Sunday, June 4, 2017

Allostatic Load with Dr Don Bosch

In this video, Dr. Don Bosch talks about Allostatic Load and Allostasis.  He is the Senior Advisor and Director of Risk Environment Psychology at the Headington, Institute.

For more information, visit their website at

This is part 1 of a 5 part series where we will be discussing Allostatic Load and what I've learned in my own life.  I have gone through work with Dr. Paul Canali called Unified Therapy that has helped me deal with Allostatic Load.

Notes From The Video

  • Allostasis is achieving stability in the midst of change.
  • Researchers helpful on Allostasis 
  •  Allostasis is closely related to Homeostasis
    • Homeostasis keeps our body within very narrow limits that allows us to survive.
      • Body Temperature Example:  If our body is too hot, we sweat to cool down.  If our body is too cold, blood gets pulled back into our vital organs to keep us functioning.  The set point of our body temperature does not change.  If it varies too much, we are in serious danger.
      • Allostasis is similar to homeostasis
        • It is our response to some challenge outside or inside ourselves.
        • Our response is a way to get us ready to handle the challenge.
      • With allostasis we can respond and the set point can change over time.
        • When the set point changes, it becomes allostatic load.
        • Dangerous for us in the long run.
  • Flight or fight response initiated by the amygdala
    •  Danger is sensed and the amygdala initiates a major response in the brain and body to prepare for the action.
      • Things like blood pressure and heart rate increase to get blood into our muscles to be ready for action.
      • Breathing increases to get more oxygen into our cells and body.
      • The immune system goes into emergency mode to flood our body with proinflamatory substances which enable us to respond to infection or injury immediately.
      • Blood sugar, insulin and cholesterol all go up in the bloodstream to provide us energy to respond
    • Enables us to survive the flight or fight and even chronic stress
    • Problem is when it does not turn off and we get stuck in this state of allostatic load.
  • When we are stuck in allostatic load
    • We are not aware of it.
    • You may be cold and freezing to death but in allostatic load, you don't necessarily know you are there.
    • This is where the risk lies.
  •  It is very easy for us to get into allostatic load, no matter what your job is or where you are or what situations you may be experiencing life.
    • We need to find a way to turn it off.
    • We need to find a way to be aware of it.
    • Resiliency is anything that helps us turn allostatic load off
  • Things that help us manage allostatic load
    • Social Support
    • Physical Exercise
    • Sense of meaning and purpose
  • Allostatic load in the long run is dangerous

Make sure you check out the next part in this 5 part series.  

 Part 2 is "If You Don't Deal With Stress"

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