“I’ve had anxiety for 2 days now!”
Recently, I had a client come in for a Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy session that woke up in the morning with anxiety that lasted for 2 days straight.
She said she could not seem to turn it off.
When she did get quiet she noticed an internal “hum” in her body like a little motor running…but it never seemed to slow down or quit.
The anxiety and internal “hum” she said, had been going on for as long as she can remember.
She seemed puzzled as to why this was going on and just wanted to find some relief!
This is what I explained to her…
The HPA axis and anxiety link
The HPA, what!?
Yeah I know, tricky anatomy terms. Ugh.
Don’t worry, I’ll break it down for you.
It’s called the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis. The hypothalamus and pituitary are located in your brain, and your adrenals are located on top of your kidneys.
So how does this all connect to my clients’ anxiety (and possible yours), you ask?
Anytime we experience anxiety (or stress for that matter), it’s the job of the hypothalamus to regulate balance in the body and controls many of the autonomic nervous system functions.
When you encounter anxiety, the hypothalamus will release a hormone called CRH (corticotrophin-releasing-hormone) which shoots a message to your pituitary gland. You pituitary gland is the master control center for your endocrine system (a collection of glands that regulates sleep and mood, digestion, hormones, regulate metabolism, etc.).
Are you with me so far? Good.
When your pituitary gland gets this message from the hypothalamus (which links your nervous system to your endocrine system via the pituitary gland), it activates another hormone called ACTH (adrenocorticotrophin-releasing hormone) which sends a message to your adrenal glands.
The adrenals then produce the hormones epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol.
Cortisol is a hormone (also known as a “stress hormone”) that ramps up our physical response to stress (and anxiety) and gets us in the “fight or flight” mode.
Whew! That’s a lot of information to take in, I know.
Take a nice, deep breath with me…exhale slowly… and feel your feet on the ground.
How Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy helped her
Normally when we feel anxiety, the HPA axis is supposed to ramp up, we deal with the situation, and then it comes back down.
In the case of my client, her system never came back down and was stuck in this cycle for 2 days.
I often tell people that Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle, hands-on treatment for the nervous system – to help it settle, re-balance and re-regulate.
During the session, I was able to help my client by first creating a space of safety for her in which she could feel held, nurtured, and comforted.
In this space, I gently placed one hand on top of her stomach and one hand under her back. This hold helped her adrenal glands to settle, gently release that fight or flight response, and her diaphragm to melt like snow in the sun.
By helping her body to re-balance her HPA axis, that allowed her anxiety to settle and discharge from her body. When this happened she fell asleep on the table and entered a deep, restorative state.
In a few days I checked in with her and she was feeling much better and even said that she slept great that night.
Your next gentle step
If you have been suffering from chronic stress or anxiety and just can’t seem to calm down, then Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy may be just what you need.
If you’re ready to take the next step, you can schedule a session here.
So, what do you think?
I would love to hear what you think of this post! Anything you agree with or any stories you would like to share?