One thing that is often neglected by modern medicine is the power of the mind over the body. In research studies over the years, psychological changes have repeatedly been found to have a real, measurable impact on our physical health.
A great example of this is, of course, stress. What might appear to be a purely mental state actually triggers all kinds of physical changes in our bodies. These changes can affect virtually all the systems and organs that are vital to our good health. And as you will have read elsewhere on this site, severe or long term stress can eventually lead to chronic illness and conditions like Adrenal Fatigue.
With this in mind, it seems obvious that treating Adrenal Fatigue must involve addressing the underlying causes of stress in our lives. Just as our mental state can cause illness, improving our emotional wellbeing can also reverse these conditions. On this page I will describe a few techniques that will help to restore your emotional and physical health.
The right kind of exercise
Staying fit can be great for your spirit and physical health, but if you are suffering from Adrenal Fatigue then you need to be very careful how you exercise. Here are some simple principles that you need to follow.
If you are suffering from Stage 3 or 4 Adrenal Fatigue (i.e. your energy levels are extremely low), you need to avoid strenuous exercise altogether. Although going for a run or playing competitive sports might give you a short term rush, your endocrine system simply cannot afford to produce the stress hormones that these activities require. In other words, your short term rush will be followed by an adrenal crash. Better options are walking, swimming, yoga or tai chi. These will boost your circulation without putting too much stress on your adrenal glands.
If you are still in Stage 1 or 2 Adrenal Fatigue then more vigorous exercises like running and weight lifting are permitted. During these stages your cortisol levels will tend to be high, and vigorous exercise can actually help to moderate them.
Try to complete your exercise early in the day. This will both give your metabolism a kick-start and help you to sleep later on. Exercising late in the day can interrupt our natural sleep patterns, which is already a problem for those suffering from Adrenal Fatigue.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the duration of your exercise should depend on your age. Those of us who are younger will able to exercise for long periods of time and still remain fresh and energetic. However, as we get older and our metabolism slows down, we find that extended workouts drain too much of our energy. The length of your workout should be inversely proportional to your age. A young woman exercising for 1 hour might be equivalent to a 50 year old exercising for 20 minutes.
Meditation and deep breathing
Here’s another great example of how the mind can directly affect the body. Studies have shown that meditation and deep breathing actually change not only our brain waves, but also our immune response and our circulatory patterns.
For those of us with Stage 1 or 2 Adrenal Fatigue, these techniques enable us to reduce stress and normalize our adrenaline and cortisol levels. This allows the adrenal glands time for much-needed regeneration. For individuals in Stage 3 or 4 Adrenal Fatigue, they improve circulation, boost toxin elimination and increase our energy levels by increasing oxygen saturation. Whichever stage of Adrenal Fatigue you have reached, deep breathing and meditation offers some valuable benefits.