Wall Street Journal: Your Problem is Stress

The Wall Street Journal's March, 2009 article in new Health Journal addressed the effects of stress.

L. Edwards, director of the Behavioral Chronic Pain Management program at Duke University Medical Center:  "Now, we recognize that what happens in the brain affects the body and what happens in the body affects the brain. 

The article address:

Pain:  Psychological stress can turn into physical pain and illness in a number of ways. The muscles tense up, the digestive tract slow down, blood vessels constrict and the heart beat faster.

Digestion:  The digestive tract has its own extensive system of nerve cells lining the esophagus, stomach and intestines. When anxiety persists, it can set off heartburn, indigestion and irritable-bowel syndrome, in which the normal movement of the colon gets out of rhythm, traps painful gas and alternates between diarrhea and constipation.

Immune System:  Stress also creates biochemical changes that can affect the immune system, making it underreact to viruses and bacterial infections, or overreact, which can set off allergies, asthma and skin disorders like psoriasis and eczema. And stress can raise the level of inflammation in the body, which has been associated with heart disease.

The article supports: "tools to try to manage the situation" and this is the focus of Custom Calm.  The practices are life changing.

Posted in: This Stuff Works

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Namaste: The Ultamite Greeting

We use the word Namaste at the end of each yoga class.  It means: I acknowledge and bow to the divine within you.

In India, no matter who it is, friend or stranger, they are treated in the same manner.   Acknowledging first the divine in ourselves and then to see it in others is a powerful practice.

Saki Santorelli, the director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at UMass Memorial Medical Center, says:  “I believe that the active remembrance of this reality is crucial to our lives, our work, and our well-being. Our willingness to relate with another in this way is fundamentally healing.”

This way of relating comes from the heart, and it is difficult in our mind driven culture.  It is a beautiful practice to relate to others in this way.  It opens our hearts and we soften in a way that impacts our body, mind and spirit.

Next time you are in the presence of a family member or someone you do not know well, see if you can shift your perspective to see them in this way. Look for the divinity in them and let me know in the comments below what your experience was.

Posted in: A Calm Perspective

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