the fight or flight response


The automatic nervous system provides an unconscious inbuilt survival mechanism. This mechanism evolved to protect us from threats; for instance tigers. In these situations, we automatically prepare to 'fight or flight' by changing the balance of hormones that include adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol. These hormones activate dramatic physical changes:

  • Triggers Fight or Flight Response

  • Increase Adrenaline, Noradrenaline and Cortisol

  • Blood moves from Intestines to Muscles

  • Blood sugar burnt for emergency energy

  • Nervous system becomes hyper-aroused

  • Brain switches to reactive and danger mode

This is only supposed to be for a few short-term super-charged seconds until we have run away, killed the tiger or have been eaten! In modern life, however, there are ‘tigers’ everywhere. They include the boss, relationships, the blackberry, to-do list, exams. We do not have to feel particularly stressed for the hormones to be increased; continued release adds up and can lead to:

  • Poor or incomplete sleep
  • Impaired mental function (e.g. poor concentration, headaches or brain fog)
  • Weakened immune system Auto Immune Disease
  • Over-sensitised nervous system and chronic pain
  • Irritable Bowl Syndrome
  • Weight irregularity
  • Muscle aching/heaviness
  • Anxious feelings, low motivation & confidence, irritability or anger
  • Toxic build up & intolerances
  • Prolonged cortisol release leads to fat deposits on organs, an increased risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and infertility