Stress and the Effect on One’s Health

The key to optimal health is the avoidance of stress (see types of stress below) and the implementation of healthy habits.  One of the most important jobs I have as a chiropractor is to help people discover their sources of stress and eliminate them or help improve them.  I also, teach people healthy habits to help improve their immune system.  Good habits include hand washing, eating healthy, exercise, meditation, hydration, and enough sleep. When a person can improve their immune system with good health habits and avoid stress, this is the point where they will be able to initiate self healing and will thus be in balance with their external environment.
Types of stress 

Mechanical -slips and falls, auto accidents, poor ergonomics at the workplace.

Emotional -psychological  stress, death of a loved one, exams

Nutritional-a lack of a certain nutrient or an excess of a nutrient

Chemical- smoking, alcohol, artificial sweeteners 

Environmental- mold, allergens, pollution

Hans Selye was a Hungarian endocrinologist who lived from 1907-1982.  He is most acclaimed for his GAS theory (General Adaptation Syndrome) theory, which is his explanation of what the body experiences physiologically and psychologically when they encounter a stress.  In stage 1  (alarm stage) when a person first experiences a stress, their fight of flight response is initiated by the sympathetic nervous system and stress hormones like cortisol and andrenaline are released.  In stage two (resistance stage), the parasympathetic nervous system tries to balance out the sympathetic nervous system.  The person appears normal externally as they are figuring out how to resist this stress.  Their stress hormones are still elevated as well as their blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar.  In the final stage (exhaustion stage), if the person is not capable of overcoming the stress, then they will become more susceptible to disease and death.  

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” -Hans Selye