Stress Symptoms in Men

Do you have the signs and symptoms of stress?

Meet John the broker, to all intents and purposes a fit, healthy man in his late 20s. He has a beautiful wife and a young baby and a good job in London, so he commutes from Leigh every day. A perfect picture!

But a few cracks have started to appear: for example, John falls asleep on the train but doesn’t sleep well at night, often kept awake by thoughts of work deadlines and the sound of his heartbeat seems very loud and fast. He often suffers from heartburn – it might be IBS, maybe an ulcer; he gets headaches and his job isn’t quite as satisfying as it used to be. By the end of the day his shoulders and neck ache. He can’t quite believe it’s been two years since he played footy with the lads or managed to find time for the gym.

John is exactly like the thousands who commute to London every day: his posture slumped for most of the day, on the train, at the office and in front of the TV.

John can make a huge improvement to his wellbeing simply by working on his posture. He could start by bringing some awareness to how he sits and his breathing habits. His work station should be ergonomically set up for him personally. He needs a comfortable supportive chair with lumbar support, his computer screen should be at eye level and most importantly he needs to take some exercise away from the desk. A simple walk around the block at lunchtime is a good place to start. Deep, diaphragmatic breathing will help to slow his heart rate and improve circulation and digestion.

To practise diaphragmatic breathing, place one hand on your chest, the other on your tummy and breathe deeply, focusing on making sure the hand on your tummy is the one that moves.

An osteopath might also suggest treatment to relieve the symptoms and give advice about core stability, posture and exercise.

Simple things, but they can save John from the symptoms of stress that could seriously affect his health.

Simon Headley is a local osteopath and yoga teacher who can offer treatments for most complaints using manipulation, acupuncture and massage together with general health advice.

Published in Oracle, September 2011

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