Stress Management

The stress syndrome
With animals, we call it "the fight or flight syndrome." Faced with a threat, an animal will either fight or flee. Both these actions require extra energy quickly available, and to facilitate this task the adrenal glands secrete a number of hormones that put the organism into overdrive. When all the responses to the fight or flight syndrome are turned on at once, then we have the phenomenon known as "panic." Faced with similar situations, civilized man cannot fight, and cannot take flight. Both actions are considered uncouth, unseemly, uncivilized.

But nature often fails to recognize such niceties. Primitive man reacts just like the beasts he hunts-that is the way of all flesh. But we are not just flesh. We have manners, mores, civilities. So, the civilized reaction to threat, real or imaginary, we call "stress." This causes a number of reactions collectively known as the "general adaptation syndrome." Three phases are recognized: alarm, resistance and exhaustion. All are controlled by the adrenal glands.

A glandular complex
The adrenals are located just above the kidneys. Their internal parts or medullae, secrete hormones like adrenaline (epinephrine) and noradrenaline (norepinephrine), connected with the process of fight-or-flight, but also nervous control over functions like the heart rate, respiration, digestion, etc. The outer part or cortex secretes three different kinds of corticosteroids. Glucocorticoids like cortisone that control glucose metabolism, suppress the immune system and reduce inflammation. Mineralcorticoids like aldosterone that can increase the retention of sodium and the excretion of potassium. And 17-ketosteroids or sex hormones.

Animal experiments show that control of the stressor, that is the agent responsible for stress, involves fewer risks for developing ulcers and similar ailments. On the other hand, uncontrolled stress tends to reduce or deplete norepinephrene in the brain, and this in turn increases the risks for ulcers, heart disease, cancer, etc.

The adrenal response
The initial response to alarm is a release of adrenaline and similar hormones. They boost the heart rate, cause the liver to flood the bloodstream with glucose, switch blood and glucose to the muscles and the brain, raise the breathing rate to supply the extra oxygen, increase sweat production to eliminate toxins and to cool the body, and drastically reduce digestive secretions which are of minor importance in an emergency.

The second or resistance phase allows fight or flight to go on, beyond the liver's glucose capacity. For this reason released glucocorticoids convert protein to energy, while mineralcorticoids retain sodium to maintain high blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and control roused emotional reactions. But the adrenal glands can become exhausted from continuous or excessive demands. This may cause a weakening or collapse of internal organs or even a total collapse of body functions.

Other conditions linked to psychological stress range from angina and asthma to rheumatoid arthritis and ulcers. Remember, we do not all react in the same way to the same external stress. Our reactions are as different as we are.

Our program
Our personalized program of stress management involves the right nutritional support, adrenal glands support, and advice for a healthier lifestyle, since a large number of health disorders are linked to psychological stress as previously described.

Briefly our program offers,

  1. Comprehensive measures. The identification of the major sources of stress in your life and their causes.
  2. Diet. What foods to eat, how to eat them, what to reduce or eliminate at least for a while, so as to minimize the effects of stress, and check its intensity.
  3. Nutritional supplements. What vitamins, minerals, trace elements, amino acids, fatty acids, enzymes, etc, you need to ease the effects of stress, the dosages and times to take them, so as to avoid nutrient interactions.
  4. Botanical support. Which standardized herbal preparations may be of help to ease stressful situations, their dosages, contraindications, etc.
  5. Lifestyle changes. Depending on the intensity of stress, its management may require from minor to major lifestyle changes. In either case, advise and support will be provided for your particular requirements and circumstances.
  6. Exercise. Often exercise helps to reduce stress and moderate its effects. Assistance will be provided to choose the types of exercises that help your condition, and avoid these that may make it worse.
  7. Physical therapies. Other forms of treatment that may be of help such as acupuncture, aromatherapy, flower therapy, massage therapy, homeopathy, etc