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Why Nigerians must learn to relax, avoid stressful lifestyle, says Yashua

By Adamu Abuh, Abuja
07 October 2022   |   8:37 am
Abuja-based Pediatrician and Public Health expert, Dr Yashua Alkali Hamza has warned Nigerians to guard against very stressful lifestyles. In a chat with the Guardian in Abuja, she contended that Nigerians can be rest assured that they would be fit and healthier if they imbibe the relaxation culture. Yashua who is Chief Executive officer at…

Abuja-based Pediatrician and Public Health expert, Dr Yashua Alkali Hamza has warned Nigerians to guard against very stressful lifestyles.

In a chat with the Guardian in Abuja, she contended that Nigerians can be rest assured that they would be fit and healthier if they imbibe the relaxation culture.

Yashua who is Chief Executive officer at the Childcare and Wellness Clinics remarked that relaxation boosts the body’s immune system required to ward off life-threatening ailments.

According to her: “Being relaxed and at peace with your mind is essential for every human being. What a lot of people don’t understand is that majority of our diseases are caused by stress. It is not just hypertension or heart disease but even those ones seemingly caused by microorganisms, autoimmune diseases and other chronic illnesses.

“This is because stress hampers the ability of our body to keep us in balance. We all have an innate ability in us, an immune system that helps us fight diseases and keep us healthy. When we are stressed this immune system is disrupted. That is why two people can be exposed to the same thing one gets sick and the other doesn’t.

“That person who doesn’t get sick has a very functional immune system. Now, what does stress do? It suppresses this immune system and your body is unable to fight off diseases and keep you healthy. If you are under a lot of stress you overthink and your mind is always busy.

“The best thing to do to stop your mind from racing is not to try and fight it because it is like you are fighting yourself. All you need to do is calm down and relax. Your nervous system calms down and your body comes back to balance.

“This is what we call homeostasis and once your body is in homeostasis it does what it is supposed to do, protect you from diseases, keep you healthy and heal you from your ailments. But if every day you are in a flight or fight response, your body behaves like there is an emergency all the time, you then have a lot of hormones of stress dumped in your system, these hormones like adrenalin or cortisol in huge quantities all the time and in a sustained manner are not good for your body and for your immune system.

“Many diseases can get to you this way and that is what we are trying to do here. To encourage people to relax and de-stress.
In fact, when you are relaxed and not under stress all the time, your Executive function from your higher brain centers works better. This means you make better decisions in things that you do and in everyday life.”

On reasons for setting up the revitalised Wellness and holistic service, she said: “This service is part of the wider services that we provide at the childcare and Wellness Clinics. We complement the clinic services by providing a holistic approach to problems. For instance, someone with malaria who has been on medication several times might need to have a detox or an immune booster. Someone who has headaches all the time might be under a lot of stress and we provide relaxation services like Yoga, meditation, massages and a calm and serene environment.

“We also offer an all-female dance class for people to dance away their stress and calories. So as a holistic center we look at the person who has the disease in totality focusing on the mind, body and soul of that person all in an effort to bring the person back into balance.

“We are also into encouraging people to be more in tune with nature. This has been well-researched that when you commune with nature you are calmer and more in tune with your inner being nature teaches you a lot, it makes us slow down and it increases our sense of serenity, well-being and peace.

“Our environment is very important. You look at a tree growing all by itself and thriving, you are then reminded that you don’t need to fight and you don’t need to struggle, just let go of all the worries. This is the secret to ultimate health.”

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