survival. This “fight or flight” response known to result from stress can still be beneficial today, but more often than not, stress—especially when prolonged—can be very detrimental.

When the body is faced with an “adverse or demanding circumstance,” a few things happen: blood pressure and heart rate increase and digestive function is impaired, preparing the body for action. The problem occurs when the stressor is not necessarily life threatening, as most modern stressors are not. While traffic or unexpected expenses are undoubtedly stressful, they likely do not warrant the fight or flight response that the body is hardwired to produce. The problem arises when the body is constantly in this state of prolonged stress (known as chronic stress). Some symptoms of this include:

  • Tension and migraine headaches
  • Upset stomach, abdominal pain, change in appetite
  • Chest pain and heart palpitations
  • Anxiety
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep

The symptoms are not the only adverse side effects of prolonged stress. Stress is linked to higher risk of stroke and heart attack, impaired immune system functioning, and weight loss or gain.

Chronic stress is not something to be taken lightly. While it is inevitable, this does not mean that it is untreatable. Many things can be done to cope with and manage stress with minimal impact on the body and mind:

  • Prioritize. Often times, stress results from over-commitment—figure out which activities in your life are necessary and eliminate those that are not.
  • Exercise and maintain a nutritious diet.
  • Practice yoga.
  • Meditate.
  • Increase Omega-3 consumption or take Omega-3 supplements.

If you are experiencing chronic stress, consider seeking treatment—numerous alternative and complementary practices, including yoga, acupuncture, and bodywork, are effective in stress reduction. Fifteen InNetwork providers treat chronic stress, and they can be found here. Chronic stress can be progressively harmful, so take steps to manage your stress immediately.


Dealing with Stress – Dr. Weil.

Five Symptoms of Chronic Stress. Livestrong.

Just a teaser: yoga is not just for women or the already-flexible!

He who enjoys good health is rich, though he knows it not.
Italian Proverb


Chinese Olympic swimmer Wang Qun was spotted with clear cupping treatment marks during training. She uses cupping for back, neck, and shoulder pain. To find out more about cupping see these articles: