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.

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Too Ill to Chill on Vacation

 The Atlanta Journal Constitution ran an article linking stress to a diminished immune system.   The focus was stress that precedes the long awaited vacation which sets up an illness to begin at the start of vacation..

 This happens because stress deregulates our immune system.

Studies from Ohio State University College of Medicine focused on the relationship of stress and the immune systems of college students.  They found that before taking a scheduled test the students would sleep less, eat poorly and wear themselves down.  Their blood work showed their immune systems were not functioning at a normal level. 

The same type of stress occurs before a planned trip.  The days are filled with frenzied activities and less sleep which sets up a compromised immune system.

The answer is simple, but not easy.

Sleep, exercise and eat a balanced diet.  In other words, learn how to calm down and center yourself when you are not on vacation

The article spoke about the consequences of  ignoring the scratchy throat, chronic headache or slight sniffle, because we are too busy.

There is an important message here:   When things are beginning to get out of whack in our bodies the body lets us know with these small symptoms.  If we ignore them, it will be too late to do anything about them when we get ill. 

Through  simple Custom Calm centering techniques you can  help relax the mind and body, giving the immune system time to balance out.

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Studies find Link between Stress and Illness

Can stress make you sick?

The Stay Healthy section in Parade magazine, October 2009,  Dr. Ranit Mishori connects stress with:

  • Heart,
  • Weight
  • Skin
  • Headaches
  • Wound Healing
  • Risk of depression
  • Common Cold
  • Influenza
  • Increased Symptoms of Chronic Illness

One reason stress is so harmful:  When stressed, our body reacts with the Fight or Flight response, increasing adrenaline, which is needed when you are in danger, but living with increased adrenaline for daily stress will result in increased blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar.

Dr. Elissa Epel notes that ongoing stress will change the protein output of our DNA, affecting our very core.

When you have ongoing stress- the kind you face when you are experiencing marital problems, caring for a sick relative, financial, or work- influences your ability to function, weakening a person’s immune system, increasing susceptibility to illness and certain cancers associated with viruses.

The good news is there are various ways to cope with stress, outside of medications- exercise; calming techniques like meditation are ways to manage stress.

 The article concludes with:  Taking these routes to “chilling out” is well worth the effort.

Custom Calm practices get to the core of stress relief, rather than addressing the symptoms to manage stress.  These practices do more than “chill out”, but rather teaching how to incorporate sustainable tools in your daily living, improving well-being.


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