Stress is the result of a sudden release of hormones which are activated by our body’s natural “fight or flight” response. This response is triggered when we are about to have a car accident or when we perceive some type of immediate (or imagined) danger. Your adrenaline starts pumping, your heart starts to race, your blood pressure elevates and all your senses are put on alert. The “rush” that you feel helps you to avoid potential danger. It can also sharpen your skills.
Do you know anyone who always waits until the last minute to do things? They say things like, “I function better under stress.” What do they mean when they say that? They enjoy the burst of energy they experience when a deadline is fast approaching. They find that same release of hormones to be stimulating when it is put to useful purpose – such as delivering a work report on time.
Consider some of the recent research that points to the “positive” influence of stress on the body:
- Short bursts of stress hormones can strengthen the immune system and may protect against diseases associated with aging, such as Alzheimer’s
- Elevated stress levels prior to surgery increase the chances that a patient will have a better recovery
- Stress reduces estrogen production in the body, which may help to prevent breast cancer
- A research study done at Johns Hopkins concluded that children of mothers who had higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol during pregnancy were developmentally ahead of children born to women with lower levels of this hormone
Careful! Long-term stress is debilitating to the body and weakens the immune system. A person who has experienced a loss, such as the death of a spouse or child, a divorce or the loss of their job may suffer from chronic long-term stress that wears them down.
If you are experiencing long-term stress, you’ll want to eat right, get enough sleep, exercise and keep to your regular chiropractic care schedule. Chiropractic helps your body cope with some of the negative effects of stress – to keep you healthy and functioning at your best. So… when you’re stressed out – remember to drop in!