Stress, meditation and inflammatory disease

Stress, meditation and inflammatory disease

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When we encounter a stressful situation our body triggers the flight or fight response and a flood of chemical messengers enter the system. These chemical messengers increase heart rate , increase blood pressure, decrease digestion and suppress the immune system.

This doesn’t sound so helpful, right?

But, with the right amount of stress we can actually perform to our optimum level.

Like everything, it is about finding the right balance. 

If there is too much stress in our life, the balance can be tipped. This can be a huge contributor to many neck, back and inflammatory conditions.

If we don’t take the time to stop, relax and calm the body chronic stress can lead to a poor sleep patterns, overall lethargy and often-unexplained aches and pains. 

Clients presenting with inflammatory disease symptoms at BJC Health are often experiencing increased levels of stress.

This can be a common situation:

Busy parent with 2 children, working 60 hour+

6 hours of broken sleep per night

Wakes up with a coffee and ends the day in the gym to ‘be healthy’

And then the last straw - Losing your job, a family tragedy and then….

Pain, fatigue, foggy mind and forgetfulness.

Unfortunately, I have heard the above scenario far too often. By the time I see this person their immune system has gone haywire. There are a number of factors that can contribute to this, however stress or poor management of stress plays a major role.

The key is how we perceive and manage stressful situations.  

Meditation is a technique that can be used to relax the mind and body, and also improve concentration and energy levels. Over the years people have reported feeling happier and less stressed with regular meditation practice. This anecdotal evidence has recently been confirmed by science. There are real changes that are happening in certain areas of the brain which relate to stress and anxiety.

This research is very interesting for our clinic considering the links with better stress management and inflammation in the body. In conjunction with other treatment therapies we are interested in guiding clients to consider meditation to complement current treatments.

Do you have any experience of using meditation as part of your management for inflammatory condition?

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