Stress Impact on Health

We all suffer stress from time to time. This activation of the central nervous system by way of the ‘flight or fight’, or sympathetic nervous system is what helps us to cope with the stressful event at the time. The hypothalamus gland in the brain activates the adrenal glands above the kidneys to produce the stress hormones such as cortisol. Adrenaline and noradrenaline.

These hormones increase the respiratory rate, heart rate, cause muscle tightness, sweating and the liver to produce extra glucose as energy—all of these response mechanisms are healthy, normal, and allow the body to survive the period of stress. Once the stressful event has passed the body goes back to normal functioning and stress hormones are reduced.

Stress becomes a problem when it is long lasting and not short term. Operating for long periods under the sympathetic nervous system can result in significant health disorders including; anxiety, depression, insomnia, irritability, lowered immunity, poor digestive health and can significantly affect reproductive health.

Stress hormones impair the production of other endocrine hormones- such as oestrogen and progesterone, required for a healthy menstrual cycle This can lead to irregular or absent periods, heavier periods or painful periods.

Yoga therapy for menstrual health and fertility not only works to help lower stress hormones, but supports healthy digestion and hormone production

Meditation and mindfulness practices help considerably in lowering stress, and yoga practices massage and activate the glands involved in healthy hormone production