January 7, 2020 | Life with MS, Support
I have multiple sclerosis (MS), and I know that when I get stressed, I feel more unwell. Stress makes MS symptoms worse in my own body. It is interesting to note that studies show that the better you cope with stress, the fewer attacks you’re likely to have.
Why would stress be so connected to MS? I’ll start by explaining what happens to the body when it perceives a threat.
When the body is stressed, the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) kicks into gear. This mechanism is known as the body’s ‘fight or flight’ response. Imagine you encounter a tiger in the wild, for example. Blood rushes to the heart, lungs, arms and legs, and your pupils dilate, so that have the best chance of fighting or running.
In a well-regulated stress response, the SNS should switch off when the threat is over and hand over to the parasympathetic nervous system. With chronic (ongoing) stress, the body fails to do this, and as a result, the body may end up with chronic health issues. Chronic stress doesn’t help MS.
Responding well to stress takes practice, and here are some tips that can help your body switch off the SNS:
Here are some great resources:
Rachel is a naturopath and medical herbalist living in South Canterbury. In 2015, she was awarded the Dorothy L Newman Scholarship. This scholarship enabled her to pursue a long-held dream to study naturopathy at the Naturopathic College of New Zealand. Please visit her Facebook for more information: Rachael Stott Natural Health
Title image by Natalia Figueredo on Unsplash