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Fight or Flight



What problems are associated with the adrenal glands?

Adrenaline addiction, feeling anxious and racy, fighting exhaustion, pressing on with no rest, needing constant stimulation, sudden weariness, tired all the time, anxiety and panic attacks, nervous breakdown, waking in the early hours, low/high blood pressure, fragile skin, slow healing of cuts, stretch marks, lack of energy, low mood, weakness, increased thirst, dehydration, slow metabolism, weight gain and unable to control or handle stress.


What are the adrenals glands?


The human body has two adrenal glands and one sits on top of each kidney. Each adrenal gland weighs 4–5 grammes in an adult. Adrenals are first detected at 6 weeks' gestation.


What do the adrenal glands do?


Each adrenal gland is composed of two parts: the outer part called the adrenal cortex and the inner adrenal medulla. The adrenal glands secrete different hormones which act as 'chemical messengers'. These hormones travel in the bloodstream and act on various body tissues to enable them to function correctly.


The adrenal cortex produces three types of hormones:

  1. Mineralocorticoids: the most important of which is aldosterone. This hormone helps to maintain the body’s salt and water levels.

  2. Glucocorticoids: predominantly cortisol. This hormone is involved in the response to illness and also helps to regulate body metabolism and therefore weight. Too much cortisol can result in Cushing's Syndrome, and too little cortisol can result in Addison's disease.

  3. Adrenal androgens: male sex hormones, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH) and testosterone which play a role in reproduction, growth, and general health in men and women. Most testosterone in women in converted to oestrogen due to an enzyme called aromatase.

The adrenal medulla produces catecholamines:


Catecholamines include adrenaline, noradrenaline and small amounts of dopamine – these hormones are responsible for all the physiological characteristics of the stress response, the so called 'fight or flight' response that are the reaction to stressors such as major illness, injury, fear, danger/threat or perceived threat/danger.


What happens when my adrenal glands are overworked, depleted or exhausted?

The endocrine system is related to the immune system. When the adrenals are overworking or depleted then the immune system will be disturbed. The immune system will be unable to fight infection and disease efficiently due to the adrenal glands being under pressure.


Adrenaline is the main hormone produced by the adrenal glands. Adrenalin is responsible for our “fight or flight (or freeze)” response. This was extremely useful for our ancestors as hunter gatherers where they either had to fight for their food or run away from it, in order to survive. In the 21st century life we are often put under a different sort of stress for survival - work related stress, financial stress, traveling and the dramatic changes we have seen in our lives over the last 18 months.

Being put under this stress causes the adrenals to overwork and sometimes give up which puts a strain on the rest of the endocrine system (see previous blog posts). This, in turn, puts a huge stress on the immune system. We become unbalanced in one area which has a knock on affect, which can have detrimental consequences to our health and makes us vulnerable to illness.


How can I boost my adrenal glands?


Although we cannot just quit our jobs because we have to meet all the other stresses needs in our lives with the money we earn, we can make changes at work to reduce stress. For example, sitting at a comfortable desk, eating 3 nutritious meals a day whilst sat at the table, having a set routine of going to bed and waking up, getting adequate sunlight to help us sleep (discussed in the blog post on the pineal gland), cutting out stimulants such as tea and coffee and organising our day.


Many of us are now working from home more often and it can be hard to separate work and home life in this case. Make a point of having a dedicated work station or office - if this is not possible due to space then make sure to stick to working hours rather than logging on at time when you would not have done before because work and home were different places.


The media reporting and government restrictions have put us in a state of fear over the last 18 months. It is important to be well informed and prepared, but it is also important to disengage from information when it becomes repetitive and overwhelming, and designed to invoke a sense of danger, as this is bound to deplete our adrenals. Tune in to media that is positive or substitute the time spent in front of the television or internet with something relaxing, upbeat and good for your physical and mental health.


Reducing the fear will boost the adrenal glands which will help you deal with danger or perceived danger more rationally and calmly. This will then improve your immune system which will help fight any ill health, as your body was designed to do.


Being in a relaxed and balanced state helps you to be able to function optimally; to fulfil your work obligations, handle stress, stay healthy and be able to care for friends, family and the community. The opposite of this - being in fear, depletes your adrenal glands and reduces your immune system making you more susceptible to disease, which means you will not function optimally - you may miss work deadlines, not handle stress, become ill, and not be able to care for your family, friends and the greater community.


How can Kinesiology help?

Kinesiology sessions are tailor made to address your specific adrenal function by addressing your mental, chemical, physical and energetical health. Specific techniques are designed to boost your adrenal glands which affect all the other areas of your endocrine and immune system. This will enable you to fight any form of stress, structural, physical, emotional or spiritual.


There is a lot of nutrition that can help boost your adrenal glands, including Kelp, Siberian Ginseng, Licorice Root, 5HTP or Ginkgo Biloba and many more. However, one person’s meat is another person’s poison so what might be right for some might not be right for you, but Kinesiology can use muscle testing to ask your body what you really need, which eliminates guess work. Saving you money and improving your life in the long run!

Book your Kinesiology session here