One of the challenging aspects about the long-term effects of stress on health is that they can affect us in so many ways that it is hard to perceive the causes of an illness. If you eat processed food with many additives that are not good you, you may not be aware right away of the negative effects. Your body could, through its immune system, clean up the “invading” additives and you would feel fine temporarily. But additives in food are known to contribute to disease, so that if you consume them frequently over a long period of time you will likely incur an illness. But you will not necessarily know that it was the additive that created the disease.
There are so many harmful substances and sources of imbalance, that it is hard to establish the cause and effect link between an imbalance creator and a disease, making it even more important to have a strategy for minimizing stress and imbalances in your life.
The western world has been using a mechanistic view of health up until recently, as befits the industrial age we have been living in. However, the body is not a machine with parts, nuts and bolts that you can wear out and swap out at will. It is more useful to view the body as a dynamic system which will thrive when all parts are in harmony.
When the dynamic harmony of the person exists it is like great music playing, all the parts support and reinforce each other, you can’t say that one part is responsible for the music, although you will notice when a part is out of sync; even a little disharmony will affect the musical result. The effects of stress on health are numerous and they all have the result of throwing the natural harmony of all aspects of the body out of sync.
Long Term Imbalances and Stress
Long term imbalances create a gradual sometimes imperceptible corrosion of the body. Because we have access to huge amounts of medication, we now have the ability to brush the signs of stress under the rug, until a full blown disease manifests at a later date often with disastrous results. Often the signs of stress are simply a somewhat out-of-sorts feeling or minor aches and pains until the illness appears. The virtual invisibility of the effects of stress on health can create a nasty shock when a disease erupts. Many problems that we take for granted as minor are not, because they are symptoms of chronic stress which if unaddressed can create serious illness. Colds, skin problems and digestive problems are among those problems that we think of as routine and “normal” when they are not. They are the symptoms of chronic stress on the body issuing a wake-up call to its owner.
Imbalances and Holistic Practices
The advantage for highly sensitive people of using holistic practices to manage health is that they address the entire human system and significantly improve the effects of stress on health. Micromanaging signs of stress takes care of a temporary manifestation of a problem, but not the problem. Holistic health methods address the imbalances in the body directly to return the body to optimum functioning.