Stress and shiatsu

Stress: What Saved Our Ancestors' Lives Could Kill Us Today? 


Stress serves to give us the energy necessary to overcome a danger. Nowadays, the dangers have changed a lot and it is, therefore, to our advantage to know how to channel stress so that it now helps us to overcome challenges.

We must relearn how to manage how the brain perceives the hassles of everyday life because we must know that stress can also be positive! What will determine it will be the personal value we give to the event. It seems that the more we have a negative outlook on the little everyday stressors (traffic, the neighbor's music, the line at the bank, the late bus, etc.), the more they accumulate and , in the long term, they can become very harmful. Indeed, the poor management of stress leads us into a vicious circle and, sometimes, certain symptoms — heart problems, depression, … — can also become the causes and so on. A body that suffers from chronic stress is no longer able to measure and moderate its effects, which puts it in a state of constant distress. We must therefore be attentive and take the necessary measures to avoid this happening.

The mechanism of unhealthy stress

You should know that stress is not necessarily unhealthy. It can, on the other hand, easily become so if we ignore the signals that the body sends us. There are three stages of alarm that warn us that stress is progressing and something needs to be done.

The first alarm signal is of very short duration. This is when the body will produce adrenaline to react instantly to danger. For example, you cross the street and a car comes straight at you and honks. Adrenaline will keep you moving quickly to pull over safely to the edge of the road. What is in no way a nuisance, it is a rather important mechanism that saves our lives! You have to start asking questions when this mechanism is too easily triggered for everything and for nothing or if it does not engage at all!

The second stage, that of resistance, is linked to medium-term stress. For example, as a freelancer, you get a contract that requires you to work day and night for 2 weeks. After a few days of lack of sleep, exercise, and adequate food, the body will start producing cortisol. The latter will make sure that all the organs of the body will minimize the use of energy to allow the body to make a reserve and to hold on during this rush. Here again, if it remains temporary, it is not harmful. On the other hand, it can become so when the medium term turns into a long term; constant secretions of cortisol will have devastating effects on all organs. Since their functions are slowed down, in the long term the body will no longer produce enough energy to do everything. This is how important pathologies manifest themselves.

We arrive, therefore, at the third alarm of the body: exhaustion. At this stage, ongoing stress damages the body's ability to self-regulate and the system begins to break down. Depending on each person, all kinds of problems can resurface: asthma, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, overwork, insomnia, hypersomnia, herniated disc, back pain, fatigue, burnout, circulation problems, tendonitis, sprains, strains, hyperglycemia, hypertension, increased risk of angina pectoris, digestive disorders, heartburn, kidney stones, etc. to name just a few.

How to manage stress? 

Ironically, despite our leisure society, the space given to rest, reflection and introspection is now almost absent from our lives. We are hardly capable of really doing nothing. Nothing! No TV, no radio, no book or magazine, just us with our breathing. We will not repeat it enough, I believe, because it is precisely this capacity for introspection, practiced as a discipline, (helped by good eating habits) that would allow us to find a balance as much at the level of our body, our mind than our emotions. However, the most important thing is to BREATHE! It really is the basis of life.

The treatment in Shiatsu has the immediate effect of relaxing the body and allowing our consciousness to find its place. This produces a state comparable to that of true rest: a feeling of lightness, well-being and calm. On the other hand, by restoring the energy circulation, it energizes the vital functions of the body and it helps, therefore, to better manage the small useless "stressors". By doing so, health is found to be improved and it is easier to change your perspective on events that once troubled you. Shiatsu is therefore part of the response to the excess stress observed in our industrialized people.


Understanding the Have-Knots, Observer, Vol.20, No.11 December, 2007 – https// html


• MACKROUS, Norman, Stress or Distress? Energy or disease? Positivism or negativism? Forward or backward? Conference presented at the Guijek Institute, March 13, 2012