Do you know about the pivotal role that the adrenals glands play in triggering the body’s response to stress? Are you even aware of where your adrenal glands are located? These glands produce a number of critical hormones and neurotransmitters that impact our stress reactions, influencing both mind and body.
The adrenal glands are part of the larger endocrine system. The endocrine system includes the pituitary; the pineal gland; the hypothalamus; the thyroid; the parathyroids; the thymus gland; the pancreas; and the reproductive organs. All of these endocrine glands produce hormones that direct almost all of our bodily functions. Coincidentally, the hands placements that are used during Reiki Therapy correspond with the locations of the endocrine glands.
The small triangular adrenal glands are located on top of the kidneys, with a direct vascular connection between them, even though they perform different functions. The hormones that the adrenal glands produce help control blood sugar and blood pressure, as well as regulate metabolism. More significantly, the adrenals glands are the front-runners in the body’s stress reactions. When alerted by stressors, the adrenals produce a number of powerful chemicals, including cortisol, adrenalin and noradrenaline.
However, the adrenal glands are not designed to prioritize the stressors that may arise in daily life. The physiological response of the adrenals is exactly the same, whether we are simply stuck in traffic or whether we are facing a life-threatening situation. Consequently, when we are dealing with ongoing high levels of stress, the energy that the body would use to maintain health gets redirected to respond to stressors.
For those who have experienced trauma, or those who have had persistent stress or pain, the adrenals glands can move into a state of hyper-arousal. They stay continually accelerated. Remaining in this non-stop “on” state over time can cause the body to get addicted to the rush of adrenaline. As a consequence, the adrenals may feel more familiar with being revved up and forget how to down shift out of this alerted state.
Our busy lifestyle can add to this. We often feel pressed for time, that we don’t have time to even pause. This is why, during Reiki Therapy, people may report that it feels good, but sort of odd, when they first sense the adrenals glands calming down.
Reiki Therapy has been shown to be very helpful for calming adrenal hyperarousal and also for addressing adrenal fatigue. The research studies on Reiki have demonstrated its effectiveness for stress reductions and for engaging a deep state of relaxation in body and mind.