Little kitten with paws up sleeping on the back

Emotional stress caused by grief, shock, abandonment, disappointment and major life changes, such as divorce or separation, can leave us drained and prone to illness. If left untreated, acute emotional responses can become long term or even chronic.

What regularly surprises therapists is how often as individuals we overlook the very important connection between mind, body and spirit. Far too often we do not recognise the way in which even mild stresses can have an adverse effect on our physical wellbeing.

Both medicinal and complementary therapies may be used as an early intervention to avoid issues becoming chronic. Here are a few complementary therapies some people find beneficial when going through a difficult period in their lives:

  • Acupuncture – Stimulation of acupoints using sterile needles inserted into the skin which can release blocked qi in the body and stimulate function, evoking the body’s natural healing response.
  • Homeopathy – Homoeopathic remedies are intended to stimulate the healing power of the body. When the body’s own healing process is blocked or slow, advocates believe the homoeopathic prescription acts as a stimulus to the natural healing powers.
  • Indian Champissage (head massage) – Increases joint mobility and flexibility in the neck and shoulders, improves blood circulation and lymphatic flow, frees knots of muscular tension, and aids in the elimination of accumulated toxins. Devotees say it is particularly good for reducing the effects of stress and tension and aids relaxation.
  • Meditation/Mindfulness – A safe and simple way to help you move towards balance and harmony. It is a practice that is perhaps as old as mankind and can be used as an aid in dealing with stress and illnesses.
  • Massage therapy – Extremely beneficial to people leading busy lifestyles suffering from stress and tension. Massage will not only aid mental relaxation but will work on physical symptoms of back and neck pain that come from sitting at a desk for an extended period of time or from physical labour.
  • Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) – A whole host of techniques have been created to enable you to change your thought processes, behaviours and beliefs, and to remove any limitations about yourself which you have created during your life’s journey, allowing you to be the person you really want to be. It’s also about choice – you can learn to control how you behave, be aware of your emotional and physical states.
  • Reflexology – Reflexology can be used to help restore and maintain the body’s natural equilibrium. This gentle therapy encourages the body to work naturally by manipulating and massaging the feet to restore its own healthy balance.
  • Reiki – Reiki works holistically, assisting the body to find a balance at a physical, mental and emotional level. It amplifies the body’s energies and stimulates healing. It promotes good health and well-being and visibly rejuvenates your body and your energy in the most natural way. It is an extremely relaxing and calming treatment.

It is important at times of stress that you feel in control, especially when everything around you seems to be out of control. Here are a few simple suggestions that may provide the first step to establishing your equilibrium and therefore your wellbeing:

  • Alcohol – As much as a glass of your favourite tipple will help your shoulders and mind relax, it is important to ensure this doesn’t become a nightly regime. Your liver is one of the hardest working organs and it also needs its recovery time.
  • Diet – Eating a well-balanced diet filled with protein, fruit and vegetables, reducing your caffeine intake and increasing your water intake will help to sustain your metabolism during periods of stress.
  • Exercise – This doesn’t have to be strenuous activity or even the gym. Just getting out in the fresh air and enjoying the sights and sounds around you will often result in increased endorphin levels, along with improving your energy and sense of wellbeing. And we all know fresh air is excellent for facilitating a good night’s sleep.
  • Sleep – Getting a good seven or eight hours of uninterrupted sleep each night will help you deal with the pressure of daily life. If you are having problems with sleep, there are simple ways to help you unwind. Take a hot bath before bed, have a milky drink (caffeine free), leave your mobile phone and iPad out of the bedroom and listen to some relaxing music.

Just remember to take one day at a time, take time to talk to a friend or professional and pamper yourself, because you deserve it.

Sally Bryant is a registered Homoeopath, successful Coach and Complementary Health Practitioner who specialises in the treatment of the mind, body and soul.  More information can be found on her website