December 10, 2015
Too Much Stress
or Not Enough Recovery?

For many natives of the Pacific Northwest, the sights and sounds of the latest downpour hitting against the windows conjured up childhood memories of days spent inside, wistfully waiting for drier weather. For the outdoor enthusiasts of today, the tables have been turned. With the invention of weatherproof fabrics, the focus is no longer on the oppressive limitations of these external factors but is rather on how we can best respond to them. Today, a rainy day simply means choosing waterproof gear before venturing outside.

This shift in focus is also developing within the medical world with regards to stress and health. In this modern society, schedules intensify and technological innovations bring new and exciting ways for us to communicate with one another, but these innovations rarely relieve our stress. For many, they add to it. If stress can’t be stopped from occurring, how can responses to stress be optimized? Research confirms that a lack of recovery and restitution may be a greater health risk than the absolute level of strain itself.

Identifying the physiologic effects of stress and burnout on individuals may be the initial approach. This is easily and accurately achieved via salivary adrenal function testing with DHEA and diurnal cortisol levels serving as objective biomarkers. Once assessed, these levels represent the extent of strain on the HPA axis and aid in guiding successful treatment plan development. See: Adrenal Dysfunction Stages & Treatment Considerations.

In addition, providers can empower patients to achieve meaningful psychological recovery with proven lifestyle modifications - even during a 5-20 minute break during the workday. Spending time in and around nature has been shown to be effective, as have the four mechanisms of a recovery experience as defined by Sonnentag and Fritz:

  • Detach: Disengage both physically and mentally, from work.
  • Relax: Choose an activity that allows a state of low activation and increased positive affect to be achieved.
  • Mastery: Exposure to challenging experiences and learning opportunities during non-work time.
  • Control: Be in control of when and how to pursue activities during non-work time.

By educating patients and supporting their physical and psychological ability to fully recover from stress, their focus can be successfully shifted away from the oppressive limitations of stress and toward action-oriented strategies for recovery - shifting their attitudes from a helpless sounding “I’m so stressed out!” to an empowered “I’m recovery deficient, but I’m working on it!”

Interested in learning more about advanced adrenal function and HPA axis dysregulation? Join us at Labrix Advanced Workshop on January 16 and 17, 2016 in Las Vegas. Labrix co-founders Jay Mead MD and Erin Lommen ND, along with staff physicians and special expert guests will present 2 days of in-depth research, testing options and treatment protocols associated with common and difficult clinical cases. Register and reserve your seat today!

References:
  • Marchand A, Juster RP, Durand P, Lupien SJ. Burnout symptom sub-types and cortisol profiles: what’s burning most? Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2014;40:27-36
  • Bloom de Jessica, Kinnunen Ulla, and Korpela Kalevi. Exposure to nature versus relaxation during lunch breaks and recovery from work: development and design of an intervention study to improve workers’ health, well-being, work performance and creativity. BMC Public Health. 2014; 14: 488.
  • Sonnentag S, Fritz C: The recovery experience questionnaire: development and validation of a measure for assessing recuperation and unwinding from work. J Occup Health Psychol 2007, 12:204–221

Labrix Clinical Spotlight Series:
Adrenal Health

Staff physician Krista Anderson-Ross discusses the role of the hormone cortisol and how it relates to stress, symptoms of adrenal imbalance and treatment options, as well as other topics regarding adrenal health.




Labrix Core Training

Join the hundreds of practitioners who have attended Labrix live training events and learn more about these exciting opportunities directly from a Labrix attendee and Dr. Jay Mead, Medical Director and co-founder of Labrix.



Labrix
Advanced Workshop
Las Vegas, NV
January 16-17, 2016

Join Labrix founders and staff physicians for 2 full days of training and case studies, focusing on hormone, adrenal and neurotransmitter optimization. The workshop is just $199: Register today!


Labrix
Core Training:
Atlanta
Atlanta, GA
March 5, 2016

Labrix staff physicians will be in Atlanta on March 5th to present Core Training. Registration is $150 and upon completing this one day training, you will receive a $100 credit on your testing account. Register for Atlanta Core Training today.

A4M
Las Vegas, NV
December 11-13, 2015

Labrix Medical Director, Jay Mead MD and CEO/Assoc. Medical Director, Erin Lommen ND, along with Account Representative, Tom Lasota and Marketing Manager, Angie Daschel will be in the exhibit hall at A4M to answer questions and inform providers about what's new at Labrix.