Cortisol, a Dangerous Hormone
The Mayo Clinic states that “the long-term activation of the stress-response system — and the subsequent overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones — can disrupt almost all your body’s processes”.
This puts you at increased risk of many health issues, including:
- Heart Problems
- Digestive problems
- Depression and anxiety
- Changes in memory
- Worsening of skin conditions, such as eczema
- Depressed immune system
Cortisol is a hormone that is released in response to stress. Too much cortisol or an overexposure for a long period of time will lead to the chronic stress response.
What Is the Chronic Stress Response?
Our bodies are designed to deal with stress for a short time. This is what’s known as the fight or flight response, which is there to help us fight off a lion or run away from it.
But when an initial stress reaction becomes a chronic stress response, that’s when we run into problems.
According to Wikipedia, “Chronic stress is the response to emotional pressure suffered for a prolonged period over which an individual perceives he or she has no control.”
High stress jobs, traffic, poor diet, lack of exercise and an inability to unplug and relax has led to the chronic stress response becoming the norm rather than the exception in our society.
In fact, it’s estimated that up to 90% of doctor’s visits are for conditions in which stress at least plays a role!”
3 Natural Ways to Decrease Stress Hormones
With all the stress that each of us are dealing with on a daily basis. It is important that we have ways for our bodies to adapt to a stressful lifestyle.
Here are 3 of the best:
Massage therapy has been shown to significantly improve hormone balance. The International Journal of Neuroscience, analyzed a large amount of data associated with massage therapy and stress. They found significant decreases in bad stress hormones such as cortisol (average decrease 31%) with people who regularly receive massage therapy.
And good hormones such as serotonin and dopamine, which have been shown to decrease the chronic stress response were found to increase due to massage. The average increase was 28% for serotonin and an average increase of 31% for dopamine.
The study authors concluded, “these studies combined suggest the stress-alleviating effects (decreased cortisol) and the activating effects (increased serotonin and dopamine) of massage therapy on a variety of medical conditions and stressful experiences.”
Chiropractic adjustments do a lot more than just help with back problems. Chiropractic care, like that offered by Aligned Modern Health, improves joint range of motion, mobility, flexibility and posture.
Chiropractic care has also been shown to positively influence stress hormones. Dramatic decreases of cortisol levels and improved immune system function has been noted in research into chiropractic.
This improvements in stress hormones allows your body to better adapt to your daily stresses.
When was the last time you exercised?
Exercise has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Many people report they just feel better if they are regularly exercising. That’s because exercise reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, such as serotonin and dopamine. These good hormones are the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators.
So now is the time to apply these stress reducing behaviors and watch the effects in your own life.
About the author: Dr. Bill Davis has more than 15 years of experience in chiropractic. As a chiropractic patient, student, associate doctor, clinic director and now a writer for the chiropractic industry. Dr. Davis has been published in the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research, featured in the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association News and is currently writing blog posts and articles for a growing number of chiropractic offices throughout the country. Dr. Davis is a husband and father of 3 and is passionate about all things chiropractic. You can connect with Dr. Davis on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.