The concept of “stress” was formalized by Hans Selye in the 1930’s after observing laboratory animals getting stress related diseases due to being subjected to unpleasantness. The term is borrowed from engineering and was introduced to medicine in the 1920’s by a physiologist named Walter Cannon in the sense that we understand it today.
Selye presented the concept of stress with two ideas:
- The body has a surprisingly similar set of responses to a broad array of stressors
- Under certain conditions, stressors will make you sick.
In a situation of stress, certain body systems like digestion, immune system, reproductive system and growth go into survival mode and become inhibited in order to spend the energy otherwise used for digestion etc. on survival.
In our daily lives, many things become “stressors”. Sitting in a traffic jam when you need to be somewhere at a certain time is a stressor. Going to work that is boring and unchallinging is a stressor. Tension in a relationships is a stressor. Lack of sufficient money to pay the bills is a stressor. Coping with illness is a stressor.
The body’s stress response (fight and flight) was designed for our survival, and is a necessary part of our body’s function. However, if the stresses are a daily recurrence and inescapable, the high levels of stress hormones (glucocorticoids) may result in breakdown of systems and disease, which may cause high blood pressure, burst your white blood cells, make you flatulent, ruin your sex life, premature aging and possibly damage your brain.
There are a number of ways to reduce the high levels of stress hormones brought about by the stress response:
- Time management
- Increasing predictability and control
- Managing pain and chronic disease
- Social connectedness
A comprehensive approach to minimizing the effects of stress would typically consist of a number of sessions in which stressors are identified and coping strategies put in place, addressing time management and getting a sense of control over our lives, together with a program of proper nutrition as we excrete more nutrients at times of stress than we can absorb from food and a suitable program of exercise, which has a glucocorticoid lowering effect. Sessions of meditation, massage and hypnotherapy are a most useful approach to stress reduction and can form an important part of the program.
The program consists of 10 sessions, having 2 sessions per week (or 3 if desired) of 1 hour duration. The frequency and type of treatment will be defined during the first assessment and depending on individual preference. Goals will be set and strategies given to maintain the positive benefits.
Recommended packages could be either a full or a mini program, providing you with a discount of 15 % on the fees:
THE FULL PROGRAM: 10 visits of 1 hour duration, comprising massage ,kinesiology and counselling.
THE MINI PROGRAM: 5 visits of 1 hour duration, as above.
You may wish to have a personalised package to suit your needs, which can be discussed at the time of your visit or email for more information.