Stress – “A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances”
Let’s face it, we have probably all been stressed at some point in our lives. It’s unavoidable in today’s society be it from work, family, relationships, financial difficulties or illness. The body is designed to protect itself from harm during times of physical or emotional stress. In the short term we can cope but if it is continued or suppressed it can have negative consequences to our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.
Initially when we are under stress or if the stress is mild, we may not notice any symptoms. However, if the stress is ongoing or severe and over an extended period of time, it affects the body physically and emotionally and in various ways. We may experience headaches, lack of energy, nausea, digestive disorders such as diarrhoea or constipation, colds or infections. Emotional repercussions include insomnia, anxiety and depression.
Severe shock leads the body into the fight or flight response whereby it reacts automatically to protect us. It puts us on high alert, our bodies get flooded with adrenaline, and all our energy is sent to only the most vital organs (heart and lungs and muscles to help us to get away from danger). Non vital organs and systems are closed down. The fight or flight response remains until we have used all our energy reserves.
In fight or flight mode we may shake or shudder. We may freeze on the spot or we may try to dampen or hide our feelings so as not to appear afraid. If we do either of these then the unused energy remains in the body and the result is that the body remains in a constant state of fight or flight. This state is likened to driving with our foot down on the accelerator and then slamming your brakes on with the engine still revving. It isn’t good for the car and it certainly isn’t good for our physical and emotional well being.
Babies and children are lucky, they can cry, scream or even throw a tantrum when they are stressed. They release the pent up energy but as adults we don’t behave this way and so the pent up energy has nowhere to go. Some adults are actively trained NOT to draw attention to themselves or express their feelings and emotions. The tension and stress on the body affects the way it functions and this may present itself immediately, or it may build up over many years.
We cannot SEE deeply held tension but a craniosacral therapist can FEEL it. During treatment your craniosacral therapist will create an atmosphere where the body feels safe enough to let go of tightness, tension, stress and imbalances that you may not even be aware are there.
The body may, during a treatment, start to shake and tremble and release suppressed physical and emotional pain. The letting go of stress allows the whole body to self correct and function better and healthier.
When working with trauma craniosacral therapy is particularly useful because it’s the body not the mind that sets the pace of healing. Craniosacral therapy is a treatment that allows us to recover from a sometimes overwhelming experience in a gentle, calm and supportive manner.