Deep Breathing to Safe Guard Against Oppression
Here at the Self Care After Series our goal is to equip communities subjected to higher frequencies of adversities with tools and recourses that allows them to name, identify and safeguard against the types of injustices that impede on ones' mental, emotional an physiological health.
Researchers in various fields have noted stress is the leading catalyst to negative health conditions and lethal diseases. Researchers have also declared racial discrimination and sexism as a significant source of stress for members who are subjected to one or both. We acknowledge that Black American people on America's soil endure tailored discrimination with surgical precision, and is rooted in the history an traditions of America. Similar to Black South African in South Africa.
What do we know about Stress?
We know that stress is the body's' hard-wired reaction to a condition that is threatening, challenging or physically and psychologically taxing.
How does it affect the body?
We know that stress on a physiological level is the release of stress hormones from the adrenal gland such as cortisol, , and norepinephrine that or increases your appetite, causes irritability and mode swings, tension in muscles, headaches, high blood pressure (75% of Blk women and men by age 55), loss of focus and other surges of pain in the body dampening the quality of life one lives.
And we know that chronic stress kills.
Is there more?
We know that communities subjected to a higher frequency of adversities experience chronic stress. The mere reality of oppression is stressful and it has five faces: 1. cultural imperialism 2. exploitation 3. violence 4. marginalization and 5. powerlessness, all five must be present in order for a community to be categorized as oppressed.
Although all stress is not dangerous in an appropriate context, chronic stress is prolonged stress on the body.
Stress can flare up from street harassment "Fuck you then bitch" interactions with the police, unhealthy relationships, subtle racism at work, and racial discrimination at school are a few general examples. Such continued threatening conditions lead to oxidative stress, which is the result of chronic stress causing the body to no longer naturally detoxify itself and repair the damage of stress.
Oxidative stress is the process by which free radicals, or reactive oxygen species, damage cellular components including DNA, proteins, and lipids.
The good news is holistic medical practices from cultures around the world along with modern science proves that deep breathing from the diaphragm can significantly reduce oxidative stress and help the body relax.
This is why we incorporate a range of deep breathing techniques in our interactive social justice infused workshops. Book one of our industry-specific workshops for your community asap.