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How Long Do You Wait Before Stress Is More Than A Symptom?

How Long Do You Wait Before Stress Is More Than A Symptom?
The one thing you need to know about your health is that not always, but many times, you have a choice before
you “don’t have a choice.”

A stressful, workaholic lifestyle that is frequently out of balance has many unforeseen consequences. We usually recognize this only when it dramatically confronts us. We may get a violent pain in our abdomen whenever we eat, or we may suddenly feel tired all the time when we normally have boundless energy. Our wake-up call may be a massive heart attack, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), frequent migraine headaches or an incapacitating neck or back pain that makes it difficult to sleep, walk, sit or stand without pain. When continual high levels of stress erode the body’s strength and resiliency, our body begins to fall apart. Here is how it happens.

Digestive System
When you are facing a situation that is worrying, terrifying or infuriating to you, your saliva output diminishes (dry mouth), the contents of your stomach sit still instead of being processed (indigestion).
You are not digesting your food because of the stress you are experiencing Excessive stress makes it impossible for the body to properly digest the good food you eat.

Cardiovascular System
Stress reactions require major rerouting of blood throughout the body. This is largely controlled by the speed of the heart rate and the tightness or looseness of the various arteries. So the cardiovascular system is particularly sensitive to changes when we’re under stress, and it suffers when that stress is unnecessarily prolonged. Heart attack and stroke risk are greatly increased with prolonged, unmanaged stress.

Musculoskeletal System
In an ongoing flight-or-flight-stress reaction, all of our muscles become habitually tight. We walk through life as if we are always on red alert. If this goes on long enough, we will actually begin to interpret this unnecessary tension as normal. This constant elevated state of physical tension is what massage and reflexology body workers refer to as chronic muscle tension, which is the muscular component of internalized stress. Before we know it, our knuckles are white as we grip the steering wheel, and it feels strange to just “do nothing” and relax. We may clench and grind our teeth all night long. We may walk around with our heads bent down and our shoulders raised up—an inefficient tense posture that opens the door to headaches, neck pain, backaches and serious injury.
When our bodies become accustomed to living with one foot always on the gas pedal, we become vulnerable to a multitude of musculoskeletal problems, as well as, the digestive and cardiovascular diseases discussed above. Chronic pain syndromes, constant fatigue, difficulty with healing, even osteoporosis can all be connected to having extended periods with high levels of stress hormones in the blood.
Headaches, jaw pain, neck pain, backaches, difficulty sleeping, frequent cramps and muscle spasms are classic examples of how muscular tension can translate into incapacitating pain and fatigue.

Immune System
The relationship between stress and immune function has been the subject of intense research. It is clear that long-term stress suppresses immune system activity, and makes us more vulnerable to pain, injury and disease. The culprit in this case is a familiar one: cortisol. The presence of cortisol in the blood has been shown to slow down white blood cell activity, and to inhibit the secretion of important immune system chemicals that help us to heal.

Recent research has shown that regular massage therapy and/or reflexology lowers high levels of cortisol.

By now, you’ve probably realized that almost any disorder can be traced back to excessive stress. Research reveals that the negative impact of stress on our health can be long-term and cumulative. Becoming more proactive participants in keeping our bodies relaxed and healthy can have a substantial impact on the health and quality of our lives.
Massage and reflexology are viable, proven options for health care and maintenance.
Only you have the ability to arrange your life, so that you are not too busy to take care of yourself!

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