How does osteopathy fight stress?

What is stress ?

We are constantly confronted with events that give us various emotions. Stress is the body’s response to these emotions. It is an adaptation reaction of the organism to maintain homeostasis (regulatory process by which the organism maintains the various constants of the internal environment).

The phenomenon of stress has many origins and can be due to several factors:

  • Factors external to the person
  • Factors inherent to the person.

It can also be punctual (over a short period of time) or daily.

During occasional stress, different body responses are put in place in order to restore the body’s balance in a short time.

In situations where one-time stress is repeated, it is defined as chronic; the return to balance no longer occurs and changes in the state of health take place.

The different steps.

The body, with the aim of protection, responds to stressful factors with an alarm reaction and fight against the aggressor. A set of physiological reactions then take place, it is a defense process of the body. The body’s nervous system and hormonal system then transmit information to the body’s defense organs (cardiovascular system, lungs, liver, muscles and brain) in order to modify their functioning.

This phase leads to an increase in heart rate, acceleration of breathing and blood circulation. This is called adrenaline.


If the first phase was not sufficient to overcome the effect of the stressor, the body enters a so-called resistance phase.

The hormonal system activates the secretion of certain hormones (cortisol) which allow the maintenance of the production of glucose necessary for the muscles and the heart for the body’s flight or fight action.


However, prolonged or repeated exposure to the stressor makes the state of stress chronic, which exhausts the energy capacities (physical and psychological) of the body. A state of exhaustion is reached which can promote the appearance of pathologies.

  • These pathologies affect all of the body’s systems: musculoskeletal, nervous, visceral and psychological.
  • Concentration problems, decreased alertness.
  • Sprains, tendinitis, muscle pain.
  • Tachycardia, increased blood pressure, palpitations, ulcers.
  • Headaches, eating disorders, despair, extreme fatigue, insomnia, burn-out, depression.


How can osteopathy treat stress ?

The principle of osteopathic treatment is to rebalance the patient’s homeostasis. During a prolonged state of stress, the body can no longer adapt and disturbances in the three regulatory systems (musculoskeletal, psychological, nervous) occur. These disturbances will have an impact on the patient’s physiological balance and kinetics, causing tissue and mechanical dysfunction.

The osteopath can work on different axes during his treatment:

  • The structure: by treating the different areas of mechanical and tissue dysfunction
  • The skull: by techniques on the nervous system (notably the parasympathetic system which coordinates the body’s state of calm) and on the hormonal system.
  • The visceral: this will involve treating the consequences of stress that can cause illness.


Some tips to help you feel better.

✔️ Enjoy a good night’s sleep💤
Fatigue generally increases adrenaline levels, making you more vulnerable to stress. Getting enough sleep is essential for performance and facilitates stress management.

✔️ Exercice🏃🏽‍♂️
Physical activity is very beneficial for the mind. This leads to a state of relaxation, you think of something else and the state of well-being continues even after the activity.

✔️Meditation, sophrology, relaxation 👐🏻
These concentration and breathing exercises are becoming more and more popular. People use it not only to reduce stress, but also to improve their concentration and even to increase their performance.

✔️Smile and laugh 🤣🤣
Laughing always feels good: the body releases endorphins, like during physical activity


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