Stressed? Anxious? Close to the tipping point?
Stress can affect us all at different times and to different levels, but if we’re not able to switch it off, and drop into proper relaxation and rest, prolonged stress can have a big impact on our physiological systems and wellbeing.
One of the things I see a lot in my practice is the impact of long term stress and how it impacts on our wellbeing. I’m often surprised at how little people understand about stress and what it does to us, so I’d like to explain a little of that here, and how Shiatsu and EFT can greatly reduce and improve our reactions to stress.
A lot of how we function is goverened by the Autonomic Nervous System, which is responsible for involuntary and reflexive functions in the body. The two key functions related to stress and relaxation are:
The sympathetic nervous system, or the “fight or flight” response, prepares our bodies for action. All of the organs involved in getting ready for a physical challenge (“fight”) or preparing for a retreat (“flight”) are activated through this system.
The parasympathetic nervous system (“rest and digest”) helps produce a state of equilibrium in the body.
The sympathetic nervous system is a fast-acting, and activates the release of stress hormones into the bloodstream. These hormones activate the target muscles and glands, causing the body to speed up and become tense, as well as more alert. Non-essential functions which are not immediately necessary - like digestion and the immune system are shut down. (To a point)
Your body goes through a number of changes when the sympathetic nervous system is activated.
When we are faced with a stressor that presents an imminent physical danger, this is what happens, but we actually see many of these changes in response to lower level stressors too, and over a prolonged period of time, the body sits in a state of high stress and anxiety, unable to switch off this response. This can have devastating impact on our immunity, and digestion. Even our thinking becomes impacted, we are often unable to see the bigger picture, decision-making becomes difficult and we are easily muddled.
Shiatsu and E.F.T. can help de-activate the sympathetic nervous system, taking you to a place of calm, where the parasympathetic system can be activated. The Parasympathetic nervous system is a much slower acting system than the sympathetic nervous system, (which needs to kick in quickly in response to perceived threat.) The stress hormones cease to be released into the system, the heart rate slows and the body allows the functions of the digestive system to be activated fully, and digestive enzymes released, allowing nutrients to be fully digested and distributed to the organs again. It is in this state where the body activates its healing system again, which is what we are working with in Shiatsu.
There are many things we can do in our day to day life, which help to lower the stress reactions of the sympathetic nervous system, but sometimes we need that extra help to really cut through the stress messaging from the brain, and this is where Shiatsu can help. Allowing your self to really rest, and be supported in that at a physiological and emotional level helps boost immunity, digestion and healing.
Points and meridians we use in Shiatsu signal to the body it iss now safe to ‘switch off the stress’ and activate the parasympathetic nervous system. And in my experience, Shiatsu can create some really lasting results.
In Japan (where Shiatsu originates from) people traditionally would see their Shiatsu practitioner regularly to keep them well, and I personally receive Shiatsu on a very regular basis as part of my commitment to my wellbeing, regardless of whether I “need it” or not! And this is what we would recommend!
Using EFT we can begin to understand what some of our stress triggers are and work to change your relationship to them. The beauty of EFT is that it can help eliminate completely your reactions to triggers, so that when they happen you are able to glide through, cope and continue in a much more peaceful state.
I have done a lot of work with people who have been signed off work with stress, or are close to that point. Stress is one of the highest causes of time off from work in the UK, and I would really encourage anyone to take advantage of the support available before it gets too much.
If you would like to know more about how I work, or the benefits of Shiatsu and EFT and how they might apply to you, please do get in touch. I look forward to welcoming you to my beautiful clinic spaces in Cotham, Clifton and Southville in Bristol. I am also available over Skype to offer EFT or Health Creation Coaching.
Wishing you well!
Author: Hannah Currant
Hannah is a Shiatsu and EFT Practitioner based in Bristol.
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