you feel continually stressed out, tense, anxious?
Stress Reduction Seminars and/or
private sessions with Laurie Lynch, ND, CHt. allow you to experience the
of being guided through relaxation/stress reduction techniques, and you learn to
do these techniques for your self.
about stress, symptoms of stress, our body's coping mechanisms, what causes
these coping mechanisms to malfunction, and how to nourish these coping
so they can heal themselves and appropriately handle stressful situations.
The following article can offer a better understanding about stress.
Controlling Stresses in Your Life
by Laurie Lynch, ND, CHt.
Stress, according to Webster's Dictionary, is mental,
emotional or physical tension, strain or distress. Stress is the "wear and
tear" our bodies experience as we adjust
to changes. Stress is also referred to
as aanxiety, depression, tension, feeling
uptight, jitters, or apprehension.
Stress can be either beneficial and strengthening or
harmful and health damaging.
challenges, both physical and psychological, are not unhealthy for most people.
Occasional challenging projects, arguments, difficulties with children,
difficulties at work/school, etc. are a normal part of life. These types of
stresses are normal and can actually be strengthening. "Short-term stressors
boost the immune
system." It seems that the "fight or flight" response prompts
the immune system to ready itself for infections resulting from bites,
punctures, scrapes or other challenges
to the integrity of the body"
now shows that such long-term activation of the stress system can have a
hazardous, even lethal effect on the body, increasing risk of obesity, heart
depression, and a variety of other illnesses"
"Chronic, long-term stress suppresses the immune system", and can damage glands
and organs. "The
longer the stress, the more the immune system shifted from
potentially adaptive changes (such as those in the acute "fight or flight"
response) to potentially detrimental
changes.... This analysis suggests that
stressors that turn a person's world upside down and appear to offer no hope for
the future probably have the greatest
psychological and physiological impact"
What are the symptoms of
symptoms of stress include:
* Feeling and
behaving in a rushed way.
* Regularly focusing and worrying about the past or
overburdened with responsibility.
Feeling depressed, agitated, irritable, "on edge."
insomnia, fatigue, or
* Decreased ability to concentrate
Needing outside stimulation to feel good, such as caffeine, sweeteners, junk
food, sex, TV, alcohol, money, accomplishments, etc.
symptoms of stress could include:
* Rapid or irregular heart beat,
* Rapid breathing,
* Frequent physical tension especially in the neck, face, shoulders, back, chest,
is the body's response to
is affected by acute stressors, a bear, for example. "The effect ...is similar
to marshaling a defensive line of
to potentially critical areas.
steroid hormones dampen parts of the immune system, so that specific infection
fighters (including important white blood cells) or other immune molecules can
redistributed. These immune-boosting troops are sent to the body's front
lines where injury or infection is most likely, such as the skin, the bone
marrow, and the
(American Accreditation HealthCare
- The Brain responds to acute stress when
"signaling molecules from the immune system ...activate the part of the
brain that controls the stress response, the
hypothalamus. Through a cascade of
hormones released from the pituitary and adrenal glands, the hypothalamus causes
blood levels of the hormone cortisol to
Cortisol is the major steroid hormone produced by
our bodies to help us get through stressful
"Cortisol stimulates the heart, lungs,
circulation, metabolism, immune systems, and skin to deal quickly with the stressor (bear).
The brain also releases certain neurotransmitters (chemical
activate an area inside the brain ... which apparently triggers an
emotional response to a stressful event, such as fear, and inhibits short-
inhibition, and rational thought. This allows a
person to react quickly to the bear, either to
fight or to flee from it"
(American Accreditation HealthCare Commission).
Heart, Lungs, and Circulation
are also affected by the stress:
"As the bear comes closer, the heart rate and blood pressure increase
Breathing becomes rapid and the lungs take in more oxygen.
* The spleen discharges red and white
blood cells, allowing the blood to transport more oxygen throughout the body.
Blood flow may actually increase
400%, priming the muscles, lungs, and
brain for added demands"
(American Accreditation HealthCare
Mouth and Throat
respond to stressors by diverting fluids from
nonessential areas, causing dry mouth, muscle spasms
in the throat, difficulty speaking,
is affected when the stress response
"diverts blood flow away from the skin to support the heart and muscle tissues.
(This also reduces blood loss
event that the bear catches up.) The
physical effect is a cool, clammy, sweaty skin. The scalp also tightens so that
the hair seems to stand up"
Digestive System shuts down
during acute stress to free energy used for
digestion to be used in dealing with the stressor until the crisis is over.
Once the threat has passed
the relaxation response
is activated and the stress hormones return to normal and the body's systems
normalize without causing permanent
What are the causes of stress?
such as tests, job interviews, loss of a loved one, arguments, etc. These
causes of stress are usually dealt with by the body's
coping mechanisms, if the
body is healthy and functioning properly.
Physical causes of stress:
Illness, injury, a traumatic event,
or over work can weaken the body so that it
cannot effectively handle stressful situations.
like an overactive thyroid, low blood sugar, or heart attack can also
When the major components of the
coping mechanism, such as
the adrenal gland and/or the various glands in the brain, are weak or not
functioning properly, then one can feel "stressed
out" over even
or nothing at all, and the glands and organs that deal with stress can be
further weakened, causing even more stress reactions.
Caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine
all damage the adrenal, pancreas, liver, nervous
system, and the brain, consequently increasing
Junk food, fried foods,
and foods containing sugar, white flour, and other
denatured substances also damage the liver, adrenal, pancreas and brain.
"comfort foods" appear to relieve the stress at first, but then magnify the
* Malnutrition, especially Vitamin B complex, and B12
deficiency, greatly contributes to the weakening of these coping mechanisms and
the immune system.
whether caused by molds or by drugs such as antibiotics, anesthesia,
hormone-type drugs, or by antibacterial cleaning agents, can infect
the body, nervous system, and/or brain. This is one of the most common causes of
chronic stress, and a major underlying cause of most illnesses.
Man-made chemicals can
damage these coping mechanism components and
cause or magnify a stress reaction.
These chemicals include:
a flavor enhancer found in many processed and
restaurant foods, damages the brain.
like L-cysteine and
aspartame, are excitotoxins,
transmitters that allow brain cells to communicate, as described in Dr.
Russell's Blaylock's book,
Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills.
exactly what they sound like: Toxins like MSG that excite your
brain cells to DEATH!"
containing Aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal, etc)
actually damage the brain, especially when
combined with caffeine in diet sodas
such as preservatives and food coloring
agents, create a chemical imbalance and can
damage the various coping mechanism
drugs, both recreational and
medicinal, can lead to symptoms of anxiety due to either side effects or
withdrawal from the drug. Such drugs include ...
decongestants, bronchodilators for asthma, tricyclic antidepressants,
cocaine, amphetamines, diet pills, ADHD medications, and thyroid
vaccinations, and morphine and other opiates. These
drugs damage the liver, adrenal, and often brain cells. Drugs often
for stress, anxiety, and depression can actually increase the
stress reaction to the point of suicide and violence.
is known to cause encephalitis" (inflammation
in the brain) which can cause brain damage,
stress overload, violence and criminal
(Coulter, PhD, 1990).
especially wood stains and poly-urethane, and
marking pens, can damage the liver, adrenal,
brain, and immune system.
especially pesticides and herbicides, can also
damage coping mechanism components causing
chronic stress, sometimes to the point
is the medical approach to stress treatment and its harmful side effects?
The most common anti- stress, anti-anxiety
medication are benzodiazepines, antidepressants, and buspirone.
- The harmful
side effects of benzodiazepines could include drowsiness, lethargy,
changes in appetite with
changes in weight,
increase in the
risk of falls and hip fracture, impaired blood pressure regulation, dizziness,
loss of balance, disorientation, cognitive
impairment, muscle spasm, rage,
confusion, memory loss and pseudo dementia, incontinence, emotional changes,
depression, respiratory problems, increased
risk of accidents, short lived
therapeutic effect, and insomnia. Benzodiazepines include: Alprazolam (brand
name - Xanax or Kalma), Bromazepam (Lexotan),
Clobazam (Frisium), Clonazepam (Rivotril),
Diazepam (Valium, Ducene or Antenex), Flunitrazepam (Hypnodorm or Rohypnol),
Nitrazepam (Mogadon or Alodorm), Oxazepam (Serepax, Murelax
or Alepam), Temazepam (Euhypnos, Nocturne, Normison, Temaze or Temtabs), and
Triazolam (Halcion). Benzodiazepines can cause physical dependence.
stopping therapy (when) taken...longer than a few months, ...may produce
seizures, tremors, muscle cramping, vomiting, and/or sweating." (http://www.medicinenet.com/lorazepam/article.htm)
These drugs are often abused or misused.
harmful side effects of buspirone
could include allergic reactions such as hives, closing of the throat,
difficulty breathing, swelling of face, eyes, tongue,
lips; headache, dizziness, lightheadedness, blurred vision, slurred speech,
confusion; numbness or tingling, or uncontrollable movement of extremities;
irregular heart beat, drowsiness, fatigue, dry mouth, night mares,
depression, all of which can increase stress
are also often prescribed for stress, however,
have shown a link with suicidal behavior and violence, and
warning labels were placed on all
Other side effects of
antidepressants include; agitation, anxiety,
side effects, and weight gain.
These drugs include; Bupropion (Wellbutrin), Citalopram
Escitalopram (Lexapro), Fluoxetine (Prozac), Fluvoxamine (Luvox),
Mirtazapine (Remeron), Nefazodone (Serzone), Paroxetine (Paxil), Sertraline
is the safe, natural alternative approach to eliminating negative stress
"The type of strategy which
tends to work is the combination of gradually and gently trying to change one's
habits plus regular practices or situations which help put
the body in a relaxed
state. Both types of strategies are important in promoting stress reduction"
are commonly used to reduce stress. Most are
easy to learn. To get good at them, you have to
practice" (Aetna, 2005).
- Stress-Reduction Techniques
Progressive Muscle Relaxation –
"Progressive relaxation of your muscles reduces pulse rate and blood pressure as
well as decreasing perspiration and
respiration rates. Deep muscle relaxation
can be used as an anti-anxiety pill. The body responds to anxiety-producing
thoughts and events with muscle tension
which in turn increases the anxiety.
Muscle relaxation reduces tension and is incompatible with anxiety"
Relaxed Deep Breathing Exercises
Deflate The Danger Of Your Fears
Manage Your Time
Exercise – A long leisurely walk is
extremely helpful, as is Yoga, Tai-Chi, dancing, or anything that is not too
Studies show "that exercise... seems
to be at least as effective as standard
antidepressant medications in reducing symptoms in patients with major
depression. Just ten months of regular,
moderate exercise outperformed a
leading antidepressant (Zoloft) in easing symptoms ... (of) depression"
(Blumenthal, 2005) .
Harvard's Herbert Benson, M.D developed a type of meditation that creates
relaxation and reduces stress, and can reduce heart rate, blood
oxygen consumption. "Sit somewhere comfortable, close your eyes and relax your
muscles. Focus on breathing regularly. Continuously repeat
one word. Repeat it
aloud or in your mind. It should be a simple word, such as "relax" or "easy," a
religious word or phrase... Continue regular breathing with
relaxed." The more you practice the better at it you become.
The Right Nutritional
Supplements - "Adrenaline
is a defense hormone against all forms of stress. Thus often the nutritional
treatment ...must include nutrients
to restore the exhausted adrenal glands"
Maintain A Healthy Diet. Learn what foods
help eliminate harmful stress. Learn how to kill infections with safe herbs.
a Wellness Consultation with Laurie
Lynch, N.D., you can be guided through the
above stress reduction techniques and learn
how to do them yourself;
You can learn the underlying causes of your
unique stress condition, how to eat to help
relieve stress, and learn what glands and organs are weak, and how to
nourish them back to health
with safe natural foods and herbs.
Lynch is a Naturopathic Doctor, Wellness
Consultant, Nutrition Expert, Master Herbalist,
Master Iridologist, Certified
and Time Line Therapists.
Dr. Lynch can be reached at the Living Well Health Center,
(1)" George Chrousos, M.D., 2002, National
Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and Philip Gold, MD,
National Institute of Mental Health
(2) Segerstrom &
Miller, 2004. Psychological Stress and the Human Immune System: A Meta-Analytic
Study of 30 Years of Inquiry Psychological Bulletin, 130, 4.
Ballas, M.D., Psychiatrist, VeriMed Healthcare Network, 2005,
Stress and Anxiety, A.D.A.M.,
(4) American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's
(5) Kate E. Blatchford, BPsychol, Keri Diamond, BPsychol,
Frederick Westbrook, DPhil, and Gavan P. McNally, PhD; 'Increased Vulnerability
to Stress Following
Opiate Exposures: Behavioral and Autonomic Correlates;'
University of New South Wales; Behavioral Neuroscience, Vol. 119, No.
Dr. Sternburg, quoted by Harrison
Wein, Ph.D., 2000, Stress and Disease: New
Perspectives, NIH Word on Health,
The Counseling Center for Human Development, 2002, University of South
(9) Aetna Intelihealth, and Harvard Medical
(10) Dr. Mercola, 2006, MSG is Why You Want to Avoid
McDonald's Like the plague,
(11) Childhood Vaccines Exceed Federal Guidelines for Mercury,
Journal American Physicians & Surgeons
Spring 2003 (PDF),
(12) Vaccines and Neurological Damage,
(13) Olney JW. Brain lesions, obesity, and other disturbances in mice treated
with monosodium glutamate. Science 1969;165:719-721.
(14) Olney JW. Glutamate: a neurotoxic transmitter. J Child Neurol
(15) Olney JW. Excitotoxic food
additives: functional teratological aspects. Prog Brain Res 1988;18:283-294.
(16) Blaylock RL. Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills. Health Press, Santa Fe,
NM, 1997, pp.
Health Central July 1, 2005, Stronger
Warnings for Antidepressant Drugs,
(18) Harris L Coulter, PhD, 1990, Vaccination, Social Violence, and
Criminality, The Medical Assault on the Human
Benzodiazepines' ,TRANX manual
Beyond Benzodiazepines with
some additional material by Gwenda Cannard, TRANX Director,
(20) Buspirone, (BuSpar), 1996-2003 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.07. (http://health.yahoo.com/drug/d00182a1
Lighten Heavy Hearts,
a professor of medical psychology at Duke University in Durham, N.C., 2005
Plesman, What is hypoglycemia?,