Stress kills. It contributes to more diseases than nearly anything else (nutrition supersedes it). Stress kills the fun out of life. It kills dreams, it kills our wholesome desires, and it kills relationships. Stress kills. But it doesn’t have to.
We all have stress. There is no avoiding it. I’ve met only one or two people in my life who claim to not have any stress. They are certainly a rarity. How you REPOND to stress is what sets one person apart from another. We all know people who have an enormous amount of stress in their life, but they are still happy all the time, and it doesn’t seem to bother them. Then we have the other end of the spectrum – people who with the littlest stressful event, they get derailed and life seems to close in on them. There is a difference between these people that has only a little to do with their personality. It has more to do with their health.
Healthy people tolerate stress better. Their coping mechanism seems to be working better. It’s not that they just don’t allow the stress to get to them, the stress just doesn’t seem to have such a deleterious effect on their body. There are several reasons for this.
The adrenal glands are our main stress-coping mechanism. The healthier the adrenal glands are, the better we cope with stressors. Unfortunately today, most people have weakened adrenal function (not diseased, weakened). The weaker they are, the less we are able to cope with stress. The less we cope with stress, the weaker the adrenals become and it begins a downward spiral. Fortunately, there is much we can do to improve adrenal health. We accomplish that with dietary and lifestyle modifications, herbal medicine, and acupuncture.
Proper nutrition plays a more substantial role than most people realize. Certain foods and drinks actually contribute to more stress, both physiologically and mentally, while other foods are helpful, but not in the diet in proper amounts.
There are things that we can do to give immediate relief from the affects of stress while we build up the body to deal more appropriately with stress on a long term basis.
According to the American Institute of Stress (www.stress.org) the following are the
I first came to see Dr. Carling when I attended her stress workshop, “Acupuncture Happy Hour,” which I had seen advertised in the newspaper. That first introductory acupuncture treatment was such an incredible experience. As I lay on the treatment table I felt myself breathing deeply and felt complete serenity for the first time in my life. I was absolutely amazed at how calm and relaxed it made me feel. I felt so good the rest of that day. The next day I had so much energy and got so much accomplished! I felt so good with that one treatment that I decided to become a regular patient.
My life right now is incredibly stressful. I’ve been stretched pretty thin between work stress and home stress. To top it off my dog, Simba, (my best friend) had just been diagnosed with cancer.
The acupuncture and nutrition have helped me so much in dealing with the stress in my life. I’m handling things better. Things that used to drive me bananas don’t have to ruin my life. I feel great! - Sherie
1. Frequent headaches, jaw clenching or pain
2. Gritting, grinding teeth
3. Stuttering or stammering
4. Tremors, trembling of lips, hands
5. Neck ache, back pain, muscle spasms
6. Light headedness, faintness, dizziness
7. Ringing, buzzing or “popping” sounds
8. Frequent blushing, sweating
9. Cold or sweaty hands, feet
10. Dry mouth, problems swallowing
11. Frequent colds, infections, herpes sores
12. Rashes, itching, hives, “goose bumps”
13. Unexplained or frequent “allergy” attacks
14. Heartburn, stomach pain, nausea
15. Excess belching, flatulence
16. Constipation, diarrhea
17. Difficulty breathing, sighing
18. Sudden attacks of panic
19. Chest pain, palpitations
20. Frequent urination
21. Poor sexual desire or performance
22. Excess anxiety, worry, guilt, nervousness
23. Increased anger, frustration, hostility
24. Depression, frequent or wild mood swings
25. Increased or decreased appetite
26. Insomnia, nightmares, disturbing dreams
27. Difficulty concentrating, racing thoughts
28. Trouble learning new information
29. Forgetfulness, disorganization, confusion
30. Difficulty in making decisions
31. Feeling overloaded or overwhelmed
32. Frequent crying spells or suicidal thoughts
33. Feelings of loneliness or worthlessness
34. Little interest in appearance, punctuality
35. Nervous habits, fidgeting, feet tapping
36. Increased frustration, irritability, edginess
37. Overreaction to petty annoyances
38. Increased number of minor accidents
39. Obsessive or compulsive behavior
40. Reduced work efficiency or productivity
41. Lies or excuses to cover up poor work
42. Rapid or mumbled speech
43. Excessive defensiveness or suspiciousness
44. Problems in communication, sharing
45. Social withdrawal and isolation
46. Constant tiredness, weakness, fatigue
47. Frequent use of over-the-counter drugs
48. Weight gain or loss without diet
49. Increased smoking, alcohol or drug use
50. Excessive gambling or impulse buying
And by the same organization: “There are numerous emotional and physical disorders that have been linked to stress including depression, anxiety, heart attacks, stroke, hypertension, immune system disturbances that increase susceptibility to infections, a host of viral linked disorders ranging from the common cold and herpes to AIDS and certain cancers, as well as autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. In addition stress can have direct effects on the skin (rashes, hives, atopic dermatitis, the gastrointestinal system (GERD, peptic ulcer, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis) and can contribute to insomnia and degenerative neurological disorders like Parkinson's disease. In fact, it's hard to think of any disease in which stress cannot play an aggravating role or any part of the body that is not affected (see stress effects on the body stress diagram). This list will undoubtedly grow as the extensive ramifications of stress are increasingly being appreciated.”
There is no question that stress kills. We can help.