A Chartered Physiotherapist who has a special interest in stress management will identify the causes of stress and teach specific techniques to alleviate the problems of excessive stress in an individual’s life. Everybody has a certain amount of stress in his or her life. Our ability to cope with stress is part of what has made us successful as human beings. The problem arises when we fail to recognise a build up of stress in our lives and take on more than we can handle. It is when the level of stress exceeds our ability to cope with it that it becomes a problem.
Effects of stress on the body
When an individual is under stress, the body produces an increased amount of adrenalin. Unused adrenalin can build up in the system causing muscle tension and
increased blood pressure. It can also lead to disturbed sleep patterns. Unresolved stress may lead to emotional turmoil which in turn can cause anxiety and depression. When we are under pressure we release a surge of stress-related hormones.
Relaxation can cause the opposite, a surge of sedative or calming hormones. Research has shown that relaxation techniques produce chemical changes in the body and a decrease in brain wave activity.
Signs of stress may include emotional problems such as anxiety, lack of interest, an inability to
concentrate, irritability and tension. Physical symptoms may include headache, panic attacks,
increased incidence of asthma attacks, and stress-related skin conditions.
A visit to your Chartered Physiotherapist will include:
- An assessment of your life style, the pressure you perceive yourself to be under, and your ability to cope.
- Advice on how you may change your behaviour.
- Instruction in relaxation and deep breathing techniques.
In order to reduce the level of stress in your life and cope effectively a change in behaviour is required. Just as good physical
health requires healthy eating, fresh air and exercise, good mental health requires the elimination of the factors that are increasing stress in your life and putting in place good practices to ensure adequate leisure and relaxation. This will create balance in your life and increase your ability to cope.
Your Chartered Physiotherapist will teach you the necessary relaxation techniques and give you appropriate advice. Should you need more specialist help your physiotherapist will liaise with your doctor to ensure that you are referred for appropriate counselling and treatment.
A Chartered Physiotherapist is a university graduate with hospital-based training who has comprehensive knowledge of how the body works and specialist training in the diagnosis and treatment of injuries.