Stress is omnipresent and forever around the corner. Some stress is good for us like exercise, however other forms of stress are very detrimental to our health. We have discussed stress in other blogs and our videos including how we measure it in our practice and what it does to us. Here we are going to discuss briefly the science of modern day armour against stress, and how to best counteract stress.
Remember stress can be physical, chemical or emotional. The brain does not distinguish between stress. Briefly; research shows long-term activation of the stress axis leads to increased inflammation (1), decreased immunity (2, 3), slower wound healing, it can reactivate latent viruses, such as Epstein–Barr virus (EBV), and it can enhance the risk for more severe infectious disease (3).
So here are the simple things you can do that have been shown in scientific studies to help your immune system and help manage stress.
It should be noted that stress management techniques are applicable not only to people who manifest a disease or disorder, but also to healthy people, when added to daily routine practice as an effective tool for health enhancement and protection over the life span, serving thus as a valuable intervention for the healthy population as well (7).
(1) Chrousos. G. P., (2000), “Stress, chronic inflammation, and emotional and physical well-being: Concurrent effects and chronic sequelae”, The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 106(5): S275-S291, https://doi.org/10.1067/mai.2000.110163
(2) Dhabhar, F.S., 2009. Enhancing versus suppressive effects of stress on immune function: implications for immunoprotection and immunopathology. Neuroimmunomodulation, 16(5), pp.300-317.
(3) Godbout, J.P. and Glaser, R., 2006. Stress-induced immune dysregulation: implications for wound healing, infectious disease and cancer. Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology, 1(4), pp.421-427.
(4) Goldsmith, J.R. and Sartor, R.B., 2014. The role of diet on intestinal microbiota metabolism: downstream impacts on host immune function and health, and therapeutic implications. Journal of gastroenterology, 49(5), pp.785-798.
(5) Zaharna, M. and Guilleminault, C., 2010. Sleep, noise and health. Noise and Health, 12(47), p.64.
(6) Gerber, M. and Pühse, U., 2009. Do exercise and fitness protect against stress-induced health complaints? A review of the literature. Scandinavian journal of public health, 37(8), pp.801-819.
(7) Varvogli, L. and Darviri, C., 2011. Stress Management Techniques: evidence-based procedures that reduce stress and promote health. Health science journal, 5(2), p.74.
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