Stress & Your Heart Health
Stress is a normal part of life. The body has a natural reaction to perceived stress known as the sympathetic or “fight or flight” response. This response triggers functions that allow us to escape life threatening situations by increasing the heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar and adrenaline levels for immediate use.
Although there is more research needed to do determine how stress contributes to heart disease, the American Heart Association
claims that stress is linked to behaviors and factors that may increase the risk of heart disease. In times of stress, people often turn to harmful health habits, such as cigarette smoking, overeating, lack of exercise and use of drugs or over-use of alcohol. Studies also suggest that the effect of long-term stress can cause higher blood pressure, higher cholesterol levels, higher triglycerides, inflammation and damage to blood vessels all of which are risks for heart disease.
Managing stress is positive for overall health and heart health.
3 great ways to manage stress levels and promote a healthy heart:
Spending thirty minutes per day walking or engaging in physical activity is a great way to deal with daily stressors. For heart health, aim for at least 30 to 40 minutes, 4 to 5 days a week. Many forms of exercise reduce stress directly, and regular physical activity will likely lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol, and reduce blood sugar levels.
A simple, mindful technique that, if practiced for as few as 10 minutes each day, can help you control stress, decrease anxiety, improve cardiovascular health, and achieve a greater capacity for relaxation. Regular meditation can also improve one’s physical response to stress, reducing the frequency and intensity of the “fight or flight” response.
Research has shown that acupuncture is an effective treatment for reducing chronic stress by regulating the hormones related to the stress response. It is also a very effective method for activating the parasympathetic nervous system to help the body rest, digest and heal.
To get started at Modern Acupuncture, visit our locations page and find the clinic nearest you. Call to make an appointment and our friendly staff will be happy to assist you.
Written by: Adi Korman, MS, L.Ac. | Manager of Clinical Operations for Modern Acupuncture Corporate
[Back to main news page]