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Anatomy & Physiology of Stress Using Nia, Yoga, Tai Chi and Forgiveness to manage Stress.

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Presentation on theme: "Anatomy & Physiology of Stress Using Nia, Yoga, Tai Chi and Forgiveness to manage Stress."— Presentation transcript:

1 Anatomy & Physiology of Stress Using Nia, Yoga, Tai Chi and Forgiveness to manage Stress

2 Physical Stress Exercise and activity Surgery Drugs Injury Illness and infections Foods you eat can be sources of physical stress for the nutrition they do or do not supply Exposure to industrial or other environmental toxins Chronic or severe allergies Overwork, late hours, shift work Temperature extremes Chronic pain, chronic illness, chronic inflammation

3 Emotional Stress Situational stress Relationship/family issues, marriage, divorce, moving, work issues, financial issues, death/illness of a loved one, etc. Unresolved Emotional Stress Worry, anger, guilt, anxiety, fear, depression, shame. All these affect the physical function of your body.

4 Overview: Cardiovascular System The Cardiovascular system (CVS) consists of the heart, the vascular system (also called the vasculature, blood vessels, or simply vessels) and the blood. The CVS transports substances such as nutrients, metabolic waste, hormones, neurotransmitters, immune system cells, or white blood cells as well as many other informational molecules, or ligands throughout the body’s tissues. Tissues are collections of cells throughout the body. Each tissue type is part of one or more organ systems. Tissues have their own unique cellular structure and physiological function, depending on which organ system they are found in. For example, smooth muscle cells can be found in the iris, the respiratory system, the digestive system and throughout the vasculature, while hepatocytes (liver cells) are found in the liver only. The body’s vasculature includes arteries and veins, as well as smaller vessels which provide perfusion (delivery) of nutrients, as well as waste pick-up in the tissues. Vessels can be in a state of vasoconstriction (narrowing) or vasodilation (widening). These opposite states allow for increases and decreases in the blood delivery to the tissues. Vasoconstriction and dilation are possible through the presence of smooth muscle tissue, which lines the walls of blood vessels.

5 Overview: Nervous System The degree of vasodilation or constriction of the body’s vasculature is brought about by the autonomic nervous system, a branch of the peripheral nervous system. The PNS or peripheral nervous system works with the central nervous system to coordinate all functions throughout the body. The CNS consists of the brain and spinal cord, while the PNS is comprised of the nerves extending from the brain and spinal cord into the body’s tissues. A subsystem of the PNS is the autonomic nervous system (ANS). The autonomic nervous system is comprised of two branches, the sympathetic and parasympathetic. The sympathetic nervous system directs the stress response (fight or flight) while the parasympathetic nervous system directs the relaxation response (rest and digest). The ANS innervates (controls, via nerve cells) cardiac tissue, smooth muscle tissue (such as in the vasculature and digestive systems) and glandular tissue. These tissues are target tissues for the ANS. The following two lists include some physiological changes, which occur in the stress and relaxation responses. The first list details changes brought about by the fight-or-flight response (sympathetic dominance) while the latter is comprised of changes brought about during the relaxation response.

6 During Stress (sympathetic dominance) Heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP) increase. Respiratory rate increases and the airways (bronchi and trachea) dilate. Digestive processes, such as peristalsis, are inhibited or stop completely Pupils dilate (to let in more light). The stress hormone cortisol increases. Cortisol suppresses the immune response in a variety of ways. Immune system suppression increases correspondingly, levels of DHEA, a hormone with restorative/anti-aging properties decreases. Cortisol is linked with negative emotional states such as anger, depression and anxiety, while DHEA is linked with tissue health and positive feeling states. Blood flow moves away from the viscera (the vital organs in the abdomen) and towards the heart and musculature. Blood sugar elevates (glycogen in the liver is converted to glucose). Blood cholesterol increases (liver dumps cholesterol in blood to heal injuries). Platelet aggregation occurs (blood clots). Salivary IgA, an antibody secreted to provide mucosal immunity decreases.

7 During relaxation (parasympathetic dominance) Heart rate slows and blood pressure decreases Respiration regularizes Peristalsis and other digestive processes are stimulated (optimal nutrient absorption and elimination) Blood flow to the brain’s frontal lobes is present, a state linked with increased reflective, rational, and intuitive thinking. Pupils constrict DHEA elevates Blood flow returns to the skin and viscera Salivary IgA increases

8 What happens to the body during stress? Stage 1 – Alarm Fight or Flight – SNS and adrenal glands are activated Cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline increase to provide instant energy At this stage everything is working as it should – you have a stressful event, your body alarms you with a sudden jolt of hormonal changes, and you are now immediately equipped with enough energy to handle it.

9 Stage 2 – Resistance The body shifts into this second phase with the source of stress being possibly resolved. Homeostasis begins restoring balance and a period of recovery for repair and renewal takes place. Stress hormone levels may return to normal but you may have reduced defenses and adaptive energy left. If a stressful condition persists, your body adapts by a continued effort in resistance and remains in a state of arousal. Problems begin to manifest when you find yourself repeating this process too often with little or no recovery time.

10 Stage 3 – Exhaustion The adrenal glands are no longer able to function in their compensatory state and they stop responding to stress. You feel fatigued. Your metabolism can’t be kicked into high gear regardless of stress or stimulation Taxes other endocrine organs in an attempt to compensate further, as well as other bodily systems Hormones may be low

11 The Five Steps of Freeze Frame Recognize the stressful feeling and Freeze-Frame it! Take a time out. Make a sincere effort to shift your focus away from the racing mind or disturbed emotions to the area around your heart. Pretend you’re breathing through your heart to help focus your energy in this area. Keep your focus there for 10 seconds or more. Recall a positive, fun feeling or time you’ve had in life and try to re-experience it. Now, using your intuition, common sense, and sincerity, ask your heart, “What would be a more efficient response to the situation, one that would minimize future stress? Listen to what your heart says in answer to your question. (It’s an effective way to put your reactive mind and emotions in check and an in-house source of commonsense solutions!) Source: Childre, D and Martin, H. (2000). The HeartMath Solution. (p. 67). New York: HarperCollins.

12 PERT: Postive Emotion Refocusing Technique When you are feeling the effects of an unresolved grievance or ongoing relationship problem: 1.Bring your attention fully to your stomach as you slowly draw in and out two deep breaths. As you inhale, allow the air to gently push your belly out. As you exhale, consciously relax your belly so that it feels soft. 2.On the third full and deep inhalation, bring to your mind’s eye an image of someone you love or of a beautiful scene in nature that fills you with awe and wonder. Often people have a stronger response when they imagine their positive feelings are centered in the area around their heart. 3.While practicing, continue with soft belly breathing. 4.Ask the relaxed and peaceful part of you what you can do to resolve your difficulty. Purpose is to help you remain in control of your emotions. You take away another’s power to hurt you and replace it with self-confidence and calm. Source: Luskin, F. (2002). Forgive for Good: A proven prescription for health and happiness. (p. 120). New York: HarperCollins.

13 Ways to Manage Stress 1.Nia, Yoga, T’ai Chi or any movement that brings you joy and relaxation. 2.PERT (Positive Emotional Refocusing Tech.) 3.Practice Forgiveness 4.Practice Gratitude 5.Meditate and/or get plenty of sleep – 8 hours 6.Be vulnerable 7.Be of service – help others more than require others to help you 8.Take a walk in nature or bathe in a hot bubble bath 9.Love 10.Practice self-care, get a massage, pedicure, facial, etc.

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