In today’s times, we are unfortunately surrounded by stress – work, family, city living, health, money – the list goes on. Stress negatively impacts almost every biochemical pathway in our bodies and contributes to anxiety, poor sleep, low immunity, digestive disturbances, problematic skin, infertility, menstrual irregularities, fatigue, hormone imbalances such as. thyroid disorders, burnout and so much more.
Fortunately, there are many herbal, nutritional, dietary, and lifestyle practices that can support a healthy stress response.
A key factor is sufficient dietary protein and ensuring our nutritional status is maintained. When stressed we utilise a variety of nutrients much faster – we burn through magnesium, protein, vitamin C, and B vitamins at a much higher rate than normal. This is because these nutrients are required for the production of stress hormones i.e. adrenaline. They are also required for key body systems such as our immune system, reproductive systems, and nervous system. You can see how, if we are using up all of our stores on making stress chemicals, then other systems and organs which require these nutrients to function properly will be depleted.
Herbal medicine is also excellent at supporting the stress response. In Western herbal medicine, we have a class of herbs known as‘ adaptogens’. These herbs help to modulate the body's stress response, increasing the body's capacity to deal with stress, and preventing burnout or adrenal fatigue. Some well-known adaptogens include Rhodiola and Ashwagandha. Herbal medicines can interact with certain medications and may not be suitable for everybody, therefore they are best prescribed by a qualified herbalist or naturopath.
Psychotherapy is another great tool that can help us work through our day to day problems, emotions, any unresolved trauma or just to be supported by someone with an objective point of view who is outside of your circle of regular family and friends. If you would like to learn more about managing stress levels and preventing burn-out please contact us.