Getting excited about presenting this year at the 2016 Annual GP Conference in Rotorua
Really excited about presenting this year at the 2016 Annual GP Conference, Rotorua, New Zealand. Mr Wayne Neal, who teaches stress reduction techniques for use within both business and emergency service settings, will be joining me.
Stress can be difficult for individuals to detect. I’ve long been puzzled by clearly stressed out patients, stating that they feel normal …. or ‘cool’ even when asked about stress.
Experiments, from the field of neuroscience seem to suggest as stress builds through a lifetime, it causes the amygdala, the part of the brain, which triggers stress responses, to enlarge, facilitating even faster/bigger stress responses. These enlargements don’t automatically settle once the stress has passed. It’s almost as if we’re racking up, storing stress memories and behaviors through life.
As stress loads up, we simply get used to it. We can only hold a limited amount of information within the conscious mind. As messages of on-going stress fail to reach conscious awareness, as they are effectively edited out within subconscious awareness. Our nervous systems emphasizing only the reporting of change to the conscious mind. And because, between incidents stress levels are often constant that information is effectively deleted from our awareness.
Very much like visitors to Rotorua, noticing the pungent sulphur odours, evidence of volcanic activity below the surface. Yet, I’m told, locals no longer notice the smell, it’s simply not new information for them…
Which to me could explain why individuals can’t reliably detect their own stress levels. The patient in my office is really saying, ‘I’m normal…for me.’ From their point of view.
Methods to detect stress levels include;
When it changes up or down. Either more stress…or the use of relaxation
Blood or saliva hormone levels.
Heart Rate Variability.
Wayne is a certified HeartMath trainer and teaches people about managing their stress levels using a biofeedback device measuring heart rate variability. The heart rate increases slightly with the in breath and then decreases with the out breath. It’s quite a subtle change and needs specifically looked for to be noticed.
In relaxed, favourable states the heart rate variability is smooth and sustained, whereas stress causes the heart rate variability becomes irregular and unpredictable, creating inefficiency within the circulatory system, and feeding that stressed state back into the brain perception systems, making the individual feel more stressed.
Both relaxation coherence techniques taught by Wayne and Guided Meditation effectively optimises Heart Rate Variability.
Reducing amygdala size and stress hormone outputs. Easily enabling people to enjoy a more relaxed and healthy life.
We are anticipating approximately 1200 attendees attending:
220-270 Practice Nurses
40-50 Practice Managers