It looks as though stress is taking over America’s health, as up to 90 percent of the doctor visits in the United States may be caused by a stress-related illness.
Severe Stress Attacks on a Cellular Level
When stress strikes, your body’s adrenal glands produce hormones, such as adrenaline, which increase blood pressure; chronic stress keeps these hormones at dangerously high levels. However, studies suggest that severe cases of stress extend beyond the temporary increase in blood pressure and begin to injure cells of the body--which may accelerate the aging process, leaving people susceptible to various diseases.
To determine exactly how stress affects people on a cellular level, researchers analyzed the cells of mothers caring for critically sick children. The goal was to discover if stress affected a key part of the chromosome known as a telomere, thought to be markers of aging. Telomere’s cap the ends of chromosomes, which contain the body’s DNA. As people begin to age, this cap begins to dwindle down. Disease steps in when the telomere gets too short to work effectively and cells all over the body begin to die.
An interesting finding of the study: The longer women cared for sick children, the shorter the telomere became.
Another study consisted of caregivers of Alzheimer's patients, who dedicated at least 100 hours a week to caring for a loved one with this degenerative disease. Researchers found that a damaging substance in the blood called interleukin 6 increased dramatically among caregivers. Based on the findings the following startling analogy was made: The average caregiver was about 70 but had Il-6 levels that looked like those of a 90-year-old.
Techniques for Conquering Stress include:
- Regular exercise
- Prayer or meditation
- Asking for help when demands are overwhelming
- Developing a support network of friends or family members
- Regarding unavoidable stress as an opportunity for growth
USA Today March 22, 2005
What impressed me most about this article was it is the highest government estimate of the impact of stress on disease. Here is a direct quote from the story:
Up to 90 percent of the doctor visits in the USA may be triggered by a stress-related illness, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This is quite consistent with my experience and that I find nearly all of the patients I see have stress as a serious factor in the cause of their illness. Im glad to see official government confirmation of this observation. Stress can also play a major role in the immune system, and it can have negative impacts on:
Since you cannot eliminate stress entirely, (and would not want to as if you did not have stress you would die) you can work to provide your body with tools to compensate for it. The key is not getting rid of the stress itself but adjusting your bodys ability to tolerate the stress.
Meditation has been well documented as an effective strategy to address stress. The only problem is that many people struggle with doing it and may take many years to develop a proficiency in which they are actually able to benefit from the technique.
Fortunately, there is an inexpensive and simple way that helps one rapidly achieve the same benefits as meditation. It involves brainwave synchronization technology were one passively listens to a CD in a relaxed mode. There are a number of different companies out there but the Insight CD is one of the most cost effective solutions out there. I have found it to be remarkably effective and efficient. Users have said it helps them achieve inner peace, increase concentration levels, energy and creativity. It is especially helpful for those who struggle with insomnia.
Energy psychology tools are also very useful. I have compiled a free manual to help you use my program called EFT. EFT is a form of psychological acupressure, based on the same energy meridians used in traditional acupuncture to treat physical and emotional ailments for more than 5,000 years, but without the invasiveness of needles.
I also recommend similar advice as the article: