Is Functional Medicine the Key to Stress Management?

No one is free from the stresses that life brings. The differences come in the amount of stress that each person is under and the way they handle it. Long-term stress with no healthy way of dealing with it has surprisingly ill effects on your physical health.

Here are some of the ways that stress can affect your body over time:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Personality disorders
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Obesity and other eating disorders
  • Menstrual issues
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Skin issues
  • Hair loss
  • Intestinal distress

Clearly, finding a healthy way to manage your stress is of vital importance!

Before you start taking medications that may do you more harm than good, consider some of these alternatives that can help you get your stress under control in a healthy way.

Nutrition 

There are certain foods that have been shown to have a positive effect on mood and to lower stress.  Try some of the following when you’re feeling the heaviness of stress:

  • Dark green leafy vegetables.
  • Turkey
  • Oatmeal
  • Yogurt
  • Salmon
  • Blueberries
  • Pistachios
  • Dark chocolate
  • Milk
  • Seeds
  • Avocado
  • Cashews

Taking control of your diet and being mindful of what effect your food has on your stress level will go a long way in resolving some of those chronic worries you’ve been hanging onto.

Music 

Music’s ability to calm and soothe has been recognized for centuries. Making music and listening to music can both have a positive effect on physical, cognitive, emotional and social functioning.

Meditation and yoga 

There has been much study of the effects of meditation and yoga on the management of stress. Yoga’s focus on mind, body, and spirit has been touted for centuries as a pathway to health and longevity. Many people combine the practice of meditation with their yoga practices and experience great success. You can practice it on your own in your home or you can sign up for a class that meets at regular intervals.

Even if you don’t carve out enough time to practice yoga every day, it’s good for your health to at least spend some private time in quiet meditation at least once a day.

Acupuncture 

Acupuncture involves an acupuncturist inserting a small needle into certain identified acupuncture points throughout the body. These points fall onto certain “meridians” and correspond to different organs. An acupuncturist may target the “Zusanli” point, which is a spot right below the knee. Stimulating this area can successfully alleviate stress.

The practice appears to block the dispersion of stress-inducing hormones which keeps your mood balanced. It has been shown to release endorphins that have a mood-boosting effect.

It’s well worth your time and effort to find non-prescription ways to manage your stress. Your health depends on it!

If you are interested in finding out more about the ways in which alternative medicine therapies can help you alleviate the chronic stress you’ve been suffering from.

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