Endocrinologists note: about 80% of patients with hormonal problems have experienced severe stress in the recent past. Nune Rojas, the author of the YogaHormonal method of hormonal yoga, talks about the connection between emotional experiences and women’s health in this article.
Destructive emotions instantly disable the endocrine system. Strong negative experiences turn off the production of sex hormones in women in order to activate stress hormones. We owe this mechanism to evolution. This is our nature’s response to the saddest moments in history – wars and famines. Once the brain decides that survival is at stake, a woman’s fertility drops dramatically. Therefore, if you are looking for your key to balancing hormones in your body, it makes sense to focus on stress management.
What is stress for you personally?
We are all very different. And if some begin to worry only after learning, for example, about the upcoming layoffs at work, others remain calm until the moment they receive the status of an unemployed. Thus, the causes of stress are different for everyone, and its effect on the body is always the same. The resulting physiological and biochemical changes trigger a whole cascade of reactions: heart rate increases, blood pressure rises, metabolism slows down, adrenaline is released into the bloodstream so that we either fight or run away. But there will be no problem if stress happens, say, once a week. Things get much worse if you have to deal with it every day.
Chronic stress is especially common among modern women who have to work full-time, housekeeping, and manage their children. And the hormonal system is the first to be hit.
How does stress imbalance occur?
Think of your children’s toy – a zebra or a horse standing on a platform. If you press the button under the platform, the entire structure collapses and the zebra falls. And if you release the button, the tension drops, and the zebra stands on its long legs.
It is the same with us. Only that very button is the adrenal glands, by pressing on which, you can break the entire structure, or rather, our hormonal system. During stress, the adrenal glands produce more cortisol. Since the body is in a fight-or-flight mode, the production of other sex hormones, including progesterone, is reduced. Once the difficult period is over, the fertility rate rises again. But often one stress is followed by another, with no end in sight. It is with this factor that many experts associate an increase in the number of infertile couples every year.
Why do we need cortisol and why shouldn’t there be a lot of it?
In a normal life without chronic stress, cortisol helps us solve many of life’s problems. It releases glycogen from proteins, converting it into energy and fighting inflammation.
Recurrent spikes in cortisol are normal and even good. We could not live without him. But when the hormone levels are constantly elevated, it starts to destroy the body.
Constantly high cortisol means a lack of progesterone, which means an excess of estrogen with all the consequences. The stress hormone in large quantities destroys healthy muscles and bones, slows down healing and normal cell regeneration, and inhibits the production of important biochemicals. It impairs digestion, metabolism, mental function and weakens the immune system.
After a while, the adrenal glands get tired of producing so much cortisol. Its level begins to decline, and so strongly that other organs and systems cannot work either. Hypothyroidism, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, premature menopause and many other side symptoms from acne to hair loss begin.
For menopausal women, this is a big problem. During and after menopause, the adrenal glands must produce small amounts of estrogen. Therefore, when they are depleted, estrogen is severely lacking, leading to more severe symptoms.
Versatile everyday stress reduction asana
Women in our world are too busy, and women’s bodies are not designed for prolonged periods of stress. But, unfortunately, we often cannot change our life circumstances. But we can learn to cope with them.
Studies have shown that yoga and meditation can help lower stress hormones and increase DHEA production. The latter is a building block for other hormones and also prevents aging.
I am often asked what one single asana can I recommend to all women, girls and even girls, regardless of the diagnosis and health condition. There is such an asana, I call it Krasusana. I recommend doing it twice a day, immediately after waking up and before going to bed.
So, when you look in the mirror in the morning, tell yourself: “How beautiful I am!” Only honestly, from the bottom of my heart. Soon after doing this, you will notice that you are much less worried about your appearance throughout the day. Anyway, when you feel beautiful, what then is it worth worrying about ?!