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Stress Relief Supplements

The term 'stress' derives from the Middle English term 'destresse,' which itself has the Latin word 'stringere' ("to draw tight") as its root word. The meaning of the Latin term is quite apt for anyone (and that would be all of us – including the Dalai Llama) who have ever experienced the sensation of being stressed. The condition is a result of a complex feedback signalling cascade of cortisol and other hormones. The good news is that there are products that help you manage stress.

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Stress Info

“Reality is the leading cause of stress among those in touch with it.”

Lily Tomlin

 

Interestingly, the term 'stress' was coined in the 1920s - and is derived from the Middle English term destresse, which itself has the Latin word stringere ("to draw tight") as its root. The meaning of the Latin term is quite apt for anyone (and that would be all of us – including the Dalai Llama) who has ever experienced the 'sensation' of being stressed. 

The ambiguity of stress is that it is at the same time, the cause of itself, as well as the result of itself. This makes it a difficult condition to understand, let alone treat in any meaningful way. It all relates to the subtle biological balance (homeostasis) that exists in the body. Nonetheless there are certain treatments available (over and above meditation.)

The concept of homeostasis is central to understanding stress. Most processes in the body strive to maintain a certain amount of biochemical equilibrium. But life isn’t steady and things are always in flux – this is the nature of life on this planet; everything changes. Certain internal and external (environmental factors as well as food ingested) stimuli disrupt the body’s homeostasis. So from a biological perspective, any factors that cause the condition of an organism to move too far away from homeostasis can be interpreted as stress.

A life-threatening situation such as a physical attack or prolonged starvation can greatly disrupt homeostasis. On the other hand, an organism’s effortful attempt at restoring conditions back to or near homeostasis, oftentimes consuming energy and natural resources, can also be interpreted as stress. In such instances, an organism’s fight-or-flight response recruits the body's energy stores and focuses attention to overcome the challenge at hand.

The brain plays a critical role in the body’s perception of and response to stress.

When the hypothalamus receives signals indicating conditions that deviate from the ideal homeostatic state, it induces a stress-response cascade. Resulting in the hypothalamus secreting corticotropin-releasing hormone which causes the pituitary gland to secrete adrenocorticotropic hormone. In turn, the adrenal gland releases cortisol, the final key messenger in the cascade. Cortisol has widespread effects in the body. During an alarming situation in which a threat is detected and signalled to the hypothalamus from primary sensory and limbic structures, cortisol is one way the brain instructs the body to attempt to regain homeostasis – by redistributing energy (glucose) to areas of the body that need it most, that is, toward critical organs (the heart, the brain) and away from digestive and reproductive organs, during a potentially harmful situation in an attempt to overcome the challenge at hand.

Cortisol is a paradoxical hormone in our body. A certain amount of it is needed for optimal health, but too much or too little can be unhealthy. During healthy conditions, cortisol levels peak in the early morning hours (around 8AM) and dip to their lowest between midnight and 4AM. Too much cortisol can suppress the immune system, too little can lead to autoimmunity and rheumatologic disorders – hence the paradox.

Stress management encompasses techniques intended to equip a person with effective coping mechanisms for dealing with psychological stress. Stress management is effective when a person uses strategies to cope with stressful situations. There are several ways of coping with stress, such as controlling the source of stress or learning to set limits and being able to say "no" to some of the demands that family members (or bosses at work)may make. Several studies have also suggested that owning a pet is associated with improved psychological health and in turn lower stress levels.

A person's capacity to tolerate the source of stress may be increased by thinking about another topic such as a hobby, listening to music, or spending time outdoors.

On top of these stress management techniques, there are also certain natural therapeutic products that may help alleviate the symptoms of stress. A diet high in omega-3 fatty acids or supplementing with them, may attenuate the effects of chronic stress by limiting inflammation on the stress physiology of the body. Taking B vitamin supplements may also alleviate the symptoms of stress. 

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For further information and products regarding stress have a look at our Stress and Mood Formulas catalogue

Product Reviews

  • Lovely flavour

    star

    These are the best chamomile teabags I have used - even hubby who is not a fan of herbal teas, thoroughly enjoys drinking this tea. There is no strong "paper teabag" aftertaste and I several friends have requested the brand name.

    Caro

    18/07/17

  • Value for your dollar and they work

    star

    This beats hands down the one I've been taking for years... effective one a day - and of course the Health Post fast delivery and discounts are fabulous

    Marsha

    18/07/17

  • Good for the price

    star

    This magnesium is good value for the price however there are much better products out there. It helped with sleep however for me didn't give any relief from sore muscles etc.

    Chelsea

    17/07/17

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