It is not uncommon to feel stressed or overwhelmed in your day-to-day life. But what makes stress challenging is when you don’t have a way or the right tools to help alleviate that stress.

In this post, we will dive into what causes stress, symptoms that can indicate chronic stress, and how osteopathy can help you tackle that stress.

If you’re looking for a doctor of osteopathy in the Newport area, Healthstar Physicians Family Medicine is still accepting new patients. Learn more about how osteopathy can help combat stress and call our office to schedule an appointment with one of our providers today!

What Causes Stress 

Most people are familiar with the unconscious fight-or-flight responses that are pre-programmed into our bodies. This is how our body responds to different stressful situations: by either fighting the problem or fleeing from the problem. 

Take this flight-or-flight response and apply it to the stress of everyday life. When we are stressed, our body produces all of those hormones that are supposed to help with life-or-death situations. These changes that start to happen in our body can include:

  • The heart beats faster, pumps more blood, sends more blood to the muscles and decreases the amount of blood sent to the organs. 
  • The skin starts sweating.
  • The lungs breathe faster and shallower.
  • The immune system becomes repressed.
  • The endocrine system (the glands that produce hormones) start pumping adrenaline throughout your body. 
  • The pancreas (the organ that aids with digestion) increases your blood sugar level as it pumps out glucagon.

But problems happen when the stress our body experiences isn’t the result of a physical direct danger or problem. Instead, this stress could come from family, a job, an emotional trauma, or a temporary situation. In these cases, that shift in hormones isn’t as beneficial because a physical fight-or-flight response isn’t necessary.  

When this happens, we start to see different symptoms that can come from prolonged or chronic stress. 

Common Symptoms of Chronic Stress 

It might be hard to believe, but if you and your body are experiencing high amounts of stress, that stress can start to manifest as physical symptoms. 

You know that you feel stress, but where is the line to know if you’re just stressed or dealing with chronic stress? There are some symptoms that can help you decide if your body is experiencing symptoms of chronic stress. 

Symptoms can include: 

  • Severe emotional stress
  • Stress paired with immune and inflammatory responses 
  • Exhaustion
  • Hypertension
  • Asthma
  • IBS
  • Depression 

While some of these symptoms might sound severe, long-term stress can start to cause imbalances in the hormones in your body and the different symptoms throughout your body. It is these imbalances that start to create the different symptoms we’ve listed above. If you reach this point with your symptoms, then it’s a good idea to start taking steps to reduce the amount of stress you have in your life.

Where Osteopathy Comes In 

As we’ve talked about in previous posts, osteopathic medicine takes a holistic or whole-body approach to the treatment and prevention of illness. To do this, a doctor of osteopathy will use different massage and stretching techniques to help locate the source of pain and help you find relief. 

Osteopathy can also work on the symptoms associated with your stress to help you find relief from the stress itself. In fact, the massage techniques can work to release any tension that’s held in the body, allowing you to focus on maintaining that lack of stress. 


The manipulation of the body through osteopathy stretching also works as an external force that helps your body rebalance. When your body feels more balanced you can work on reducing the stress held in your body and the causes of the stress in the first place. 

After you leave your osteopathic appointment, your provider can also send you with different techniques and exercises you can do at home. When you take time to follow these techniques at home, you can help maintain your body’s balance and manage the physical symptoms associated with stress. 

Schedule With a Doctor of Osteopathy Today

We hope that this post helped you understand stress a little more, and how osteopathic medicine can help you and your body start to conquer both the symptoms associated with stress and the stress itself. 

If you’re ready to tackle your stress with a doctor of osteopathy, call Healthstar Physicians Family Medicine in Newport to schedule an appointment today.