Fairly modern studies in Neuroscience suggest a definitive link between chronic stress and chronic disease. Here is what we know: Contained in the body’s autonomic nervous system (which is responsible for regulating the body’s unconscious actions) are the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
The sympathetic nervous system is activated and “online” when engaged in the fight-or-flight response (otherwise known as the stress or survival response). When all perceived threats diminish, the parasympathetic nervous system is then activated and elicits the relaxation response (otherwise known as Homeostasis). It is worthy to note that this is the body’s natural response to threat. However, it is well known that when fight-or-flight is engaged for too long and the body remains under chronic stress, an overwhelming amount of stress hormones such as Cortisol begin to wreak havoc in the body, resulting in a long list of unpleasant occurrences.
Complimentary to this knowledge, Psychoneuroimmunology (otherwise known as psychoendoneuroimmunology or psychoendocrinoneuroimmunology), which studies the relationship between the immune system and the central nervous system, shows an outstanding amount of cases wherein illness begins to develop as a result of chronic stress. (Please see Dr. Gabor Maté’s “When The Body Says No” for an in-depth analysis of said case studies: https://drgabormate.com)
This week, I hosted a webinar discussing these topics and how we can begin to elicit the relaxation response in today’s busy lifestyle. To listen in and try the relaxation exercise I facilitate, click on the link below:
Be well, DDL xx