Adrenal Abuse: How Adrenal Fatigue Effects your Mind & Body

As Kinesiologists, we often view the adrenals as the holy grail of health. The adrenals play a big role in protecting cell health and many other functions in your body & very importantly your ability to cope with stress.

The adrenals sit on top of either side of the kidneys. Kinesiologists fondly refer to this organ as the stress management organ and it responds 24/7 to internal and external threats and is especially always “on” if you live life in the fast lane or have many competing demands or pressures.

When functioning optimally, our adrenals support our mind and body every time you perceive stress or threat. This also includes physical and biochemical stress, such as a physical trauma, toxin, infection or blood sugar spike.

Kinesiology helps you to be a really supportive & responsible guardian of your adrenals as they have an extremely important post in re-building and maintaining health in your mind and body.

In particular, the adrenals are involved in

  1. The stress perception relay system
  2. Putting out fires (inflammation) in the body

Here we will focus numero uno & how Kinesiology can help you.

Kinesiology Balances Adrenal Stress & Motivation Systems

The adrenals are responsible for releasing fight/ flight hormones and other emotional regulation hormones and neurotransmitters.

Sometimes when our adrenals are overworked they can go on to strike, as they are too exhausted or can become unreliable, either sending out alarm bells when not needed or ghosting on us when we are in need.  This can be very confusing for the mind and the body.

Adrenal health is not only significant for danger or threat detection, but other systems in the body including pleasure, memory, reward & addiction pathways in the body (e.g., one of the feel good chemicals, Dopamine).

To meet our stresses, our adrenals release fight and flight survival hormones into the body, including adrenaline. This hormone and neurotransmitter is made from dopamine, so its no surprise that if demand from adrenaline goes up in a stressed out state, our potential to feel pleasure or joy heads south.

Most people can agree that they can turn into the Dark Lord if under enough pressure. Some might notice this more subtly as being irritable, anti-social or being destructive.   Since dopamine is important for motivation, you might notice that motivation takes the back door also.

Maybe your interest or enthusiasm in your relationship or for your job starts to flat line, where you previously used to love both. Some people will notice this in losing will power (eating behaviours or exercise routines) or some may lack courage or feel more nervous in situations, which before they could take in their stride.

Other noticeable effects might be increases in impulsive pleasure or sensation seeking behaviours, such as drinking, gambling & sex. Some might feel this is like not having an “off switch”, whether this relates to work or play.

Kinesiology can help you to both replenish your adrenals and take a load off them, helping to reduce any associated sense of adrenal fatigue, burn out and flat lining in your mood and mojo.

How Beliefs and Distorted Perceptions Upset the Adrenals

One of the key upsets to the adrenals is our beliefs and perceptions & this is why Kinesiology is such a powerful tool. Beliefs and perceptions have the potential to generate a lot of repressed and unnecessary stress and nervous tension about the past or present. Any of the following thought patterns are enough to bring the adrenals online

  • S/he doesn’t like me anymore
  • I’m never good enough
  • I am always going to be alone
  • I am pathetic at my job
  • I am poor
  • Life is always hard
  • I can not trust anyone
  • I feel angry that I was betrayed
  • S/he never listens to me
  • To be happy I must fit in
  • Am I “settling” in this relationship?

Even when these thought patterns and beliefs are unconscious, the adrenals can set off the alarm system that activates our flight/ fight responses. This is why even for physical health concerns, examining related thought & belief systems in muscle testing with Kinesiology is so important for getting healthy and staying healthy faster.

Adrenal Dysfunction Related to Stress from Past & Our Future “What Ifs”  

It is not simply stress in the now, but also excessive or cumulative anticipated threats in the future & also unprocessed emotional wounds or emotions from the past that can disrupt adrenal function. This does add fuel to the fire, as a common consequence, as well as cause of adrenal dysfunction, is anxiety. Using Kinesiology to work with both the body and the mind to address the cause and consequence of adrenal fatigue, allows you to heal both “ends” of the cascade which can give you more space to find balance and rebuild health permanently.

Since anxiety is such a great creator of adrenal fatigue, it is important in Kinesiology sessions to understand what is considered the danger or the “threat”. Since it is the perceptions that directly create stress but also drive behaviours that create further stress (such as over-extending yourself or trying to avoid rejection), if this is not addressed in your adrenal fatigue treatment, you’re interventions are likely to be temporary or “band-aid” measures, if you find relief at all.

In particular, as Kinesiologists, we have a keen interest in understanding what motivates your beliefs for driving your body so hard for too long and / or also not being connected to how you & your body REALLY feels about the pressures in your your life. Your health and your body will always expose if you are acting out of integrity with you, as your body can only compensate or manage the misalignment for so long, before sending up flares with possible symptoms or disease and burning out.

Adrenals are often the unfortunate casualty when you have no choice but to be driven. This might be known as the “A Type” personality or when you feel like you always have to be progressing. You might also feel terrible about this “huge gap of where you are now and where you want to be”.

These drives or this personality type might appear temporarily desirable from a performance or achievement perspective, however in the medium to long term, you wont be able to support this toxic cycle as your body won’t be able to compensate to support the degree of stress in the body.  To optimise performance and build health in this area of your life, finding balance within is must for accelerated and sustainable short & long term success.

You might also express your strategy for managing threats through withdrawing, avoidance and denial of feelings or emotions. What is more alarming to your mind, body and adrenals, is you might be running in someone else’s race and no amount of over-achievement will over-ride an inner sense of lack of fulfilment if you can’t be you.

How Your Beliefs & Emotional Distress Can Land in Your Body

Your beliefs and emotional distress exert pressure on your adrenals and your adrenals connect with most functions in your body.

This means if you are disconnected, distracted or enjoy ignoring or repressing your stress or inconvenient or uncomfortable feelings, you might notice this creates symptoms which may relate to adrenal fatigue. Symptoms may include:

  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Food intolerances or sensitivities
  • Thinning hair or hair loss
  • Poor energy and fatigue
  • Body temperature dys-regulation
  • Craving salty foods
  • Blood sugar dysregulation (may include craving carbs)
  • Not a morning person & difficulty waking up
  • Weak immune function
  • Low libido
  • Poor sleep or insomnia
  • Having a “wine down” to manage the “tired by wired” feels
  • Irritability and impatience
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Brain Fog

How to Balance Adrenal Stress Long Term with Kinesiology

The truth about what is needed to restore adrenals back to optimal function is that you need to look after what go you to the state in the first place.

This often involves looking at what has created the need or motivation to drive your body so hard or sometimes it might be that you have just been driving it in the wrong direction and you are slightly off course. If you don’t also include looking at this factor, your intervention must involve an avoidance of either the external threats or your internally generated threats about how you feel about yourself. This is not true living and also creates increasing limitations in your life and dampens potential to feel energised and free in your body.

For some people it is going backwards to balance distorted perceptions of the past, that allows a “trigger-ready” fight / flight reflex to relax and to go into remission. Sometimes it might be correcting the distorted perception that one feels “safer” feeling on guard, alert or anxious, rather than feeling calm, peaceful or relaxed, as this might feel unusual.

Even if you are on big supplement and restorative exercise regimes, you might be carrying stress and repressed nervous tension , which can wipe away the full potential of the benefit that can be received from strong health disciplines. It’s not as helpful or a wise investment to use a band aid when the underlying cause of adrenal stress needs addressing long term.

Even if you are in the rebuilding and healing stage, by addressing the cause, you may have the opportunity to stay in life (= relationship, = job, = family time, = business, = boss), rather than have to step out of your life to avoid any kind of challenge or change. This means you will be able to build resilience and keep doing the things you love, perhaps even more than before.

Your Adrenals Love Kinesiology

When your adrenals are under-functioning you might notice that you are more easily confused, feel nervous, irritable or down and you might more easily become overwhelmed, compared to in the past.

Since adrenal health is so key for health and wellness in your mind and body, using Kinesiology to keep the adrenals in balance is a no-brainer. This means that you can lead a very full life and thrive through lots of demands, but not necessarily experience as much wear and tear on the body or overwhelm through change or when you over-commit and feel overextended at times.

If you would like to book in for an appointment, please get in touch over here today.

© Rachel Smith & Core Kinesiology & Natural Therapies 2018

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