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Seattle Naturopath Talks About the Impact of Stress on the Body and Gives Tips for Natural Stress Reduction Tips

Seattle Naturopath Talks About the Impact of Stress on the Body and Gives Tips for Natural Stress Reduction Tips


Dr. Katie Disharoon ND

Good, bad, whatever – Stress is an unavoidable part of life. It’s going to happen and you’re probably experiencing some form of stress as you’re reading this post. Teeth clenching? Tight shoulders? Shallow breathing? Irritability? All of these symptoms may be your body’s way of telling you you’re stressed!

The important thing that we have to keep in mind when talking about stress and your health is how your body perceives and responds to stress. More and more research is coming out regarding the effects chronic stress, plentiful in the modern lifestyle, has on the body. Research shows chronic stress contributes to heart disease, can alter your immune system function and make it more difficult to lose weight!

What does stress look like inside your body?

Stress is simply a state of physical or mental tension caused by a situation. Inside your body, typically the release of stress hormones and neurotransmitters (cortisol, epinephrine, norepinephrine and others) accompanies anything we perceive as stressful. These chemicals, released by your adrenal glands, throw your body into its “fight or flight” response – heart rate increases, your palms get sweaty and your mouth gets dry, your blood is shunted to your large muscle groups, your digestion slows or halts, your blood sugar spikes — all in preparation for the big event! The problem comes when your body is constantly revving up for “the big event” which never comes. Chronic stress has been shown to play a role in most major chronic illnesses — either in development of the condition or worsening of symptoms.


Natural Stress Reduction

The main goals of a natural approach to stress reduction are: prevention and decompression


  • Decrease your exposure to stress
  • Develop boundary-setting to decrease your commitments
  • Seek counseling when necessary to help decrease stress and build your stress toolbox


  • Notice your body when you’re feeling stressed – breath holding? Try taking 3 deep breaths. Tense muscles? Try consciously letting the tension go.
  • Magnesium Supplementation – Magnesium allows your muscle fibers to relax. Chronically tense muscles may lead depletion of magnesium levels.
  • Rhodiola rosea – Rhodiola is an amazing herb, from the Siberian tundra, known for its hardiness in helping people cope with stress.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Research shows taking Omega-3 fatty acids (found in highest amounts in cold-water fish) are helpful in preventing the damaging effects of stress in the body.
  • Exercise – make sure moving your body is a part of your daily life. Walking, running, swimming, yoga, tai chi — it’s all good! Take a break and move your body.

Dealing with chronic stress and its effects? Schedule your appointment with Dr. Disharoon today to find out more natural options to tackle your symptoms.



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