Harkey: Outrunning Modern Tigers

By MICHELLE HARKEY
Body-Connection Coach & LMT
 
You’ve probably all heard of the fight-flight-freeze response, which the body and mind employ to survive stressful or life-threatening situations. That rush of adrenaline, which made it possible for our early ancestors to flee from saber tooth tigers or fight bands of marauders still shows up in our modern lives but what we do with it is much different.

The complex combination of chemicals released by a stress response inhibits digestion and immune response and increases blood pressure, respiration and blood to the limbs. This is the perfect response to a physical threat which requires a physical reaction to use the chemicals released.

Today’s stressful deadline tigers cannot be outrun and the marauders are more likely to be in cyberspace than in a dark alley. The chemical imperative for action is still present, but the outlet to use the stress response productively is inhibited by circumstance and society. The sympathetic nervous system gets turned on, but typically not turned off.

The build-up of adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol can manifest physically as eye twitching, teeth grinding, chronic muscular tension, digestive issues, high blood pressure, shallow breathing, anxiety and depression.

The genius of the body has a built-in stress reversal system known as the parasympathetic nervous system. Turning on this relaxation response is the equivalent of outrunning the tiger. The most popular ways to trigger the relaxation response are massage, meditation, yoga, being in nature, having fun and living in the present.

Sometimes, however, the repercussions of living a stress-filled life are not adequately addressed by the suggestions above. Medical intervention may be required, and a more comprehensive approach to releasing accumulated stress from the nervous system is helpful.

One way to do this is through Trauma Release Exercises (TRE). TRE was created by David Berceli to assist people to overcome PTSD and other long-term stress-related issues.

TRE and other aspects of body-connection coaching will be taught Saturday evening, Sept. 6, by Michelle Harkey as part of her Body-Connection Workshop. This workshop is perfect for anyone who is experiencing the effects of stress or historical trauma, people who assist others through overcoming stress, and anyone who wants to connect to her body on a deeper, more meaningful level to achieve greater health and well-being. Space is very limited. Contact Michelle at michelle@michelleharkey.com for workshop information.

Michelle Harkey is a Body-Connection Coach and Licensed Massage Therapist who specializes in assisting people to return to health and vitality through accessing the wisdom of the body and the genius of the mind. Learn more at http://www.michelleharkey.com/, https://www.facebook.com/MichelleHarkeyMentor?ref=hl and https://twitter.com/harkey_michelle.

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