With stress becoming such an integral part of everyday life, it’s comforting to know that your Chartered Physiotherapist can help with stress management. He/she can identify the causes of stress in your life and teach specific techniques to alleviate the problems of excessive stress. Everybody faces a certain amount of stress each day, and our ability to cope with stress is part of what has made us successful as human beings.
The problem arises when we fail to recognise a build-up of stress in our lives and take on more than we can handle. When the level of stress exceeds our ability to cope with it, we can experience some real difficulties and disturbing symptoms.
Effects of stress on the body
When we are under stress, the body produces an increased amount of adrenalin. Unused adrenalin can build up in the system, causing muscle tension and increased blood pressure. It can also lead to disturbed sleep patterns.
Unresolved stress can also lead to emotional turmoil, which in turn can cause anxiety and depression, setting up a ‘vicious circle’ of negative emotions.
Stress causes a release a surge of stress-related hormones. Happily, however, relaxation can cause the opposite - a surge of sedative or calming hormones. Research has shown that relaxation techniques produce chemical changes in the body and a decrease in brain wave activity.
Signs of stress may include emotional problems such as anxiety, lack of interest, an inability to concentrate, irritability and tension. Physical symptoms may include headache, panic attacks, increased incidence of asthma attacks, and stress-related skin conditions.
A visit to your Chartered Physiotherapist will include:
- An assessment of your lifestyle, the pressure you perceive yourself to be under, and your ability to cope.
- Advice on how you may change your behaviour.
- Instruction in relaxation and deep breathing techniques.
To reduce the level of stress in your life and cope effectively, a change in behaviour is required. Just as good physical health requires healthy eating, fresh air and exercise, good mental health requires the elimination of the factors that are increasing stress in your life and putting in place good practices to ensure adequate leisure and relaxation. This will create balance in your life and increase your ability to cope.
Good physical health
Your Chartered Physiotherapist will teach you the necessary relaxation techniques and give you appropriate advice. And should you need more specialist help, your Chartered Physiotherapist will liaise with your doctor to ensure that you are referred for appropriate counselling and treatment.
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