What is Body Stress?Disruption of natural healing
“When normal stresses and strains reach the point of overload, tension may become locked into the body’s physical structures. Over time this accumulative progression of body stress exerts pressure on the spinal nerves and may result in pain, numbness, muscle weakness, stiffness, distorted posture and impaired functioning.”
Causes of Body Stress (Or Stress Triggers)
Emotional / Mental Stress Factors
Every day we are exposed to an onslaught of Emotional, Mechanical and Chemical Stresses.
Mental stress factors include fear of the future, financial worries, competition in the work place or even disintegrating family relationships. At times we experience sudden violent emotions, such as anger or shock, or we undergo milder but on-going forms of mental strain, e.g. anxiety, depression and resentment. We may become aware of the physical effect of emotional pressures, as the diaphragm, jaw, neck and shoulders tighten in a defensive posture, to armour us against the onslaught of life’s stresses.
To reduce emotional/mental stress in our lives, we need to learn to consciously relax when we feel ourselves becoming tense. It is also advisable to seek out whatever activities and techniques help us as individuals, to approach emotional balance and inner peace e.g. meditating.
Mechanical / Physical Stress Factors
The body is designed to withstand a certain amount of physical force – bumps, jerks and falls, but if the mechanical stress goes beyond the body’s limit of adaptability, the effects may become stored as body stress. The causes may be sudden and violent, such as a car accident, a severe fall, or lifting a heavy object incorrectly. Or, there may be a gradual accumulation of milder mechanical stress, e.g. habitually sitting incorrectly, or doing inappropriate exercises.
We can reduce mechanical stress by improving our posture, by sitting, bending and lifting correctly and avoiding potentially harmful exercises. Obviously it is helpful to pursue moderate and sensible forms of exercise to strengthen muscles e.g. a brisk walk for 20 to 30 minutes every day.
Chemical Stress Factors
The sources of chemical stress may include pollutants in the air, insecticides and certain food additives, preservatives, colorant and artificial growth hormones. Harmful chemicals may be consumed, inhaled, or even absorbed when coming into contact with the skin. Examples of chemical stress may be severe headaches and nausea, to name but two.
To minimise chemical stress, it makes sense to follow a balanced and varied diet. Eat foods in forms as close as possible to their original state and choose those containing the fewest additives. We should avoid exposure to harmful substances, by minimising skin contact and being careful not to inhale sprays.
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