Stress

This information is sourced from Natural Cures.  Rife and Zapper frequencies are at the end of this article.

 

Overview
:  Up to 80 percent of all doctor visits are due to health conditions caused by stress, which is not surprising since, according to researchers such as Dr. Bruce Lipton of Stanford University, stress is the single most important cause of more than 95 percent of all disease.  However, it is more accurate to say that it is not stress itself that causes illness so much as it is our reactions to stress.  

In its broadest sense, stress refers to any stimulus—external or internal—that creates pressure.  Not all stress is detrimental.  In some cases, stress can be positive, such as the stress produced during weight training that builds muscle, or the stress inherent to the creative process that results in greater levels of productivity and innovative breakthroughs.  Such healthy types of stress enable us to thrive and feel more invigorated.

Unhealthy stress, by contrast, can lead to impaired immune function, emotional distress, and eventually, illness of a physical and/or psychological nature.

  Any type of stimulus that upsets the normal functioning of the body and/or disturbs one's mood, can be considered unhealthy.  Such stress can occur as a result of one's diet or environment, or arise from various daily life experiences, such as conflict with loved ones or co-workers, money problems, or the death of someone close to you.  Positive life experiences can also trigger unhealthy stress. In fact, stress researchers have identified marriage, the birth of a child, financial achievement, and job advancements as being among the top experiences that can lead to a negative impact on health.  Again, however, it needs to be pointed out that it is not the experience, per se, that causes stress, but how a person reacts to the experience.  For example, some people can face illness with equanimity and therefore heal from it more quickly than normal; whereas some people, in the face of normally positive life experiences, such as getting married or being hired for a desired job, can become overly worried about what such events portend for their future, thus creating unhealthy stress.

  When unhealthy stress becomes prolonged or chronic, it creates biochemical imbalances in the body that can compromise immune function and metabolism, trigger headaches, create or exacerbate pain, sleep disorders, digestive problems, affect brain chemistry and brain wave patterns, and lead to hypertension and heart problems, including heart attack and stroke.  Learning to manage and properly respond to stress is therefore a central tenet of natural, holistic approaches to healing and something that alternative health practitioners take time to outline for their patients.
  


Types and Causes of Unhealthy Stress:  
There are four main categories of unhealthy stress—physical, psychological, psychosocial, and psychospiritual, all of which can be caused by numerous factors.



Physical Stress:  Physical stress affects the body and one's immediate home and work environment.  It can be caused by infection, injuries, overwork, excessive or lack of exercise, environmental toxins, dietary and environmental substances that trigger allergies, noise, poor lighting, electromagnetic fields, geopathic stress, chronic fatigue, poor diet, nutritional deficiencies, biochemical and/or hormonal imbalances, chronic dehydration, musculoskeletal disorders, dental problems, poor oxygen supply, smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke, and blood sugar problems, such as hypoglycemia. 



Psychological Stress: Psychological stress refers to stress of a mental or emotional nature. Unresolved or improperly expressed emotions such as anger, fear, grief, guilt, shame, sorrow, and mental conditions such as anxiety, information overload, jealousy, loss of control, perfectionism, self-criticism, and excessive worry are common triggers of psychological stress. Unhealthy or limiting beliefs, attitudes, and personal disposition (psychological worldview) are other significant causes of psychological stress. 



Psychosocial Stress: Psychosocial stress is primarily caused by relationship problems with family members, coworkers, employers, neighbors, and one's spouse or children.   Lonely people who live their lives in isolation and lack support of family and other loved ones are also very apt to suffer from psychological stress.



Psychospiritual Stress:  Psychospiritual stress refers to stress that is caused by a crisis in one's personal values and/or sense of life purpose.  People prone to suffer from stress in this category often feel as if their lives have little or no meaning and/or find themselves in jobs or other situations they do not like, rather than involved in joyful, meaningful work.  Living dishonestly, meaning in a way that does not honor one's core personal beliefs and sense of ethics, can also cause significant psychospiritual stress and feelings of emptiness and unhappiness. 

How Chronic Stress Can Negatively Affect Your Health.  


What follows are some of the ways that chronic stress can create health problems:

1. Diminished immune function

2. Increased susceptibility to and likelihood of various diseases due to infection

3. Exacerbation of pre-existing health conditions by further compromising the immune system

4. Increased susceptibility to developing hormonal imbalances and diminished function of the adrenal, pituitary, thyroid, and other endocrine glands

5. Increased need for oxygen and glucose, which can result in biochemical and metabolic disturbances

6. Increased susceptibility to anxiety

7. Increased tendency to experience depression and mood swings

8. Elevated blood pressure (hypertension)

9. Increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular conditions

10.  Increased susceptibility to allergies

11.  Increased susceptibility to developing asthma and other respiratory conditions

Natural Cures

Aromatherapy:  The following essential oils can help to relieve stress and anxiety by promoting physical and psychological calming effects: bergamot, camphor, cedarwood, chamomile, clary sage, cypress, frankincense, geranium, hyssop, jasmine, juniper, lavender, lemon, marjoram, melissa, neroli, rose, sandalwood, and/or ylang ylang.



Ayurvedic Medicine:  Ayurvedic physicians address stress by focusing on their patients' level of consciousness, physiology, behavior patterns, and home and work environments.  Although treatment varies according to each patient's specific metabolic type, or dosha, in general the following principles apply for all cases of stress: Address consciousness and associated mental stress through the practice of meditation. Address physiology with proper diet, emphasizing organic, whole foods and avoiding the use of stimulant spices, along with yoga and regular massages with sesame oil to relieve musculoskeletal tension.  Modify stressful behavior by creating a healthy daily routine that includes adequate sleep, regular meals, balancing work with relaxation, and ensuring that patients lead a more organized daily existence.  Home and work environments are improved through the use of relaxing music and essential oils, and thru making the space cleaner, free of toxins, and devoid of clutter. 



Biofeedback Training and Neurofeedback:  Through biofeedback training, you can learn how to better control and regulate your physical and psychological reactions to both external and internal stimuli, thus significantly improving your ability to manage stress.  This is especially true when biofeedback is used with various other types of stress reduction and relaxation exercises. By paying attention to visual and auditory cues from biofeedback devices that monitor your psycho-physiological responses, you can learn how to voluntarily relax and control specific muscles to reduce muscle tension; alter your brain's electrical activity to improve your mood and thinking ability; and reduce your heart rate and blood pressure; increase your body temperature; and improve your overall gastrointestinal function to promote deeper levels of relaxation.



Neurofeedback therapy is an outgrowth of biofeedback training.  It works by reprogramming your dominant brain wave patterns so that you can more quickly and easily shift into and maintain harmonious mental states.  There are four predominant levels of brainwave activity: beta, alpha, theta, and delta. Beta is the state that is associated with problem solving and action.  Alpha and theta are associated with greater states of relaxation, intuition, and heightened creativity, and delta is the brain wave state that you enter into when you are experiencing deep, dreamless sleep.  People who are most prone to suffer from stress tend to primarily be in a beta state, making it difficult for them to relax and enjoy themselves.  Neurofeedback therapy uses sound frequencies that match alpha and theta states. These particular frequencies are delivered to the brain via electrode hookups and help to create a shift in brainwave patterns, training the brain to naturally produce more alpha and theta brain waves during the course of each day and night.  Once the effects take hold—usually within three to four weeks of regular training—lasting positive changes can occur that result not only in less stress, but also more energy and creativity.  In addition, the overall improved brainwave functioning also results in enhanced functioning of the body's other systems, all of which are influenced by the brain.



Diet:   NO GMOs Poor diet can cause stress and worsen symptoms of allergies (both food and environmental), anxiety, depression, and hyperactivity, all of which, in turn, can create additional feelings of stress, setting a vicious cycle in motion.  To combat stress, your diet needs to be free of all foods you may be allergic or sensitive to, as well as caffeine, food additives, sugar, sodas, and simple carbohydrates.  Instead, emphasize fresh, organic foods, with plenty of fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and free-range, organic meats and poultry, as well as wild caught fish that are rich in essential fatty acids, such as sardines and salmon.  Also be sure to drink plenty of pure, filtered water throughout the day, and minimize your alcohol intake to no more than one glass of red wine or beer per day.  

Be sure to eat a healthy breakfast.  Skipping breakfast can add to stress levels by making you more tired and irritable.  

If you suffer from low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), you may be particularly prone to stress due to the low energy levels and muddled thinking problems that blood sugar fluctuations can cause.  Hypoglycemia can be resolved by following a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. In addition, eat five smaller meals per day instead of the tradition three meals. If you feel hungry between meals, you can snack on high quality protein bars. Restrict your fruit intake, and follow the above dietary guidelines for best results. 



Exercise:  Physical exercise is an excellent means of reducing stress, so long as you do not over-exercise.  Particularly helpful in this regard are aerobic exercises that are both relaxing yet capable of increasing blood flow. Such exercises include brisk walking, jogging, swimming, and rebounding (jumping on a mini-trampoline), accompanied by two to three sessions a week of moderate weight-lifting.  Be sure to stretch after exercise to soothe tense muscles.  Adopting a program of regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health.



Flower Essences: Bach flower (named after Edward Bach, a British physician and homeopath who developed flower essence therapies in the 1930s) and other flower essence therapies can be very effective for healing the mental and emotional issues of a person's life that are causing them stress.  Flower essences work by healing the underlying psychological causes that contribute to physical health conditions, helping to resolve emotions such as anxiety, depression, fear, grief, loneliness, panic, and worry.  Rescue Remedy, an all-purpose combination of Bach flower essences can be particularly helpful in this regard.  Add a few drops to a glass of pure filtered water and sip from it throughout the day.  To find a remedy that is more suited to your specific psychological issues, see the Bach Flower Reference Chart. 



Guided Imagery and Visualization:  Guided imagery and visualization techniques are an easy way to learn how to enhance your ability to relax.  You can use the following exercise to quickly shift away from feelings of stress to feelings of relaxation.  Sit comfortably in an easy chair and close your eyes.  Take a few gentle, deep breaths, and imagine yourself becoming increasingly relaxed with each breath you take.  Feel relaxation spreading over your entire body like waves of peace.  Now recall a time from your past when you were truly happy and at ease.  Imagine yourself back within that moment as if it is actually happening now in the present.  Use all of your senses to make the scene real.  Hear the sounds, smell the scents, and see everything about you in full color.  As you relive this experience, notice how relaxed, happy, and at peace you feel.  By taking a few moments to imagine this scene whenever you feel stress building up, you will be able to quickly release your tension and reclaim the positive mood you were in when you first experienced the scene you are recalling. 

 In addition to helping you relax and release stress, guided imagery can also be used to improve other aspects of your health, such as enhancing your immunity, relieving pain, and improving your digestion.  By regularly visualizing your health goals, such as losing weight or exercising more often, you will also improve your ability to stay focused and achieve your health aims.  In addition, guided imagery and visualization can be used to help you explore your beliefs and attitudes, and to change them when necessary to beliefs and attitudes that are more in alignment with optimal health. 



HeartMath:  HeartMath is both the name of a research institute in Boulder Creek, California, and a system of mind/body medicine developed by the researchers there that is based on the heart's innate intelligence and ability to create healing and relieve stress when it is properly paid attention to.

  The benefits of the HeartMath techniques have been verified by heart rate variability (HRV) studies that measure heart rhythm and heartbeat rates.  Your heart rate changes throughout the day, becoming rapid and even erratic during times of heightened, stressful emotion, and relaxed and slower during times of peace and joy.  Learning to control your heart rate can therefore dramatically improve your ability to handle stress.  Training people how to do this is the goal of the techniques developed at the HeartMath Institute. Their research has shown that when these techniques are practiced regularly, levels of stress in the body are lowered and accompanied by a reduction of cortisol and other stress-hormones, as well as blood pressure levels. In addition, the HeartMath techniques have been clinical proven to enhance mood and improve cognitive function.

One of these techniques is known as Freeze-Frame. It is comprised of five steps and enables practitioners to quickly replace negative thoughts and emotions with positive experiences of appreciation, joy, and love. Here are the steps involved:

•   Become aware of your stressful feelings and "freeze" them, literally taking a "time-out" from whatever it is you were previously thinking or doing.

•   Shift your attention away from what's troubling you to focus on your heart. Visualize yourself breathing in and out of your heart for at least ten seconds.

•   Now allow yourself to recall a past experience of joy or pleasure and immerse yourself within it as if it were reoccurring in the present.

•   Once you are reconnected to these positive feelings, ask your heart how to most appropriately and effectively respond to the previous situation that was troubling you.

•   Heed your intuition and the answer that comes to you and act upon the solution you were given as soon as possible.

Herbal Medicine:  Useful herbs for relieving stress include chamomile, which helps dissolve tension and encourage relaxation, reduce feelings of anxiety and distress, as well as promoting healthier sleep.  Chamomile is also helpful for soothing gastrointestinal disorders that can contribute to or result from stress.

  Passionflower is another useful herb for stress relief, and is also effective for lowering elevated blood pressure levels and for relieving spasms.  Valerian root can be used, especially for stress caused by unresolved emotions and/or sleep problems.  

American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) can be helpful, as well, because of its ability to act as an adaptogen, meaning that it helps to balance various body functions while simultaneously increasing resistance to stress.  It can also help to improve stress caused by mental and emotional upset.



Hydrotherapy:  Hydrotherapy is the application of water, ice, steam and hot and cold temperatures to maintain and restore health.  Treatments include full body immersion, steam baths, saunas, sitz baths, colonic irrigation and the application of hot and/or cold compresses.  Hydrotherapy is effective for treating a wide range of conditions and can easily be used in the home as part of a self-care program. Many Naturopathic Physicians, Physical Therapists and Day Spas use Hydrotherapy as part of treatment.  We suggest several at-home hydrotherapy treatments. Please seek the advice of your alternative health care practitioner before undergoing these procedures to make sure they are appropriate for you.

*Purified water is essential for any hydrotherapy treatment. Remedies for Treating Chlorinated Bath Water offers clear instructions and recommendations.



Laughter Therapy:

One of the most enjoyable forms of stress relief is the simple act of laughter.  Research has shown that pure, unbridled laughter not only helps to relieve stress, it also reduces the body's production of stress-hormones such as cortisol, and improves immune function.  Being able to laugh at yourself and your life situations also provides you with a sense of being in greater control of your life, which can significantly improve your response to stress.  Laughter also enhances feelings of joy and other positive emotions, and can provide an optimistic perspective about life challenges and problems you may be faced with.

  To cultivate more laughter in your life make it a point to look on the humorous side of life, consciously aim to be more playful and childlike, and regularly expose yourself to comedy, movies, and other media that provoke laughter.  Most importantly, don't take yourself so seriously.  If you make the effort, you will find that you have many opportunities throughout each day to laugh about something.  Take advantage of them!



Lifestyle: Your lifestyle choices play a big role in how much or how little stress you are exposed to each day.

Here are some guidelines for making your daily routine more stress-free:

1. Be sure to get enough sleep and go to bed at the same time each night.

2. Don't skip breakfast and be sure the foods you eat are healthy for you.

3. Exercise for at least 30 minutes for a minimum of three days each week.

4. Schedule your day so that you have free time to relax and spend with your loved ones.

5. Find a hobby you enjoy and commit to pursuing it on a regular basis.

6. Know what's most essential and important in your life and commit yourself to that instead of wasting time on matters that are unimportant.

7. Identify your fears and worries and examine them objectively. In most cases, you will find doing so will make them far less significant and much more manageable.

8. Set up your daily schedule so that you have plenty of time to devote to your daily tasks, instead of having to hurry to meet your responsibilities.

9. Don't be afraid of compromising, especially about matters that aren't significant.

10.          Once you decide to do something, act on it as soon as possible. Hesitations about taking action can dramatically ramp up your stress levels.

11.          Cultivate laughter in your daily life and make a conscious effort to find the humor in things.

12.          Make a commitment to yourself and those you care about to be more loving.

13.          Avoid long periods of isolation, especially if you live alone. Seek out and enjoy your friends and loved ones.

14.          Regularly engage in relaxation exercises and/or meditation.

15.          Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it, and be assertive in the requests you make so that you are treated with respect and taken seriously by others.

16.          Avoid the use of alcohol, caffeine, and comfort foods when you feel stress. Such things are unhealthy for you and serve only to numb your problems temporarily, not resolve them.

Meditation:  Meditation has been scientifically shown to relieve stress, as well as to improve overall health and immune function, and to reduce the pain and suffering caused by chronic disease.  In fact, in 1984, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommended meditation as the more appropriate and effective choice for treating mild cases of high blood pressure, instead of commonly prescribed blood pressure medications.  Meditation can offer new insights and improved coping strategies, better enabling you to meet the challenges of the day.  Some types of meditation, such as Transcendental Meditation (TM), have even been shown to produce deeper states of physical relaxation than ordinary sleep.

Although there are many types of meditation practices to choose from, all of them have one thing in common:  focused attention on the breath. If you are new to meditation, you can begin by sitting up straight yet comfortably and closing your eyes.  Place your attention on your breathing as you inhale and exhale.  Each time you find your attention starting to wander, simply refocus on your breath.  Though doing so may seem difficult initially, with practice it will become easier and easier, and you will easily spend 20 to 30 minutes meditating in this manner.  The key is to be gentle with yourself and not force.  At first, you may find yourself unable to sit still for more than a few minutes.  If that is the case, don't continue.  Instead, each day seek to add to the length of your meditation practice until you reach your goal of 20 to 30 minutes per session.


Nutritional Supplements:  The following nutrients can improve your ability to cope with stress:  vitamin A, B-complex vitamins, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, in conjunction with a multivitamin/multimineral formula.  Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are also important, especially omega-3 oils.  If you suffer from hypoglycemia, add chromium and the amino acid glutamine (1000 mg take three times per day, half an hour before each meal). 



Relaxation Exercises:  Practicing exercises that help your body and mind to relax can quickly release feelings of stress and tension. Here is an example of a relaxation exercise that you can easily make part of your daily health routine:

1. Sit in a quiet room with dim lighting, with your feet flat on the ground.

2. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Gently begin to breathe deeply in and out from your belly.

3. Each time you exhale, mentally tell yourself "Relax." Do this for a few moments, until you feel a wave of relaxation starting to move through your body.

4. Now place your attention on your head, jaw, and face. As you continue breathing, direct the wave of relaxation throughout all the muscles of your face and jaw, including the eyes, then over your scalp and along your head, down to the base of your neck.

5. Now tense your facial, jaw, and eye muscles for a few seconds, before relaxing them.

6. Repeat this process with each remaining part of your body, beginning with your shoulders, back, arms, and hands, then moving down to your chest, abdomen, pelvis, thighs and upper legs, calves, ankles, feet, and toes. Be sure each area of your body becomes more relaxed before you move your attention to the next area.

7. Once you have proceeded all the way to your toes, continue to sit with your eyes closed for a few more minutes, still breathing gently in and out of your belly, allowing your feelings of relaxation to deepen.

8. Just before opening your eyes, allow your breathing to become deeper and fuller, feeling a wave of energy passing through you. Once you feel vitalized, open your eyes and return to your daily activities.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM): TCM practitioners address stress by balancing the body's vital energy, or Qi, as it flows along energetic pathways known as meridians.  They accomplish this using a combination of herbs and acupuncture.  Particular attention is initially given to re-energizing the liver, which TCM practitioners regard as the first organ to be compromised by stress. Helpful herbs for restoring balance include astragalus, ginseng, and ligustra.  

TCM practitioners also help their patients create a dietary plan that is most in harmony with their current needs, and may also encourage them to practice calming Qigong exercises, as well as meditation.  The overall goal of TCM is to bring all of the body systems back into balance while simultaneously deepening their patients' ability to think and act proactively, from a center of harmony and tranquility.



Yoga:  The physical postures and breathing exercises comprising the practice of yoga have long been proven by scientific research to promote feelings of relaxation while simultaneously strengthening the body. Research conducted since the 1970s has shown that regular yoga practice not only relieves stress, and stressful emotions such as anxiety and depression, but also improves blood pressure rates and overall cardiovascular health. Yoga is also effective for reducing pain, improving gastrointestinal and respiratory function, and for improving cognitive function and enhancing sight and hearing.



Note:  If you are just beginning to explore yoga, it is recommended that you initially do so under the guidance of a trained yoga instructor who can guide you to become aware of the subtleties involved in each yoga posture as well as the corresponding method of breathing.



Alternative Professional Care:  
The following therapies can also help to prevent and relieve unhealthy stress: Acupuncture, Bodywork (Acupressure, Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais Method, Reflexology, Rolfing, Shiatsu), Craniosacral Therapy, Hypnotherapy, Magnetic Therapy, Mind/Body Medicine, Orthomolecular Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine, and Traditional Chinese Medicine. 

 

Quick Action Plan For Stress

1. Emphasize an organic, whole foods diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and adequate amounts of essential fatty acids. Unless you suffer from low blood sugar, your protein intake should be moderate. People with low blood sugar should increase their intake of quality protein foods (organic, free-range poultry, meats and wild-caught fish) while decreasing their carbohydrate intake. Also drink plenty of pure, filtered water throughout the day, to avoid dehydration, a common but overlooked cause of stress.

2. Be sure to eat a healthy breakfast. Skipping breakfast can add to stress levels by making you more tired and irritable.

3. Avoid all sugars, refined carbohydrates, food additives and preservatives, and processed foods, and minimize your intake of alcohol and caffeine.

4. Regularly practice relaxation exercises and/or meditation.

5. Exercise at least three times each week, for 30 minutes each session. Gentle aerobic exercises combined with moderate weight training can significantly relieve stress and improve your overall mood. Be sure not to overexert yourself, however, as doing so will only increase your stress levels.

6. Useful nutritional supplements include vitamin A, B-complex vitamins, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, as well as a complete multivitamin/multimineral formula.

7. People who are hypoglycemic should also supplement with chromium and the amino acid glutamine, taken in a dose of 1,000 mg three times a day, 30 minutes before each meal.

8. Useful herbs for dealing with stress including American ginseng, chamomile, passionflower, and valerian root, all of which can be taken as teas.

9. Bach flowers and other flower essences can help to heal unresolved or inappropriately expressed negative emotions that can cause stress, as well as many other physical health problems. Rescue Remedy is a general all-purpose Bach flower tonic.

10.          Get adequate amounts of sleep each night and be sure to go to bed at the same time.

11.          Set up your daily schedule so that you have plenty of time to deal with your daily tasks, and focus on accomplishing those that are the most important first.

12.          Cultivate your sense of humor and laugh more often.

13.          Avoid long periods of isolation. Spend regular quality time with your loved ones. If you live alone, seek out your friends.

14.          Find and devote yourself to one or more hobbies that you truly enjoy.

15.          Become more conscious of your fears and worries and examine them objectively. Doing so can significantly reduce their hold on you.

 

Rife and Zapper frequencies:  Stress (General): 0.14, 0.68, 2.50, 62.42, 122.53, 300.00, 496.01, 655.20, 755.00, 805.12

Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic: 0.14, 0.68, 2.50, 60.00, 122.53, 300.00, 496.01, 655.20, 750.00, 912.33

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