Stress is a factor in many illnesses, from headaches to heart disease to digestive problems. It has been shown in the research that an increased production of stress hormones can also cause low immune function, which is your ability to fight off infections. It is also known that there are many non-pharmaceutical approaches to stress reduction, from light breathing exercises, to certain herbs and sleep hygiene.
Identify your stressors, and make sure you are implementing the right techniques that work for you to tackle the body burden of stress. Dr. Patel is an expert in stress reduction techniques, as well as an expert in herbalism; so make sure to come in for a consult before starting anything with the unregulated supplement realm.
Testing for your adrenals, as well as other hormones are now available in house; we can use this data to target your therapy, as everyone’s treatment is individualized. Some at home techniques that everyone can benefit from:
>Exercise/spend time outside: Everyone knows this, however it is important to understand that exercise helps improve circulation and remove wastes and stress from your body. It also enhances metabolism, which can play a large role in the way your body functions. 30 minutes 5x a week at a minimum is the amount needed to decrease cancer risk by half according the American Cancer Society, and to put you at lowest risk for dementia according to the Journal of Neurology. Aim to exercise 5-7 days a week, at least 45 minutes each time. Fresh air and sunshine are also important for obtaining vitamin D; get outside more often.
>Deep breathing: Take some time everyday to consciously breathe deeply, using your abdomen. A good rule of thumb is 4-4-4-4 (4-square), inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds and hold for 4 seconds, and repeat. Aim for 50 conscious breathes a day, space them throughout the day. It may seem like a lot, but if you space them in sets of 10, you will get used to that routine. J
>Fun: When was the last time your doctor told you to laugh? Maybe in Patch Adams? I encourage you to have fun everyday, smile and have a positive outlook, and make sure you laugh daily!
Touching base today on something I hear almost daily, patients telling me that their doctor said, “Everything looks good.”
Everyone has some form of stress in their lives. It's all about changing your bodies perception to stress in order to prevent things from worsening.