When we hear the words stress, we often think about stress at work or emotional stress felt during arguments. The truth is, stress can come in many forms.
- Physical Stress - chronic postural habits, running a big race or a fall
- Emotional Stress - anger, grief, anxiety etc
- Chemical Stress - from our external environment (Cleaning products, pollen, exhaust fumes or internal (alcohol, allergen foods, processed foods)
We call the things that cause stress, stressors. When a stressor is present, our bodies and the bodies of your children have two possible outcomes.
- Copes and Recovers - The body can cope with stress. It is able to work well at restoring homeostatic balance. Meaning that there are no long-term consequences and the body returns to the same resting point at the beginning.
- Compensates & Chronic Stress - The body is unable to cope with the stress and has to shift normal function to cope. As Chiropractors we often will see the effects of stress experienced reflected in the physical body. The body usually enters into 'fight or flight', the instinctive acute physiology response a body has to a threatening situation.
Consequences of 'Fight or Flight'
If stressors are constantly present, and 'fight or flight'is triggered over and over, there is a chronic change that happens. Stress hormones and other chemicals in the body are released continuously.
This makes it difficult for children & adults alike to settle and relax. Although 'Fight or Flight'is a normal reaction for the body to create when faced with a stressor, if its not normal for it be 'switched on'long-term.
You may see your child experience the following when fight or flight is triggered;
- Interruptions to the normal sleep patterns, failure to develop regular patterns or waking tired
- Poor digestion, sluggish digestion or gassiness
- Poor or slow healing cycle
- Poor concentration
- Low immunity