What is stress really costing you....

July 23, 2018

Do you know the effects of stress on the system?

It affects our breathing, our memory recall and the way our body recovers (or doesn't when under stress).

Stress is not just those times when you are noticabley stressed (think "Oh my god I am soooo stressed.") For most of us, stress can be anything from overworking, overtraining / exercising, under-eating, emotional stress and busy-ness.


The human body is designed to face stress and react to it effectively. In fact, stress can actually be a positive experience, as it keeps you alert and vigilant to avoid any form of danger. Unfortunately, it can become a negative factor when you begin to face constant challenges without any relaxation or relief among these challenges..... you become overworked, exhausted and stress-related anxiety sprouts.


Stress that prolongs without any sign of relief can often lead to a condition called distress. Distress is a negative and depressing stress reaction. It can normally result to physical indications of upset stomach, high blood pressure, headaches, sleeplessness, sore and aching muscles and joints, loss of appetite, being over-emotional or over eating, fatigue especially in the morning on waking (feeling like you haven't slept), weight gain and illness....just to name a few. Stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system (our relaxation response) allows for proper repair and recovery in the body.sleeping problems, chest pain and headaches. Some researchers reveal that stress can even exacerbate diseases already in the body.


So what happens in the body when its under stress?

We begin by changing our breathing pattern, going from long deep breaths to short, sharp and shallow breathing.  Our breathing shifts from deep in our belly to the top of our neck and shoulders, over using our accessory muscles, creating tightness in neck and shoulders.  We clench our jaws and grind our teeth creating further tension in the neck and shoulders, and at times we even forget to breathe at all, especially when deep in thought and under pressure with deadlines.  

So after robbing the body of breath throughout the day its no wonder we feel exhausted by 3pm.....at the end of the day all you want to do is go home , put up your feet and for many of us we grab a drink.

In dealing with stress, some people have the misconception of using alcohol, drugs or tobacco hoping that such components can alleviate their stress. Unfortunately, instead of relieving stress, these harmful components or substances keep the body in more stressed and can even cause more problems in the long run.



So how do you effectively reduce stress?

Just for a moment I want to sit.....take a deep breath in and out, what do you feel?

What was the texture of the breath...... was there an ease to drawing the breath in and out, or did you feel some restriction with one or the other.  Where was that restriction?  

Where did the breath come from?  The top of the neck and shoulders or the deepest part of the abdominals?  Can you breathe into the centre of the chest, the side ribs , the back ribs and the lowest parts of the abdominal space?


Now hop of your chair and try laying on your back, in a comfortable position, place your hands on your belly and allow them to rise and lower with the breath.  Use the nose instead of the mouth to draw the breath in and out.......Slow the breath down , allowing it to become deeper, and allowing a pause between the inhale and exhale....Notice the air as it comes in and out through the nostril.....feel the shoulders drop away from the ears, the jaw relax and the tongue to soften in the mouth......

Now how do you feel.....a little more relaxed?


In our release and restorative classes we work through the body and the affects of the stress response on our body, the tightness it creates and the tension it holds.  Using tools such as myofascial release tools, stretches, breathing and oils we down regulate the stress system and up regulate our repair and recovery function.  The classes will have you feeling more relaxed, have a deeper sleep and allow you to reverse some of the effects of stress in the system. 


Classes start at 90 minutes and go up to 2 hours on a Saturday, allowing you to release your working week and truly repair and recover on a weekend to enjoy your family, hometime and friends.


TUESDAY : 5pm : Antigravity Release 90 min 

FRIDAY : 530pm : Antigravity Restorative 90 min

SATURDAY : 3pm : Antigravity Release Extended 2 hour




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