It may take science years to catch up to what we learned early in school; be kind to others, be calm and don't lose your temper, eat fruits and vegetables and be sure to exercise, play and have fun. These are the elements to a long and healthy life, reducing physical stress and emotional stress. These days we can add a few suggestions to the list; find time to meditate, make sure your foods are organic, go outside to connect to nature, but avoid chemical sprays, food additives and toxic exposures.
What is Stress?
Stress is meant to be a helpful mechanism for survival. When danger threatens us, we experience "fight or flight" stress in which many intricate chemical reactions occur to help us avert danger or be stronger. This includes the release of adrenalin from the adrenal glands above the kidneys, which in turn trigger the release of extra glucose for energy from the liver. Long ago, this kind of response was crucial for human survival. Dangers from wild animals attacking us, a need to run fast to get away, a need to be stronger to win in a struggle. These mechanisms didn't go away when we moved into homes in the suburbs. In fact, you may have heard of unusual super-strength such as lifting a car to release a person trapped under the weight of the car after an accident. Adrenalin is always there for us when we need it . . . and maybe when we don't.
Stress Contributes to Disease
Today, we feel stress in traffic, during school testing or presentations, office meetings, family disagreements and even movie thrillers or action television. The effect on the body is much the same as people go into "fight or flight" stress every day. The accumulation of stress every day is referred to as chronic stress. Stress felt in this way takes its toll on health by causing disease, in particular, heart disease, inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, diabetes and even cancer.
What Causes Stress?
Stressors are agents that cause stress.
Social stressors can be events such as divorce or death of a loved one. Diagnosis of a serious disease can also be a strong stressor which leads to depression. Depression itself can be another stressor and lead to other diseases. Studies also show that in HIV patients, stress contributes to the progression of AIDs, weakening the immune system and speeding the replication of the virus.
Oxidative stress happens on a chemical level within the body. Vital chemical reactions occur when nerve cells fire and activate muscles or when energy is released from cell mitochondria and even when red blood cells carry oxygen to other cells. In fact, all functions for life are based in chemical reactions in the body. In the presence of toxins and other stressors, these reactions just don't happen. Electrons are stolen from these vital reactions by stressors creating oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can damage healthy cells, cause signs of aging and disease, result in severe damage such as neuropathy, neuromuscular disease, other degenerative diseases and even cancer.
Why is stress, or rather reducing stress, so important in terms of serious disease?
Stress compromises the immune system. This is your body's
defense system for fighting all diseases, including cancer, heart disease,
diabetes and even viruses and bacteria which cause infections like colds and
flu. In fact, stress can effect all other systems in your body.
Normal, healthy cells become damaged by toxins and radiation, stress and poor diet, as well as many other complex factors. Under normal circumstances our immune system takes care of these damaged or abnormal cells. White blood cells recognize unhealthy cells, eat them and recycle them in normal body processes. At least, that's what should happen. If the immune system is not functioning properly, if the diet isn't as good as it should be, if stressors are too great, if there is a lifetime of accumulated toxins, if . . .if . . . if . . . then we could see symptoms of disease.
How to Relieve Stress
Energy Healing- It would be great if we could just "relax" on command, let go of worries, breathe deeply because we know we should or feel optimistic even though the weight of the world is on our shoulders. With a little practice and self-discipline it is possible to release stress and negative emotions that block your healing. However, if you need a little help, you can schedule a Reiki session or become attuned to Reiki yourself. Learn more about Reiki.
Detox- Using detoxification as a method to relieve physical stressors allows the body to function more normally, without the Body Burden of toxins. What happens when you remove toxins? The immune system works better, mental clarity improves, sleep improves and so much more. Learn more about detox.
Replenish Vital Nutrients- Eat well and add supplements. The body works better with whole, natural foods in balance. You can't expect to heal while eating packaged or processed foods, empty of nutrients needed to rebuild healthy cells. Learn more about supplements.
*Disclaimer- The information on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It is not intended as medical advice or to replace the advice or attention of health care professionals. You may wish to consult your physician before beginning or making changes in your diet, nutritional supplementation or exercise program. The statements on this web site have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.