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The website of Author/Writer and Psychic Medium Astrid Brown. Making the most of 'YOU' i.e. how to achieve well-being and beauty from within ourselves. A truly holistic blog providing information on all aspects of psychic mediumship, spiritualism, philosophy, holistic therapies, nutrition, health, stress, mental health and beauty with a little bit of Wicca for good measure. Feeling and looking good is as much a part of how we feel inside as the outside.

Astrid Brown is an Author and a Professional Medium/Psychic who writes vastly on her experiences, some of which are in her books and others on her blogs and personal web pages. She is an experienced College Lecturer in Holistic Studies and Reiki Master. She currently freelances and writes periodically for an online magazine and works for a large well known international psychic company as a professional psychic medium. She resides in the UK.

CURRENT MOON

Saturday, 16 March 2013

WORRYING CAN MAKE YOU ILL


This article below mine comes from the 'Daily Mail' and I have been saying this for years. The article talks about levels of C-reactive protein rising in the blood, but that's not all that happens in the body. Worrying and stress was nature's way of keeping us alert and reacting to danger quickly, however we don't have the same stresses today as way back in our ancestory.
 
Well this goes way back to the times when we were developing as humans and in early periods in history. The body's chemistry was designed to protect us with "The fight or flight response". For example man sees a big bear approach what does he do? he either tackles it or he runs off. Nature is very clever and gives us the capacity to do this. However in 2011 we no longer have the bears, wolves, etc. (ok some of you may) like of yesteryear we have different stresses. Your work colleagues or your neighbours may annoy you but you can't fight them, nor can you run away, but you can learn to deal and dissipate your stress levels so that it doesn't impinge on your health.

But firstly we need to deal with the science bit for if we understand the physiology of stress we're half way there to solving the impact stress has on our lives.

THE SCIENCE BIT

Deep within the brain we have an area known as the Hypothalamus (1), its the home of our moods and emotions and a very primitive part of the brain. The Hypothalamus is also the area that maintains equilibrium in our bodies and it maintains and regulates every bit of our body's chemistry. It is the area that controls the Endocrine system, it forms part of the Autonomic Nervous System and part of the Limbic System. It is Hypothalmus that is the key to managing stress and all its detrimental effects on our mind and body. It is directly through this area that the holistic therapy Aromatherapy works and is managed by other holistic therapies.

Since the Hypothalamus is the home of moods and emotions anything that affects these will influence the Hypothalamus, thus will have an effect on the body's equilibrium.

Now if we are stressed and modern stressors are not the same as those stressors we had as we were evolving as humans, they still have the same effect resulting in "the fight or flight response"

(1)The Role of the Hypothalamus

The Hypothalamus is the part of the brain that controls the endocrine system.

The Pituitary gland lies beneath the Hypothalamus and it is this that controls the other endocrine glands.

The Hypothalamus receives information about the Homeostasis (balance) of the body, this is achieved by two means:

The blood circulation i.e. temperature, blood glucose levels and hormone levels
The nervous system i.e. The Autonomic Nervous system i.e. the part of the nervous system that regulates automatic functions e.g. breathing, heart rate etc. and mental and emotional states, our feelings: these influence ‘automatic responses’ e.g. ‘The fear, flight response’

The Hypothalamus responds to these changes by:

Secreting Hormones (chemical messengers) that regulate hormones to be released by the anterior lobe of the pituitary
The hypothalamus also directly releases hormones via the Posterior Lobe of the Pituitary , Vasopressin (ADH) and Oxytocin
And by stimulating a nerve response to the ‘Central Nervous System’ (Brain & spinal Cord)

SO WHAT HAPPENS IN THE FIGHT OR FLIGHT RESPONSE?

Moods/emotions affect the hypothalamus, the hypothalamus evokes a reaction on the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland produces Adrenocorticotropic hormone this in turn targets the adrenal glands causing them to secrete Cortisone, Cortisone in turn effects the kidneys causing a rise in blood pressure by causing changes in the amount of salt secreted, this hormone causes the body to retain salt. Now remember the Hypothalamus one of its jobs is to maintain the body's equilibrium, it detects a rise in salt levels in the blood so to keep balance it causes the body to retain fluid, it is this retained fluid that increases blood pressure. At the same time, the Hypothalamus being part of the Central Nervous System evokes what is known as the Sympathetic Nervous System this diverts blood away from the digestive system and to lesser important body structures such as the skin and concentrates the blood to the heart, lungs and muscles. Simultaneously this nervous response influences the adrenal glands to produce Adrenalin and Noradrenalin, it is these hormones that induces vasoconstriction (reduces the blood supply) to the skin and peripheral tissues, thus also raising blood pressure.

Now this is putting it simply there are a few other processes also going on to increase blood sugar to give the body fuel to either run off or fight, Corticotrophic hormones influence the pancreas to secrete glucagon this has the opposite effect as insulin.

When the stress is over the Parasympathetic Nervous reverses the process again it is the Hyptholamus that instigates this.

Obviously its much more complex than this and I have focused on a few key hormones as it the action of these hormones that affects our well-being, the ageing process and blood pressure.

The fight or flight response was not designed to last forever it was meant ti instigate an action to deal with an aggressor, be it a wild animal or in a fight with an attacker therein lies the problem modern stressors tends to be work, work colleagues etc. the stress becomes long acting, this kind of reaction is fine in the short term but very detrimental to the body in the long term.


Take Cortisone, it has a damaging effect on specialised cells within the dermis (the skin), fibroblasts, these cells produce collagen and elastin, it is collagen and elastin that gives our skin elasticity and support. Adrenalin reduces blood supply to the peripheral tissues, such as the skin and hair, therefore, these structures do not receive adequate nourishment from the blood. So the effect of long term stress affects the skin resulting in ageing of the skin. However the skin is the least of our problems, those same hormones are responsible for raising the blood pressure, (fine if its short term) long term it put's strain on the heart having to pump harder, this in turn puts stress on the arteries and the tiny arteries (arterioles) within the kidneys and can cause damage to them. The raised blood pressure can lead to strokes and the circulating Cortisone as well as damaging the fibroblasts in the skin damages specialised white blood cells the T-lymphocytes which are instrumental in keeping our immune system healthy and enabling us to fight infection. The immune system is also responsible for destroying rogue mutant cells that can induce cancer. 

This stress response was only designed to be for the short term and it works very well in this way to protect us from danger. But you need to ask yourself what are you worrying about? what will it achieve? My personal philosophy is this: if I can do something to alleviate my worry, I will strive to do this or seek help if I can't do so myself, if however no one can help what is the point of worrying, what will it achieve? as we can see ill health and we don't need this as well. The other part of my philosophy is this: thoughts are energy and like attracts 'like' in the universe, so negative thinking will attract negative energy and situations to us and likewise positive thoughts attract positive energy and situations to us. So it is true dwelling on stressful events can weaken your immune system and make you ill. However 'Daily Mail' and researchers us in Holistic Medicine have known this for decades

********

Article below from the 'Daily Mail'


Are you a born worrier? Just dwelling on stressful events can weaken your immune system and make you ill

  • Researchers at Ohio University studied 34 healthy young women
  • They were asked to give a speech about her candidacy for a job
  • Half of the group was asked to contemplate their performance
  • For this half of the group levels of an inflammatory marker rose

Worrying too much about stressful events can trigger inflammation, according to a new study.
Researchers found dwelling on negative events can increase levels of inflammation in the body.
They discovered that when study participants were asked to ruminate on a stressful incident, their levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of tissue inflammation, rose.
The study is the first time to directly measure this effect in the body.
Worrying too much? Researchers found dwelling on negative events can increase levels of inflammation in the body
Worrying too much? Researchers found dwelling on negative events can increase levels of inflammation in the body

Study lead author Peggy Zoccola, an assistant professor of psychology at Ohio University in the United States, said: 'Much of the past work has looked at this in non-experimental designs.
'Researchers have asked people to report their tendency to ruminate, and then looked to see if it connected to physiological issues. It's been correlational for the most part.'
The research team recruited 34 healthy young women to participate in the project. 
 
    Each woman was asked to give a speech about her candidacy for a job to two interviewers in white laboratory coats, who listened with 'stone-faced' expressions.
    Half of the group was asked to contemplate their performance in the public speaking task, while the other half was asked to think about neutral images and activities, such as sailing ships or grocery store trips.
    The researchers drew blood samples that showed that the levels of C-reactive protein were significantly higher in the subjects who were asked to dwell on the speech.
    The study found that when study participants were asked to ruminate on a stressful incident, their levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of tissue inflammation, rose
    The study found that when study participants were asked to ruminate on a stressful incident, their levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of tissue inflammation, rose
    For these participants, the levels of the inflammatory marker continued to rise for at least one hour after the speech.
    During the same time period, the marker returned to starting levels in the subjects who had been asked to focus on other thoughts.
    The C-reactive protein is primarily produced by the liver as part of the immune system's initial inflammatory response.
    It rises in response to traumas, injuries or infections in the body.
    C-reactive protein is widely used as a clinical marker to determine if a patient has an infection, but also if he or she may be at risk for disease later in life.
    Doctor Zoccola said: 'More and more, chronic inflammation is being associated with various disorders and conditions.
    'The immune system plays an important role in various cardiovascular disorders such as heart disease, as well as cancer, dementia and autoimmune diseases.'
    Now Dr Zoccola is working with Fabian Benencia in Ohio University's Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and Lauren Mente, a registered nurse and graduate student in the School of Nursing, to investigate the effect of rumination on additional inflammation markers.
    She also hopes to study the issue in other populations, such as older adults, who might be vulnerable to rumination and health problems.
    She was due to present the findings at the annual meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society in Miami.