How Stress Can Harm You

Picture it.

You’re stranded in a traffic jam and you’re already late for a meeting at work and all you can do is just sit there and watch the minutes tick away. It’s not a great situation to be in. As you are sitting there, your body goes through a change: your hypothalamus, which is located in your brain, triggers the body’s do or die response and begins to prepare you for quick action. But if you cannot act, think of all the additional stress piling up? That’s what builds up in our daily lives day to day and puts our hearts to increased risks over time.


I will be the first one to tell you that if you don’t take care of stress, it will take care of you. We cannot eliminate stress completely from our lives as it goes with the territory of living. We all experience it, from death of loved ones, family strife, whatever. But it is how we deal with is that affects our health. If you want to live a better life, it is better to learn how to deal with it effectively. Over time, you can teach your body how to react to stress and I have noticed that my breathing and heart rates adjust as I strive to keep additional stress at bay. What I know from experience is that if stress levels remain elevated, your health will be adversely affected.

Symptoms of ongoing stress can include:

  • Increased irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Depression

Central Nervous and Endocrine Systems

I am sure you are familiar with the body’s fight or flight mode that switches on when your body demands quick reaction. In essence, it is blood rushing to the areas it may need in an emergency for quick release. When triggered, your body is basically working overtime and once those stressors leave, your hypothalamus will reduce the release of these endorphins. Chronic stress can also play a part in behaviors like drug and/or alcohol abuse, bulimia or overeating, and also social withdrawal.  

Respiratory, Cardiovascular Systems

These systems can be adversely affected by stress hormones. When you are reacting to stress, you heart rate accelerates and you end up breathing faster to release blood throughout the body. If you suffer from asthma, stress can make it even more difficult to breathe. When we are under stress, the heart pumps blood quicker, with stress hormones causing vessels to ship more oxygen to muscles. This will also raise the blood pressure and cause stress if the heart must work for a longer period of time. As the blood pressure elevates, so do risks of heart attack or stroke.

Digestive System

digestive system

When you are under duress, the liver will produce extra glucose (blood sugar) to provide a boost of energy. Excessive amounts of stress can increase the risk of having type 2 diabetes. Although stress doesn’t lead to ulcers, it can significantly increase the risk of having them, which can cause constipation and diarrhea.


Reflexology and Its Benefits to You

I wanted to change my life in a major way and in order to do that, I had to think outside the box. I discovered the benefits of reflexology and I haven’t looked back! I cannot tell you how much it has helped to improve my life and increase my health over time. Not only am I more relaxed than ever before, but my energy levels are higher, I have fewer headaches, and I am in a better mood throughout the day compared to before. What’s even better is that I have learned that reflexology can prevent cancer and is great to take up if you are a new mom.

foot massage

I spend so much time on my feet all day during work and I am sure you are in the same boat. That’s an enormous amount of stress to place on feet each day and in order to have a true balance, I have had to find avenues that can help me improve the state of my body’s health. It’s no different than back pain and with back pain, people always have at least heard about various techniques that can ease the pain. If you think reflexology is just a foot massage, think again. It also includes the ears and hands and is considered more akin to an extremity massage than an actual foot massage. But before I go further, I should explain to you what reflexology is.

As an alternative treatment, reflexology has been used by cultures all over the world for thousands of years, dating back to the ancient Egyptians and Chinese who used it for various afflictions. The process involves applying pressure to ears, feet, and hands in strategic places to sooth certain zones or areas of the body.

According to the theories, reflexology is all about aligning your qi, with lots of research out there that supports what reflexologists claim. I know that many are sceptical about its benefits, but I can testify that there are plenty of positive results to be had. Plus, since it is a natural alternative method to treat your body and doesn’t involve any prescriptions that can cause harm to the body, don’t you at least owe it to your body to try it out and keep an open mind? You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. So what are the benefits to reflexology?

As we age, the nerve endings are less sensitive, especially the extremities. With reflexology, over 7,000 nerve endings can be stimulated in just one session, which can improve flexibility and functionality all over the body. Since neural pathways are basically similar to muscles, you need to work them out at every opportunity in order to reap the benefits. Of course you can also add relaxing massagers into the equation as another way to balance your qi and improve your health.

foot reflexology

Reflexology also increases your energy levels and metabolic rates over time by aligning the muscle and organ systems. Whenever I am feeling a bit tired or sluggish, reflexology has always been a great way for me to put a little more spring in my step!