As we're nearing what is often the busiest time of year, whether it be due to work obligations or family and friend obligations, our bodies experience stress. While getting together with loved ones could be considered good stress, our body still undergoes a change in our routine; our sleep may be disrupted, we're eating differently from our normal day to day diets, we're committing to more social obligations and this can take a toll on our bodies in different ways.
Stress may impact you in the following ways:
1. Muscle Tension: Stress can cause the muscles to contract and tense up, often leading to muscle aches, tension headaches, and even chronic pain.
2. Digestive Problems: Stress can disrupt normal digestion, leading to issues like indigestion, stomach cramps, diarrhea, or constipation.
3. Respiratory Changes: Stress can lead to rapid and shallow breathing, which may worsen asthma symptoms and other respiratory conditions.
4. Immune System Suppression: Chronic stress can weaken the immune system, making the body more susceptible to infections and illnesses.
5. Sleep Disturbances: Stress often causes insomnia or poor-quality sleep, which can have a significant impact on overall health.
6. Headaches: Tension and stress headaches are common when the muscles in the neck and shoulders tense up.
Thankfully there are ways you can help manage the stress with osteopathy manual therapy techniques, such as:
1. Muscle Relaxation: Osteopathic manipulation techniques can help release tension in muscles, reducing physical stress and discomfort.
2. Improved Circulation: Osteopathy can enhance blood flow, which promotes relaxation and reduces stress by supplying the body with necessary nutrients and oxygen.
3. Pain Reduction: By addressing musculoskeletal issues, osteopathic treatment can alleviate chronic pain, which can be a significant source of stress.
4. Enhanced Relaxation Response: The gentle nature of manual osteopathic therapy helps stimulate our parasympathetic nervous system, which helps the body relax and counteract the stress-inducing effects of the sympathetic nervous system.
5. Stress Reduction through Holistic Approach: Osteopaths often take a holistic approach, addressing not only physical issues but also emotional and mental well-being, which can help reduce overall stress levels. Many times patients apologize for over sharing, but it is all part of the healing journey and can be a key part in helping to manage the stresses in life.
These approaches will help regulate a more restful nights sleep and improve our natural ability to heal itself. Along with improved circulation, digestion and the ability to take deeper full breathes to get oxygen to our brains to function properly. As your manual osteopath I am always happy to provide techniques you can implement at home outside of your sessions with me.
We will never lead a completely stress free life but we can find ways to manage the stress and keep ourselves in a more harmonized way of being. I look forward to seeing you, and to helping to improve your overall wellbeing through reducing stress with osteopathic treatment.