top of page

Stress and how it can affect you

Updated: May 5, 2021

Hello fellow foot lovers!

With a pandemic and multiple lockdowns it seemed like my first newsletter couldn’t be about anything other than stress!! There is no doubt that stress impacts all of us. I often find the complexities of modern day living and technology can leave me feeling frazzled at the end of the day. Despite the benefits of being contactable 24/7 by work, friends, and family it often means we have little or no time to wind down and relax. I strongly believe that the impact of long term stress and its associated anxiety disorders can be detrimental to our whole health.

So I thought I would discuss some further information on stress and also share a quick guide to what reflexes should be worked during your treatment and how they may help counterbalance the effects of stress on your body.

Stress and how it can affect you

There is no widely agreed medical definition for stress but feeling overwhelmed and anxious are a common symptoms. Stress is most commonly caused by a reaction to mental or emotional pressure. Some of the most everyday factors such as work, alcohol or relationships can trigger stress but it can also have no obvious cause. Being unwell and fighting an infection or disease can also create stress on the body.

Symptoms of stress

Stress is the body’s natural response to dealing with a dangerous situation as it prepares the body to enter into a fight or flight mode. This is great in a dangerous situation but not so great when triggered by an irritating phone call. We will all experience stress in a different ways and the symptoms suffered can vary widely.

Physically you may get a dry mouth, heart palpitations, feel faint, have headaches, feel exhausted, get ill frequently and grind your teeth. Emotional symptoms can range from being tearful to irritable, feeling deflated or having low self-esteem. You may find yourself unable to concentrate or be forgetful and may show poor judgement. You may know a loved one who has a lack of interest in other people, becomes isolated and demotivated with life. I am sure we can all identify with some of these symptoms.

How the body reacts to stress

The two main body systems that are involved in the stress response are the involuntary nervous system and the endocrine system.

The involuntary nervous system inhibits fight or flight mode and helps the body conserve energy. It can only work efficiently when the body is in a relaxed state and not responding to stressors.

An endocrine gland (adrenal cortex) secretes certain hormones in long term stress. These hormones help the body resist long term stressors and protect it from the long term effects of stress. However, these hormones can also supress the immune system. This may help explain why a long-term symptom of stress is getting ill more frequently.

Reflexology as a treatment

So what can we do to help our bodies relax and get that involuntary nervous system operational! Reflexology is a great way to reclaim an hour of the day and focus on relaxing and switching off.

Below is a list of the reflexes I will work to help oppose the effects of stress on your body.

Direct Reflex Points:

  • Solar Plexus (a complex network of nerves) to calm and relax and promote the functioning of the autonomic nervous system (regulates body functions).

Associated Reflex Points:

  • Diaphragm (muscle between thorax and abdomen) to encourage deep breathing and reduce your sense of urgency.

  • Brain (central organ of nervous system) to encourage the optimal functioning of the parasympathetic nervous system (relaxed state) and help you cope with the effects of stress.

  • Cranial nerves (nerves coming directly from the brain) to help manage stress and any occasional depression.

  • Spine (33 individual bones stacked on top of each other) to promote spinal integrity, release tension and promote relaxation.

  • All endocrine glands (secrete hormones into blood stream) to rebalance the functioning of the body and to nullify the effects of stress and poor sleep.

  • Entire musculo-skeletal system (gives ability for body to move): to combat any unbalanced lifestyle habits and promote posture, thereby increasing the body’s ability to deal with stress.

The important point to remember is self-care or allowing yourself time to relax is not a selfish act, but a really essential part of a healthy lifestyle. So don’t feel guilty, don’t put it off and don’t prioritise other things book yourself some self-care! Having a reflexology treatment may just be the start of your beautiful stress reducing routine.

Helen x

16 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page