When we are under stress it causes a cascade of hormones and reactions to flow throughout the body. Non-essential bodily functions shut off, energy producing functions kick in, blood (along with it’s immune and repair gadgets) goes to where it’s needed most to get us out of danger. When we’re running from a tiger that makes sense, the body doesn’t need to be digesting food or healing wounds when you’re about to be eaten alive. Once the threat is over the body goes back to healing and repairing, sending the relaxation hormones into motion and putting the fight, flight, or freeze hormones back in the box until next time.
These days we’re not running from tigers most of the time, but we are running constantly… traffic, trouble at home, stress on the job, worry, disappointment, fear…. and the relaxation hormones almost never get invited to join in. That’s when chronic illness shows up, chronic pain, chronic exhaustion, which all interfere with our body’s innate healing mechanisms. What can we do to counteract this effect of stress on the body?