WHAT IS STRESS?

The body's stress response is an in-built survival system, designed to keep humankind alive. When our primitive ancestors caught sight of a tiger, a whole series of physiological events, also known as the fight-or-fight response, would happen in order to enhance their chances of survival: stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol flood the system, causing...

Increase in heart rate, Increase in blood pressure, quickening of breath, contraction of muscles, shutting down of digestive system, shutting down of immune system.

As products of evolution, our body reacts in much the same way to stress, whether the threat is real or imagined. Our tigers might come in the form of a boss, financial worry, relationship issues or emotional traumas, all of which can activate the stress response. If not released or resolved, this may eventually manifest as some form of imbalance or dis-ease, such as headaches, backaches, allergies, eczema, anxiety, or just an inability to be our happiest, most effective selves. In fact, it is estimated by the American Institute of Stress that 70-90% of doctor visits are for stress-related illnesses.