Stress is the Root of All Evil.

Stress makes you fat. 

Stress contributes to premature aging. 

Stress can negatively affect your sex life.

Even if you think you can handle the daily stressors that life throws your way, both short and long-term stress are wreaking havoc on your body.

Signs that you are stressed:
  • Fatigue
  • Forgetfulness
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Lack of motivation
  • Loss of concentration
  • Muscular Pain
  • Headaches
  • Increased Alcohol Consumption
Stress can also cause more severe medical conditions:
  • Frequent colds and flus
  • Chest pains
  • Digestive problems
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Elevated heart rate at rest
  • Sexual problems (lack of desire, erectile dysfunction, or premature ejaculation)
  • Skin eruptions
  • Alzheimer's and Dementia read the recent study
When we are stressed, our bodies go into a state of fight or flight, which is regulated by the sympathetic nervous system. Our heart rate increases, muscles tense up, our hearing is sharpened - We are completely alert. 

The adrenaline starts pumping through our veins and our cortisol levels go up. All this helps to increase our odds of survival in times of acute stress - like being chased by a lion. 

Because our bodies redirect all of the resources away from the digestive and immune systems in order to deal with the perceived threat, we ideally don’t want to be in this state for too long. Once the danger or acute stressor has passed, the parasympathetic nervous system returns us to a state of rest and digest.

This response to acute stress is all great and good in theory, but the reallity is that most of us experience constant low-levels of stress everyday:

  • Living in a city
  • Commuting from place to place
  • Work deadlines 
  • Family/relationship obligations
  • Financial worries
  • Lack of sleep
  • Self-induced pressures 

Everyday our bodies think that we are being chased by a lion and it responds accordingly. 

Stress and Your Gut
Recent studies have shown that exposure to social stressors dramatically alters the structure of our digestive system, literally changing the environment of our intestinal bacteria. About 70% of our immune system is housed in the gastro-intestinal tract, so even a little stress can not only affect our digestion, but it also makes us more suseptible to illness.

Stress and Aging
We already know that too much sun, a poor diet, and smoking can make us look (and feel) older, but science is quickly learning that acute and chronic stress ages us on a cellular level.

Scientific studies on stress and aging are focusing on the effects of stress on telomeres, the caps at the ends of chromosomes - the molecules that carry our genes. When cells devide, the shorter the telomeres get. This should happen naturally over time until the telomere gets so short, that it eventually dies. Cell death = aging. 

Stress speeds up this process. The more intense or chronic the stress, the sooner we will begin to experience premature signs of aging.

Reduce your stress level right now with these 10 de-stressing tips:
  1. Move your body - moderate exercise, gentle stretching, walking, dancing, etc.
  2. Breathe Deeply 
  3. Eat Fresh - avoid processed foods and alcohol - which can actually disrupt your bodies calming process.
  4. Break up your goals - don't tackle too many tasks at once.
  5. Learn to say "No"
  6. Have SEX  a 2006 study examined the relationship between sex and reduced stress/anxiety.
  7. Get some sunshine
  8. Listen to music
  9. Massage your ears watch my instructional video now.
  10. Get Acupuncture
Acupuncture Reduces Stress Levels
In the first study of its kind, a team of scientists discovered that the ancient Chinese therapy acutally reduces levels of a protein linked to chronic stress, neuropeptide Y (NPY).

The U.S. study observed that acupuncture significantly decreased the levels of this protein in the blood and more importanltly, the stress-reducing effects of acupuncture were lasting.

Contact me today to learn how acupuncture can help you experience less stress and live a longer and healthier life.

This blog post is part 1 of a 3-part focus on Men's Health related issues. Read the next two articles in the series:

Acupuncture and Male Sexual Health