Within my reflexology treatment room the conversation of stress and its impact is discussed frequently, especially after the past few years following the challenges we have all faced.
Stress can impact us all from short bursts of stress when we are stuck in a traffic jam to longer-term stress due to life events such as a divorce, work challenges or a bereavement.
Whether you have short-term stress or are dealing with something more long-term, the stress hormone cortisol plays a huge part. Short bursts are crucial to help you cope and act, but prolonged higher levels can impact your health and well-being.
What is Cortisol?
Cortisol is commonly known as the ‘stress hormone’ because it plays a key role in the body’s ‘fight, flight, and freeze’ response. The release of cortisol in the short-term can be helpful as it allows us to cope with stressful and potentially dangerous situations such as slamming the breaks on in a car during an emergency to keep you safe.
However, prolonged periods of stress can put the body into a longer state of ‘fight, flight, and freeze’, which can cause health issues, as cortisol affects every cell and system in the body.
Therefore, being aware of your stress levels and having strategies in place to help you unwind is crucial to support your health and well-being.
How Can Your Hair Help You to Manage Your Stress?
To get a true understanding of what is happening with your cortisol levels, one sample of your hair can be taken and the cortisol levels can be measured from a three-month period. This will give you an accurate picture of what has been happening.
If your levels are too high or low this can impact your long-term health and can increase your risk of “stress related health conditions, infectious diseases, heart disease, fertility problems, endocrine disorders” and more. (Source Cortigenix)
Understanding your own cortisol levels provides you with an opportunity to take positive action to help you take steps to reduce them, and if required seek further medical testing through your GP.
As a reflexologist who understands the impact of stress, I have been looking for ways to help you in addition to your treatments and I am therefore delighted to partner with Cortigenix a preventative health company who specialise in cortisol testing.
Their work is led by research, with research partners including University of Nottingham, University of Auckland and King’s College London.
If you would like to test your cortisol levels and purchase a test kit, enter code KellyH10 to receive a 10% discount on the Cortigenix website.
If you are concerned about your health, please always consult your GP in the first instance.