How much stress or tension are you holding in your body right now? Close your eyes (don’t forget to open them again to read the rest of this blog ?) take a deep breath in and then slowly release. You will most likely have felt your shoulders drop and that is stress.
Since 1992 April has been Stress Awareness Month. Its purpose to increase public awareness of the causes and ‘cures’ of what is referred to on the Stress Management website as a modern epidemic.
According to the Mental health Foundation, 74% of UK adults have felt so stressed at some point over the last year – they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. Which in turn can have a negative and damaging impact on your health generally.
Interestingly stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s how we survive.
The Stress Management website uses the example of our ancestors the caveman, who used stress to alert themselves of danger from the sabre-toothed tiger. A brilliant website packed full of information and an individual stress test.
The body can react in different ways to stress and it can have a detrimental effect, even when experiencing short-term stress in your daily life.
Remember how you’re shoulders dropped as you exhaled at the beginning of this blog? That was the stress leaving your body, stress you might not have even been aware you were holding. The tension that is keeping your shoulders up by your ears, which over time may cause, neck and shoulder pain.
Your body is connected by your skeleton, muscles and tendons.
Therefore, if you’re holding stress in the neck or shoulders, this can lead to back pain. By recognising the physical signs of stress early you can reach out for help sooner and stop the physical symptoms and pain spreading.
It’s a vicious cycle as physical pain in itself can cause stress, resulting in poor sleep, exhaustion and yes you guessed it … more stress.
Stress can also lower your immunity, meaning you are less able to fight off viruses or bacterial infections. Leading to more serious diseases such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune diseases that are often lifelong.
The NHS share ten fabulous stress buster tips which you can find here. Being active is obviously our favourite. And often our work includes creating simple and easy exercises to get you started.
Stress and depression are very different things and yet stress can feel as debilitating. You might think that at Sarum we only help you with the physical side of things … yet our work can have a very positive impact on your wellbeing.
Our patients are often tight with stress and tension they’re holding. Caused by daily life, injury or during recovery. It’s why we offer a tailored and holistic – all round – approach to your treatment. Using acupuncture in our physio treatment for instance. Its why the Sarum team works closely to ensure you receive the right treatment for you.