Body Talk part 3 Fight/Flight by guest blogger Dr. Andrea Robbins

jackhammer 2I like to teach people in ways that they will understand. Most of you have seen or worked on a construction site. You recognize the Bricklayer and The Jackhammer Operator.  The jackhammer operator is in the business of destruction. The bricklayer has the job of construction. Both of these processes are equally important.  If there is a hardscape and you must dig a foundation on which to erect a building, the  operator must perform his part before the bricklayer begins the construction of a new building.  Our bodies work in much the same way.  There is a balance in the destruction and breakdown of diseased, old or injured tissues before the way can be prepared for the construction of new and healthier cells and tissues.  The tissues and organs breakdown and repair themselves continually and in differing rates, so that in seven years you have all different tissues than you had before, however, some are already breaking down again and ready for repair.  That balance is controlled by your nervous system.bricklayer

Stress has a negative impact on the nervous system.  How many of you have heard the term fight or flight syndrome?  This describes our body’s ability to handle very stressful or life threatening situations.  Let me give you an example.  A caveman must go out to hunt a saber toothed tiger for meat for his family.  When he is confronted with the snarling, clawing tiger he must choose to fight or to flee. The first thing that happens is that adrenaline is released. In this instance, his body reacts by giving him extraordinary physical ability to handle an extraordinary situation.

Can you think of any example in your life?  Have you had to pull a drowning victim from a lake? Or grab your child from running in front of a car? What did you feel at the time? And what did you feel after the danger had passed?

So what does this have to do with our everyday lives?  I haven’t had to kill a tiger lately or go hungry. Have you?  But we face stressful situations frequently in our life that cause the same responses to a lesser degree.  It’s called adrenalin leak. The problem with it is twofold.  One problem is the amount of breakdown or destruction that occurs. It is not in balance with the construction of new cells. Secondly when adrenalin continually leaks, we may find that we have run out at a most inopportune time. Deep breathing is a great tool to get out of fight/flight syndrome. Stop what you are doing. Right now; or after you read the next sentence!  Take 10 deep breaths with your eyes closed. Do this every 2 hours. You’ll feel better!


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