A Complementary Medicine expert’s unique way to manage stress

Written by Caitlin Stores | 1 October, 2020

How to manage stress

Chronic stress is a problem that is all too common these days. You think you’ve got it all under control – work, social life, exercise, mindfulness, family time, housework but that sense of “busy-ness” can sometimes be the catalyst for occasional panic, anxiety and overwhelm.

Before you know it, you’re fighting off bouts of anxiety daily and you’re feeling overwhelmed at seemingly mundane things like the sight of the dirty dishes in the sink. Sound familiar?

So, how do you manage stress and being overwhelmed?

Chronic stress can disrupt nearly every system in the body. It can weaken your immune system, slow down digestion, speed up the ageing process, raise your blood pressure (increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke), and even be a factor in infertility.

Chronic stress leaves you vulnerable to many mental and physical health issues, which is why it’s so important to manage stress in a healthy way all of the time, not just when we are feeling overwhelmed by it. Some of my everyday habits to manage stress include; taking my dog for a walk at sunrise, using my Shakti mat, yin yoga classes, gentle chiropractic adjustments and diffusing essential oils around the house. But my favourite way to de-stress would have to be regularly sweating it out in an infrared sauna.

How an infrared sauna can help manage stress

During an infrared sauna session, your body is exposed to mild heat stress known as heat-induced hormesis, which has been shown to increase the average lifespan of many organisms. Hormesis is a helpful type of stress, created when you push your body and it responds by becoming more resilient.

When you step into the sauna, cortisol levels will initially remain the same, the magic happens when, at the end of your session, the heat stress is removed. Once out of the sauna, your cortisol levels will drop almost immediately and are reset to a lower point than before, leaving you feeling calm and relaxed.

In addition to lowering cortisol levels, regular infrared sauna use stimulates the release of serotonin and dopamine. These ‘feel good’ neurotransmitters help to keep your mind clear and focused and to resist depression and other mood disorders. This is why you float out of each infrared sauna session feeling on top of the world! In times of overwhelming stress, I choose the blue chromotherapy lighting option during my session which has an almost tranquilising effect on the body and is traditionally used to treat stress and nervous tension.

Implementing stress reducing habits into your routine is so rewarding and the benefits can be felt almost immediately. So, if you are feeling increasingly stressed or you suffer from bouts ofanxiety or overwhelm, I encourage you to make small changes in your routine to allow yourself the time and space to take care of YOU first.

Caitlin Stores

Caitlin Stores is an Endeavour College of Natural Health alumni and the co-founder of Wildfire Wellness, a dedicated infrared sauna and wellness studio in Maroubra. She began her health and wellness journey at Endeavour in 2012 where she studied Nutritional Medicine before jetting off to work on super yachts around the world, finally returning home and graduating with a degree in Complementary Medicine in 2017.

Wildfire Wellness was born out of Caitlin and her younger sister Larissa's passion for vibrant health, alternative healing and living a life free from dis-ease. You can connect with Caitlin on Facebook and on Instagram @wildfire_wellness.

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