We all get stressed. It’s a natural part of life. Some stress is good for us. Without it we might be too slow to act in a dangerous situation. But too much stress, particularly of an ongoing or chronic nature, can wear us down so that we become mentally and physically ill.
Types of stress
Stress is defined as a physiological or psychological response to an environmental condition. There are three primary types of stress: acute stress, acute episodic stress, and chronic stress.
Acute stress is a short-lived kind of stress caused by immediate problems such as at work or school. When the problem is resolved the stress goes away.
Acute episodic stress is having regular bouts or episodes of acute stress. The triggers (or stressors) may be the same as with acute stress but there is a tendency for recurring episodes of acute stress between relatively stress-free periods.
Chronic stress, as indicated above, is ongoing stress. It can also be caused by family, work or relationship issues but the prolonged nature of the stress takes a definite toll both psychologically and physically.
Effects on the body
Many studies show that chronic stress directly affects the body’s ability to regulate its inflammatory response. This is because when we are stressed we release the hormone cortisol, and when we release too much cortisol its capacity to regulate inflammation diminishes which makes us vulnerable to the onset and development of disease and illness.
Stress can lead to a range of physical issues, from headaches and colds to muscle pain, muscle tension and heart disease among others.
The mental effects of stress may be treated by a psychologist. A chiropractor can treat physical conditions such as back and neck pain while also trying to understand and address the stress-based sources of this pain.
Massage therapy can also be effectively used to counter some of the effects of stress by relaxing the body and training the body how to relax.
If in Perth, you may consult one of our qualified massage therapists or chiropractors for treatment options to address the effects of stress on the body.