A self-help Response to Stress
This simple exercise, Hook Ups, is known all round the world for its ability to calm our human response to stress and shock. It is particularly useful for the effects of stress following the Christchurch earthquakes and aftershocks.
What is stress?
As far as the brain is concerned, ‘stress’ is an overload of sensory information arriving to be processed. An unfamiliar situation generates new sights, sounds, and also new feedback about where we are in space. This applies whether the new situation we are in is ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Add in a deluge of messages of fear or panic as well, and the brain really does have a lot to deal with!
Response to Stress:
Technically known as the reflex producing ‘fight or flight’, this is the instinct all mammals have to move – to run or to fight – when our senses tell us we are in danger.
Whether it’s fighting to protect our young from attack, or running for cover when the ground shakes (again), our system goes on alert, sending extra blood to prepare our limbs for action!
The responses are generated in the unconscious part of the brain. If the eyes, ears, and /or sense of balance send information that adds up to danger, we are wired to respond all other mammals with the fight or flight response.
Once the fight/flight response has served its purpose we may need help to calm down. This especially applies when aftershocks go on for months, and we’ve already done all there is to do to be safe.
Here’s how to relax again:
You can be sitting, standing or lying down in bed. You might have a small child in your lap while you do the exercise around them with your own hands and legs. As you calm down, so will they.
Hook Ups Reduce Stress by enabling you to:
- think clearly and decide what to do now
- relax, and focus on what’s appropriate right now – which may be to rest and sleep.
The first position works with the Acupuncture energy lines to clear stuck energy patterns. This position has been found to direct our own energy to travel more directly in the pathways that cover the torso, starting and ending in specific locations on the fingers and toes.
The second position re-engages the full range of the brain’s ability to process and respond. When we experience the symptoms of stress, human beings react by becoming over-focussed on either
- The details: taking things slowly, one step at a time. Or
- The ‘big picture’: moving swiftly and randomly, scanning the whole pattern, and jumping to conclusions.
To respond well, we need access to both ways of processing.
Using these moves has been found to bring relaxation and relieve the effects of stress – whatever its source. Do each exercise for at least a minute and continue as long as convenient. Watch your breathing to deepen and your heart rate slow as your body and brain relax.
Submitted by Marion Pawson