BE PROUD: WE ARE ALL SPECIAL
As mentioned in Section 1 under Objectives vs Subjectives, the Human Genome Project found that every human being shares 99.9% of the same DNA , this is the objective and defines us as the human species. This may seem a lot but when you consider that Chimps and Bonobos (2 species of the Chimpanzee), the closest relatives to humans, share 96-98.7% of DNA with us, leaving just 1.2-3.9% to separate us meaning there is actually very little which determines the human species, so we are all pretty special. Furthermore, remember the Bill Bryson quote from the Platform Menu page, well we think it fits perfectly here,
"It is a slightly arresting notion that if you were to pick yourself apart with tweezers, one atom at a time, you would produce a mound of fine atomic dust, none which had ever been alive but all of which had once been you."
This quote does not only apply to humans, but every other living thing, break anything down enough and you will simply find a cocktail of chemical elements and nothing else. We all share a great deal not only as a species ourselves, but with other animals and nature as a whole, highlighting the importance of how special every life is.
So sharing 99.9% of DNA, the remaining 0.1% is what makes you 'you', helping to define you as an individual in your own right, and forming part of your subjectives including characteristics and personality. Our bodies all vary somewhat, some are passed down to us genetically, but some we develop post birth, meaning our development is both nature and nurture, the fact that it could be one more than the other is becoming increasingly null. Therefore, whilst we are all special as a species as we share so much, we are all special as individuals too as we are all unique. So no matter your gender or religious beliefs, or the colour of your skin, eyes, or hair, whether you enjoy reading and/or sport/s, preference to be an extrovert or introvert, or a bit of both, be proud to be you because we are ALL individuals that just need to be understood. So whilst we are all the same, our bodies can vary and we all have different interests and passions, and as long as they are morally correct and do not hurt you or anyone else, there is no reason why you should not enjoy taking part and/or doing something that makes you happy, and there is no reason why you should be judged for that either. Be happy by doing what makes you happy - simple!
The issue we have here is that many people are afraid to be themselves, scared to enjoy what makes them happy, you may be one of them, because you are afraid to be judged negatively. Pretty much every individual has at least one insecurity about being themselves, whether that is something they enjoy partaking in, or the way they look, and sadly many go onto change themselves, even aesthetically via cosmetic practices including surgery. This is not saying that all reconstructive surgeries are unnecessary, as they can be very beneficial when it relates to health including trauma, and rather we are saying that you are not alone, we may not all share the same insecurities, but we all have at least one. So as above, ensuring it is morally correct, there is no reason to feel shame or embarrassment, after all, it is difficult to stand out in the crowd of the human population if you blend in so dare to enjoy what makes you smile from the inside out and enjoy being who you are. Sometimes all it takes is finding some likeminded people who make you feel less judged when being yourself, and who make you a better person, this is much easier than wanting to be loved and accepted by everyone as not only is that lonely, but it's exhausting too. Sadly some people's passions and interests mean they are faced with a battle, particularly when it comes to improving society as a whole but imagine if the honorable Nelson Mandela didn't dare stand up against racism in the way he did, and gave in feeling the fight was too much? He stuck to his beliefs and kept his integrity despite everything he faced, knowing he was doing a good thing, and his passion meant he got noticed, and people of all races proudly stood with him in support. The adversity is that sometimes, what is deemed morally correct in certain types of societies, it is not accepted in others, and if such beliefs are held strongly, people often end up judging others for something they simply do not understand enough about. Placing labels is a prime example as modern society seems to feel the need to # everything, with even the term 'flexitarian' being used for those who eat meals with and without meat, and whilst this can help people find community, it can also do the opposite by increasing segregation, and some even feel the need to impose their choices on others rather than letting people choose for themselves. If the world was even a bit more compassionate towards each other, it would be a much happier place for us all.
A relatively easy argument for a more compassionate society is that we must learn to become more compassionate towards ourselves, mentally and physically, as some of, if not all of the most successful battles start with facing the issues within first. Accepting ourselves for who we are naturally makes us more compassionate in accepting others for who they are too, thus feeling free within yourself makes you feel in control of yourself, making the the need to control other parts of your life less. A well known chocolate wafer has been promoting it for years, but when was the last time you gave yourself a break, and felt more compassionate towards your insecurities? If we can learn to accept ourselves for who we are, then it is much easier to accept others for who they are. The song "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sun Screen)" by Baz Luhrmann is very apt here, and if you haven't heard it yet, we highly recommend listening to it, because he shares some very helpful wisdom in it which complies here.
PAIN - HYPERMOBILITY - PERFORMANCE - BREATHING PATTERNS - TMJ (JAW) WORK
FASCIA - BIOTENSEGRITY - RECOVERY - SINUSES - REHAB/PREHAB - ANATOMY TRAINS - STRESS
MEDICAL CONDITIONS - INJURIES - HEALTH - ALIGNMENT - BIOMECHANICS - POSTURE
SPORT - REMEDIAL - PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES - MAINTENANCE - HOMEOSTASIS
- BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE BY SEEING THE BEST -
PERFORMANCE SOFT TISSUE THERAPY
SPORT AND REMEDIAL MASSAGE
(BTEC LEVEL 5)
SPECIALTIES: PERFORMANCE (SPORT AND ARTS), HYPERMOBILITY, PAIN AND RESPIRATORY
REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR THE SMA (EAST ANGLIA AND EAST MIDLANDS) - SPORTS MASSAGE ASSOCIATION
Know Your Body
RECOMMENDED READING LIST
THE STRESS RESPONSE
Let the real learning begin...
3.1: STRESS AND SCIENCE
Modern society is very different to the society our ancient ancestors lived in, the term survival can mean very different things, yet the stress response remains the same. Modern society can easily be taken for granted, no predators hunting you for food, no risking lives for food and drink, although sadly some still suffer from not knowing when their next meal will be, and technology is advancing every day to make your every day easier. However, take a step back, and without trying to sound too “hippy” so to speak, and consider your own technology to make your every day easier – and it is SO simple! Stressors in Modern Society are somewhat different and mental health awareness is becoming as important as physical health, and so it should be! The technology in your hand and home is not the only technology to have advanced, but technology in science research has enabled us to learn more about the human body and we continue to learn. Relatively recently for example, William G. Kaelin Jr, Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe and Gregg L. Semenza were awarded a 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology as they
“discovered how cells can sense and adapt to changing oxygen availability. They identified molecular machinery that regulates the activity of genes in response to varying levels of oxygen… They established the basis for our understanding of how oxygen levels affect cellular metabolism and physiological function. Their discoveries have also paved the way for promising new strategies to fight anemia, cancer and many other diseases.”[i]
However, just because this has only just been discovered does not mean that it is new technology, as whilst the human form has clearly evolved and adapted as society as changed, there are some aspects of the human body which have not necessarily evolved and adapted and as a consequence, it is becoming more and more important to understand your own body, so you can understand you! One aspect of the human form which has not necessarily evolved is the stress response, to which our new Nobel Laureates in Physiology have enabled us to understand further.
An individual has to decide in a matter of seconds whether they should fight, flight or freeze in response to a stressful trigger/situation. This requires analysis of the trigger/situation and a person’s chosen action can depend on previous experiences.
“Rather than having a single, defined feedback ‘switch’, control of the stress response requires a wide-reaching feedback ‘network’ [neural and endocrine] that coordinates HPA activity to suit the overall needs of multiple body systems”[i].
NOTE 1: The Hypothalamus and Anterior Pituitary are in the brain located within the skull, where as the Adrenal Cortex sits on top of each kidney in the gut.
NOTE 2: These changes happen within seconds and usually subconsciously.
[i] Herman, J. P., McKlveen, J. M., Solomon, M. B., Carvalho-Netto, E., & Myers, B. (2012). Neural regulation of the stress response: glucocorticoid feedback mechanisms. Brazilian journal of medical and biological research, 45(4), 292-298.
3.2: SOME ABBREVIATIONS
3.1: THE STRESS RESPONSE EXPLAINED
Main Hormones involved in stress and homeostasis regulation:
Serotonin, also known as 5-HT
Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH)
Adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH)
Hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) including HIF-1α, HIF-2α and ARNT
Epinephrine and Norepinephrine
Activation to stressful stimuli is controlled by a small collection of parvocellular neurons located in the PVN of the hypothalamus. Upon such stimulation, “these neurons release neural factors, such as CRH and AVP, into the hypophyseal portal circulation”v, which is a group of blood vessels connecting the hypothalamus to the anterior pituitary. When this occurs, the factors can pass into the anterior pituitary causing a release of ACTH into the systemic circulation, triggering the adrenal cortex to synthesize and secrete glucocorticoids. Simultaneously, with glucocorticoids and serotonin regulating the HPA-axis via the PVN, the CRH and LC/NE systems stimulate arousal and attention, noting that CRH, via somatostatin, suppresses reproductive, growth, and thyroid functions via inhibiting GH, TRH and TSH, and 5' deiodinase.
FIGHT RESPONSE: Feeling confident that you can overcome the trigger by facing it and fighting it.
FLIGHT RESPONSE: Perceiving the trigger as too difficult to fight but feeling confident that you can safely escape it.
FREEZE RESPONSE: The stimulus can neither be defeated, or safely escaped from, leaving you paralyzed in fear[i]. Can be described as being “overwhelmed” by the trigger.
ALTERED BREATHING PATTERNS:
PICTURE: more related to breathing patterns to change the one above
Enterochromaffin Cells (ECs) monitor low circulating levels of oxygen, initiating aspects of the SWI/SNF (SWItch/Sucrose Non-Fermentable) to be recruited to a HIF-1α (Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1 alpha) target, increasing the number of REPC (Renal EPO-Producing Cells), and thus, increasing EPO (Erythropoietin) levels.
Circa 90% of EPO is produced in the kidney, with circa 10% produced in the liver (vice versa during fetal gestation)[ii], and is the leading regulator of red cell production, promoting their development and initiating the synthesis of haemoglobin[iii]. So, there is a reason why the Adrenal Cortex can be found on the kidney and not the brain!) REPC are predominantly found in the renal cortex, particularly the juxtamedullary region, and outer medulla[iv].
Successfully Overcoming the Trigger
Homeostasis returns to normal, noting the bigger perception of threat and duration of stress can impact future responses.
Unsuccessfully Overcoming the Trigger/Chronic Stress
Chiang et al. (2013)[v] found that the pathogenetic alteration of hypoxia depends on the interactive signals of both the HIF and the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in the liver and kidneys via the unfolded protein response (UPR). The UPR being the ERs response to cellular stress, activating a surge of signals to maintain homeostasis, of which “failure to regain homeostasis causes the UPR to activate cell death pathways”[vi].
Increased circulatory cortisol levels influences Glucocorticoid Recepter (GR) binding and relatively recently it has been found that glucocorticoids produce feed-forward mechanisms at the amygdala during the stress responsev[vii], providing the potential for a ‘fast nongenomic feedback system’. Serotonin can also take a hit with stress induced serotonin dysfunction being linked to conditions such as PTSD, Depression, and Fibromyalgia.
Furthermore, Tank and Lee Wong (2015)[viii] explain Epinephrine and Norepinephrine’s roles perfectly:
“Physical challenges, emotional arousal, increased physical activity, or changes in the environment can evoke stress, requiring altered activity of visceral organs, glands, and smooth muscles. These alterations are necessary for the organism to function appropriately under these abnormal conditions and to restore homeostasis. These changes in activity comprise the "fight-or-flight" response and must occur rapidly or the organism may not survive. The rapid responses [include the] catecholamines, epinephrine, and norepinephrine, secreted from the adrenal medulla. The catecholamine neurohormones interact with adrenergic receptors present on cell membranes of all visceral organs and smooth muscles, leading to activation of signalling pathways and consequent alterations in organ function and smooth muscle tone.
During the "fight-or-flight response," the rise in circulating epinephrine and norepinephrine from the adrenal medulla and norepinephrine secreted from sympathetic nerve terminals cause increased blood pressure and cardiac output, relaxation of bronchial, intestinal and many other smooth muscles, mydriasis, and metabolic changes that increase levels of blood glucose and free fatty acids. Circulating catecholamines can also alter memory via effects on afferent sensory nerves impacting central nervous system function.
While these rapid responses may be necessary for survival, sustained elevation of circulating catecholamines for prolonged periods of time can also produce pathological conditions, such as cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure, hypertension, and posttraumatic stress disorder. In this review, we discuss the present knowledge of the effects of circulating catecholamines on peripheral organs and tissues, as well as on memory in the brain.”ii
FLOW CHARD OF EP AND NOREP ROLES
Absorbing all of this information may take some time, but there is one thing it makes clear, you should address any chronic stress and that there are a plethora of ways to do this, with research constantly discovering more as mental health becomes increasingly more important. Section 5 which covers ‘Breathing Patterns’ will offer you a simple and easily accessible way in which to hack your stress and symptoms of oxidative stress – and whilst this platform may involve some cost, this hack involves tools you already have in your body meaning you can do it anywhere at any time!!! A hint: it’s your diaphragm! There is a lot more to it than that though… if it were that simple, everyone would know and be doing it already.
For anyone interested, here is a paper published in 2012 which has been cited over 1800 times, so I highly recommend the read:
Semenza, G. L. (2012). Hypoxia-inducible factors in physiology and medicine. Cell, 148(3), 399-408.
[i] Seltzer, “Trauma and the Freeze Response: Good, Bad, or Both” [online]
[ii] Noguchi, C. T. (2008). Where the Epo cells are. Blood, The Journal of the American Society of Hematology, 111(10), 4836-4837.
[iii] Siamak N Nabili. Erythropoietin (EPO, The EPO Test), https://www.medicinenet.com/erythropoietin/article.htm
[iv] Haase, V. H. (2013). Mechanisms of hypoxia responses in renal tissue. Journal of the american society of nephrology, 24(4), 537-541.
[v] Chiang, C. K., Nangaku, M., Tanaka, T., Iwawaki, T., & Inagi, R. (2013). Endoplasmic reticulum stress signal impairs erythropoietin production: a role for ATF4. American Journal of Physiology-Cell Physiology, 304(4), C342-C353.
[vi] Bravo, R., Parra, V., Gatica, D., Rodriguez, A. E., Torrealba, N., Paredes, F., ... & Quest, A. F. (2013). Endoplasmic reticulum and the unfolded protein response: dynamics and metabolic integration. In International review of cell and molecular biology (Vol. 301, pp. 215-290). Academic Press.
[vii] Geuze, E., van Wingen, G. A., van Zuiden, M., Rademaker, A. R., Vermetten, E., Kavelaars, A., ... & Heijnen, C. J. (2012). Glucocorticoid receptor number predicts increase in amygdala activity after severe stress. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 37(11), 1837-1844.
[viii] William Tank, A., & Lee Wong, D. (2011). Peripheral and central effects of circulating catecholamines. Comprehensive Physiology, 5(1), 1-15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25589262
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