Could your worries be making you ill?
Stress, to a degree, is necessary to human function. Small amounts of stress can be motivating, give a sense of focus and help us to meet our demands throughout work, family and home life.
It is when this stress becomes overwhelming and copious that there lies a problem. Consistently high levels not only drain us mentally and cause emotional exhaustion – it can also make us physically ill.
You may find it surprising to read that the number of illnesses which are inevitable and hard coded in DNA, for example, cystic fibrosis is only 1 in 10,000.
That means that illnesses are increasingly being shown to be as a result of life’s challenging experiences and traumas.
Epigenetics is the field of how life experiences “turn on” and activate the chromosomes on the DNA helix to present into illness.
External factors, such as stress and trauma, can cause the nervous system to become dysregulated and change the internal environment of the body, making us sick!
Sounds absurd at first, but as Rodger encourages us to recognise, everything in the body is connected…
Stuck in Fight or Flight
Our autonomic nervous system is the part of the nervous system that governs automatic responses including dilating pupils, salivation or stomach activity.
This system should fluctuate constantly between what is known as the sympathetic and parasympathetic state. This yin and yang system allows us to do whatever we need to do in rest, activity OR in a threatening, stressful situation.
In parasympathetic, the body is in the relaxed state (like digesting food). The sympathetic state, however, is when we need to become active. It is also associated with stress and fight or flight.
Our fight or flight mode is the body’s natural mechanism to enable us to activate the muscles quickly in a perceived threat. If under constant stress due to previous traumatic events, this response gets ‘stuck on’ and the body will continue to do what is does in stressful situations, just all the time.
This means that we will be releasing excessive inflammatory chemicals into the body like cortisol and adrenaline. We are then unable to fluctuate back into the relaxation state (parasympathetic), effecting our bodies equilibrium.
This imbalance weakens our immune system, and can cause chronic illness!
This is why stress management and addressing our trauma is so important.
We can re-train the nervous system to control the hormone release that will ensure our body is fluctuating regularly.
This will allow normal internal organ function and in turn could lead to a healthier body or even reverse illness.
Rodger uses a mind-body approach to dive deeper than surface level, addressing illnesses as a potential result of stress and trauma.
Our lives will never be completely stress free, but it is important we do not let it dictate our wellbeing, compromising our health and happiness.
See if he can be of help to you or someone you know.