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stress treatment psychologist for Rockland, Westchester, Bergen, Passaic, Orange County, Hudson Valley, Northern New Jersey
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293 Christian Herald Road
Suite A
Valley Cottage, NY 10989
(845) 353-2229

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IMMUNE System & Stress New York, NY
Rochester, Rockland, Westchester,
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Bergen-Passaic, Northern New Jersey 14
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In understanding stress and the immune system, appreciate that the autonomic nervous system functions for our survival. It controls things outside of our usual conscious awareness such as heart rate, blood pressure, skin and body temperature, digestion, immune system function, and metabolism. The ANS regulates the functions of the internal environment. The “fight or flight” response is also regulated by the ANS.

There are two divisions of the ANS, the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the para-sympathetic nervous system (PNS). These two work together to maintain homeostasis. For example, if there is sympathetic nervous system over-arousal, the parasympathetic nervous system helps to counter this over-arousal by working to help the system to relax. Thus, the SNS increases heart rate, blood pressure, and perspiration while decreasing digestion. The PNS functions to decrease heart rate, blood pressure and perspiration while increasing digestion. SNS over-activity leads to problems.

In learning about immune system and stress, emotions influence our physiological functioning and our health. Emotions such as frustration and anger produce a random “jerky” pattern in the heart rate variability figure indicative of sympathetic nervous system over-arousal. This suggests that the nervous system is out of balance. When this happens, blood vessels constrict, blood pressure rises, and much energy is wasted. If this emotional reaction happens frequently, a person can become hypertensive. This greatly increases the chance of cardiovascular and other stress-related diseases. Appreciation has the opposite effect by engaging the parasympathetic nervous system. It restores the ANS to balance and enhances cardiovascular function.

For stress in our immune system, it is useful to identify how stress manifests in our life. Mental/emotional stress can be fear, anxiety, anger, hate, worry, lack of sleep, and grief. Sensory stress is loud and excess noise, bright lights, strong smells, television news, etc. Environmental stress can be caused by tobacco, alcohol, polluted water, chemicals in foods, soaps, and cosmetics. Nutritional stress is caused by processed foods such as white sugar and flour and hydrogenated oils. Also, processed dairy and meats are often difficult to digest and laden with artificial ingredients that contribute to stress and toxic load. These “foods” stress the body and deplete it of necessary nutrients.

When feeling tired, what do most people do? Consume caffeine. Whether it is in coffee, tea, power energy drinks, candy, or soda, America runs on caffeine. The stimulant effects of caffeine create a false sense of well-being. Some people even feel euphoria, full of energy. This is caused by the artificially induced increased metabolism. People feel “good” in the short-term, but forfeit long-term health. Stimulants are harmful to the body.

Steps to Improve Immune System and Stress

Steps to take to begin to reclaim your birthright, health, vibrancy, and wellness include: (1) eliminate caffeine; (2) drink plenty of pure water; (3) eat only organic vegetable, fruit, dairy and meat; (4) rest; get enough sleep; (5) schedule daily fun activities; (6) begin a detoxification program to eliminate toxins that have accumulated over years; (7) exercise; and (8) begin a nutrition program to replace essential nutrients.

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