TENSION, discomfort, STRESS, ILLNESS
We are healthy when we’re able to fully digest everything we take in, extracting what is nourishing and eliminating whatever doesn’t serve us. This includes our food, our relationships, our jobs, our wishes, and all our life experiences. A disruption in the flow of movements, thoughts, behaviours and emotions causes stress.
Tension, discomfort and stress affect how we behave and how we feel at the emotional, mental and physical level. Although some stress helps us to perform, if we're constantly stressed, our body stays in a state of high alert and we may develop stress-related illnesses.
The stress response has three stages: the alarm reaction, the stage of resistance, and the stage of exhaustion. The stress response is characterized by activation of the sympathetic nervous system and release of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. These influence the functioning of our whole body and are meant to prepare us for the fight-or-flight response. This reaction is over-the-top for most of the challenges that we face in the 21st century. Chronic stress is harmful for our body-mind system. Stress causes many symptoms at the emotional, mental, behavioural and organ level. It not only leads to burnout, but also gives rise to digestive, respiratory and cardiovascular disorders. Stress also influences our posture and sensory-motor responses. Tension builds up in the musculoskeletal system and leads for example to back, neck or shoulder pain. Furthermore, the tenser the body becomes, the greater the difficulty to relax, both physically and mentally. And thus, we end up in a vicious circle of discomfort, unable to turn off the stress response.