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  • Writer's pictureEmma Strapps Shiatsu

Stress & healing

Stress is way up there as one of the underlying causes of illness, disease and imbalances that plague us today. During the last 3 years of COVID induced changes this has become even more apparent. Every day in my shiatsu practice I see the signs of stress wreaking its havoc on my clients. Today, I just want to share some reminders for how stress might be impacting on your health and the best ways to mitigate this.

Stress has us operating in the sympathetic nervous system. That is the fight/flight response where the immune system is surpressed while the body assesses immediate threats. Over time, getting stuck in the sympathetic nervous system means we are living constantly on high alert and it is difficult for our systems to rest and recover. Where we really want to spend more time in the parasympathetic nervous system so the body can rest and digest and return to a state of balance.

Here are some important tools for reducing the stress response:

NOURISH by eating good quality nourishing whole foods low in chemicals, preservatives and additives; eating consciously – chewing food well; eating without external stimulation (i.e., while watching the news); and prioritising eating in a relaxed environment (i.e. at the table with family or friends and not on the run). Try to take a pause-breath before commencing your meal.

BREATH is fundamental for our survival and optimal health. Sometimes we need to learn how to breath for best health not only rely on our unconscious to do it for us! I like to remind clients (and myself) to mindfully check in at various points in their day with some simple deep belly breaths for just a few seconds. There is no shortage of breathing techniques out there so find what works for you. Consider yoga nidra, mindfulness, chi gong, tai chi or meditation.

NATURE is so important yet overlooked! The nourishment we receive when we spend time just being in nature. Schedule in some time in the bush, at the beach, or in your garden contemplating the natural beauty we co-habit with.

So enjoy your time living in a stress-less state!

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