Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Stress and You

Let me ask you something; what is the one thing in your life you could have less of and be a much happier person? If you said stress, you were right. I'll have you know, stress in and of itself is not a bad thing. It is our body's natural early warning system. It is the system that makes your hair stand on end when your gut tells you something is wrong. It initiates what is called the fight or flight response in your body.The problem with stress is when we have too much of it, when we have it all the time. It is like I tell my patients; you can't always have the army out looking for a perceived enemy. The soldiers get burned out and tired. It is the same thing with stress. Having constant stress is like always having your army on high alert. The system that governs it the autonomic nervous system - gets burned out, so to speak.

So what to do? what to do? Well let me suggest a few ideas. First, take a walk and think about something pleasant. Second, pick up the phone and schedule a massage for yourself. Massage of any type is very calming. According to the Touch Research Institute in Florida, touch has unique ability to reduce stress hormones and improve immune system function. According to one study they did, it was found that massage therapy reduced anxiety, depressed mood, salivary cortisol (stress hormone) levels and body dissatisfaction.

Massage increases endorphin levels in the body. Endorphins are the body's natural feel good hormone that helps with pain relief. Endorphins (or more correctly Endomorphines) are inherent opioid biochemical compounds. They are peptides produced by the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus in animals with spines, and they resemble opiates in their abilities to produce pain relief and a sense of well-being. In other words, they might work as "natural pain killers". In fact the receptors in the brain that endorphins attach to are the same receptors that morphine would attach to.

In1999 clinical researchers reported that inserting acupuncture needles into specific body points triggers the production of endorphins. In another study, higher levels of endorphins were found in cerebrospinal fluid after patients underwent acupuncture.

In my clinic I use a combination of massage, acupuncture and aroma therapy to induce a state of relaxation. This powerful treatment which I have used on many patients in combination with required "homework" has been a boon for my patients. Many have related being a "different person" at home and not being so quick to anger at other times.Don't you owe it to yourself as well as your loved ones to be the best person that you can be? Wouldn't you love to be more relaxed and calmer? It is possible, you can do it! Calm happy people are productive people. Who today would not want to be more productive? So take some time each week to focus for an hour on yourself. Invest in yourself, the dividends could be enormous.

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