Stress has a direct impact on digestive health. In blog post Your Second Brain highlights the link between our brain and gut. Digestion is controlled by the enteric nervous system (ENS) and during periods of stress the brain triggers the ENS to change the gut’s normal contractions and cause an imbalance in gut bacteria
The organ that suffers the most if the body is stressed are the adrenal glands. These glands are situated on top of each kidney. These glands releases the hormone Cortisol to help the body cope with stress.
You may say, I don’t have stress. Did you know that there are many types of stressors and we encounter one or more of these on a daily basis and throughout our lifetime. Our body is like a sponge, each time it encounters stress it absorbs it and does not let go of it. Readers Digest says “stress can simmer over time…..”. This article provides some interesting information about the various ways we encounter stress – ambient anxiety, work, parenting, urban living, money woes and life changes and how these affects us psychologically and physiologically.
Although we may not be able to get rid of stress completely, it is important for you to manage it for your digestion and overall health.
There are a number of suggestions to help manage stress including: exercising regularly, avoiding stressors, socializing, getting sufficient sleep or relaxing can greatly minimize your levels of stress.
Here are some of my most effective methods to relieve stress that in turn helps to promote deeper restful sleep, less tension headaches and facilitate digestive health and a calm spirit:
- ACUPRESSURE – using this self-massaging tool from Dr Berg to target the 7 stress points in your body. It comes with an illustrative manual that shows you how to perform acupressure techniques on these body stress points. It is a must for those who enjoy massages but without the expense of visiting a massage therapist or you can even bring the tool to your therapist to use on your body.
- ESSENTIAL OILS – such as lavender oil, Stress Away (a blend of lavender, copaiba, lime, cedarwood and vanilla). Apply essential oil to the stress points when doing acupressure with the self-massaging tool for a therapeutic massage that evokes the senses and promote a restful state.
- DEEP BREATHING – conscious synchronized breathing lowers your stress response state by increasing your body’s oxygen level. See this article for the benefits of deep breathing exercises
- RELAXATION RESPONSE – Allow your body to relax before eating a meal to help the production of stomach acid. There is a technique used by Dr Robert Benson (MD at Harvard Medical School) called the Relaxation Response. which is a …”physical state of deep rest that changes the physical and emotional responses to stress”. This 10-20 minute relax technique done before meals (preferably before breakfast and dinner) to help your body counter stress and eat meals in a calm unhurried manner.
Stress and Weight
The stress we face can also lead to body issues, such as weight gain. Are you struggling with weight gain? If you have a problem with stubborn weight and would like to experience a personalized health tutoring program with a health tutor/coach who will:
- Identify obstacles to your health;
- Help with weight issues, fatigue symptoms and stressful body states;
- Help you to understand the principles and knowledge to create a healthier body using nutrition;
- Teach you how to trigger fat burning hormones by using your body to burn fat;
- Educate you what type of exercise is right for your body type;
- Help reduce stress using a number of stress-reducing techniques;
- Focus on energy, cravings, digestion, exercise, stress, pain and on your hormones.
Health coaching begins with the fundamentals – your health and takes a whole body approach using healthy eating plans, correct exercise programs and stress reducing techniques.
Take this free mini quiz and a health coach will contact you for a further in-depth evaluation and a personalized program made for your body type.