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Yoga and Stress

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Hypothalamus has the vital role in stressful condition. When stress is encountered, the hypothalamus carries out four specific functions, first, it activates autonomic nervous system; second, it releases the corticotrophin releasing factor (CRF) which in turn stimulates the secretion of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) from anterior pituitary gland; third, it produces anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) or vasopressin; and fourth, it stimulates the thyroid hormone thyroxine. ACTH by pituitary gland is released in to blood stream and reaches the adrenal gland to stimulate adrenal cortex to release glucocorticoids hormone. (Repeat Ref: Ellen Serber. Stress Management through Yoga. International Journal of yoga Therapy. 2000;10:11-16) & (Ref: G.S. Everly and J.M. Lating, A Clinical Guide to the Treatment of the Human Stress Response, 2013;, © Springer Science+Business Media New York; DOI 10.1007/978-1-4614-5538-7_2; pp.17-51) (Ref; Book: Brian Luke Seaward. Managing Stress: Principles and Strategies for health and well being, Chapter 2, Physiology of Stress; 9th edition, 2018; Jones and Bartlett Publishers, pp.34-48). & (Ref: Tsigos C, Kyrou I, Kassi E, et al. Stress, Endocrine Physiology and Pathophysiology. Available at www.endotext.com). & (Ref: George P Chrousos. Stress and disorders of the stress system. Nat. Rev. Endocrinol. 2009; 5(7):374-381) & (Ref: Michial Randal. The Physiology of Stress: Cortisol and the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axix. Darmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science, 2011).

Therefore, along with the glucocorticoids adrenal gland, adrenaline & noradrenaline hormones from sympathetic nervous system accounts for a large percentage what happens in our body during stress.

There is another chemical change occurs in body during stress and is also equally important in an emergency situation. The pituitary and brain secrete substances to blunt pain sensations known as endorphins and enkephalins. Pancreas is stimulated to release excess glucagon hormone, which makes glucose readily available for muscles. Release of prolactin hormone from pituitary suppresses the reproduction. Testosterone, progesterone and estrogen are sex hormones, their secretion is inhibited. Growth related hormone and insulin secretion is inhibited. (Ref: Ellen Serber. Stress Management through Yoga. International Journal of yoga Therapy. 2000; Volume.10, pp.11-16) & (repeat Ref; Book: Brian Luke Seaward. Managing Stress: Principles and Strategies for health and well being, Chapter 2, Physiology of Stress; 9th edition, 2018; Jones and Bartlett Publishers, pp.34-48).

Cardiovascular and respiratory responses to stress are most significant where cardiac output, heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, depth, force are raised. These raised cardiovascular responses are for the swift delivery of oxygen and energy for the working muscles. The blood in the vascular system moves with extra raised speed and force. Strong vasoconstriction raises blood pressure. There is diversion of more blood supply towards muscles and blood supply is compromised to gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, skin, etc. Anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) conserves water for keeping the blood volume up. (repeat Ref: Ellen Serber. Stress Management through Yoga. International Journal of yoga Therapy. 2000;10:11-16). & (Ref: G.S. Everly and J.M. Lating, A Clinical Guide to the Treatment of the Human Stress Response, 2013;, © Springer Science+Business Media New York; DOI 10.1007/978-1-4614-5538-7_2; pp.17-51). (repeat Ref; Book: Brian Luke Seaward. Managing Stress: Principles and Strategies for health and well being, Chapter 2, Physiology of Stress; 9th edition, 2018; Jones and Bartlett Publishers, pp.34-48). & (Ref: Tsigos C, Kyrou I, Kassi E, et al. Stress, Endocrine Physiology and Pathophysiology. Available at www.endotext.com). & (repeat Ref: George P Chrousos. Stress and disorders of the stress system. Nat. Rev. Endocrinol. 2009;5(7):374-381) & (Ref: Michial Randal. The Physiology of Stress: Cortisol and the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axix. Darmouth Undergraduate Journal of Science, 2011).

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