If you were to take a poll in downtown Rye and ask people to define stress, or explain what causes stress for them, or how stress affects them, you would probably receive many different answers as people that you asked.
The reason is that there is no definition of stress that everyone agrees on because what is stressful for one person may have little effect on others and we all respond differently to stress.
The term 'stress' actually refers to the 'stress response', which was a term coined by Hans Selye, a pioneering endocrinologist from the 1940's, and is defined as the response you have when facing circumstances that are challenging and force you to act, change, or adjust in some way to maintain your balance or equilibrium. Seyle also penned another term, called 'stressor', which refers to the challenging situation or stiumulus that creates the 'stress response'.
The 'stress response' or 'fight or flight response' from Bio 101 triggers many involuntary changes in your body, which gives you a burst of energy to enable you to fight or flee from perceived threats.
An 'acute' example, meaning of short duration, might be one that takes us back in time to the caveman era. Perhaps you might use your imagination and envision a Neanderthal man hunting a buffalo. Think of the 'stressor' as a Tyrannosaurus Rex carnivorous dinosaur who enters the picture. The Neanderthal man had a huge 'stress response', had a burst of adrenaline and ran for his life probably to a deep cavernous cave out of reach of the T-Rex. His other physiological symptoms probably included: increased heart rate and breathing, increased strength and agility due to the increased flow of blood to his extremities and clear thinking, enabling him to scope out a cave to hide. Despite the disappointment in losing his meat meal, he was able to eat some berries and nuts to allay his hunger. He grunted with contentment, his body returning to balance, as he nestled in front of his warm fire, feeling safe in his temporary dwelling.
Now while we no longer have to run from the physical dangers of dinosaurs, on a whole, our western culture faces other kinds of threats, which are 'chronic', meaning, long-standing and psychological in nature. These threats might be job stress, financial loss, relationship issues, etc. A chronic 'stress response' does not allow your body, mind and emotions to return to a state of balance and relaxation, therefore all the physiological and chemical changes, including adrenaline and cortisol levels (adrenal hormones) remain high, which leaves you overstimulated and depleted at the same time. Obviously, there are many studies showing how stress is a causative or contributory factor in all kinds of illnesses such as adrenal issues, insomnia, eating disorders, heart problems, skeletal problems, relationship issues, emotional issues like depression, and autoimmune illnesses, which is where the body turns against itself.
One of my dreams in regards to my work is that Energy Medicine and Energy Psychology Techniques become mainstream, much like tooth brushing! To that end, last week I excitedly taught an Introduction to Meditation and Energy Medicine Relaxation Techniques at the Rye YMCA. This was their kick-off Wellness Wednesday Series, and an Introduction to my November series at the Rye YMCA. The class was very well-attended by men and women! The following are some of the techniques I taught them!
Directions For Relaxing and Restoring Calm
- Calming Triple Warmer- TW is the hyper-vigilant General in the army. TW is the alarmist, the stress button, and is the keeper of habits, even when they no longer serve youl
- This is the motion where you touch the area just to the outside of your eyes and smooth your hair over your ears on both sides!
- This will calm TW and calm nervous tension, anxiety and stress! Whenever you can you should calm TW and breathe deeply! As we discussed, you Can Even Do this at Work, in School, at the Gym or Grocery Store, as people will think that you are just smoothing your hair behind your ears!!! No one would know a thing!
- Frontal-Occiptal Hold-very calming/soothing!
- Place one palm over your forehead (frontal neuro-vasculars) and place the other palm over the bump at the back of your head (occipital region of head) and take long deep breaths! Hold for a few minutes, until you feel relief, a sense of relaxation, shift or feel the pulses synchronize.
- Use when confused, having a headache, or when you need to release strong emotions such as anger or fear. It is also great for memory retrieval. This is a wonderful exercise you can do first thing in the AM, before meditating, before office work, HW, and definitely before bedtime!
- How does it work? By engaging and stimulating the meridian points located on the forehead, it increases blood flow through the body and creates a state of relaxation. The Frontal Lobe is where we process thoughts/emotions, while the Occipital Lobe is our old filing cabinet filled with experiences and memories. The Frontal-Occipital Hold helps us bring up the old stuff to be processed and released. This is FALL Season Cleaning for the Mind-Body & Soul!
- Balancing TW and spleen energy is also really important. Spleen meridian is the Mother Nurturer of the body, and TW meridian is the General and is always taking energy from spleen...so calming TW and balancing the 2 meridians will be really important for you to do! This is also great to do at home, at the office, in school or just about anywhere!
- Simply place the R) hand over the upper abdomen, where the stomach lives and place the L) hand on the R) arm just an 1" or 2" higher than the elbow. Take some deep breaths and then after a few minutes, you should switch to the other side....again taking some deep breaths! CAN DO ANYWHERE-You will simply look like you are crossing your arms..no big deal! Nothing weird...only we know how much this will help you remain calmer and balance your energy!
- The Hook-Up-This exercise hooks up the Central and Governing Meridian, which runs up the front and back of the body, and includes the neurological system of the brain and the spinal cord. It is great to do if you are feeling overwhelmed by your life, reduces feelings of exhaustion from daily life and challenges, and allows you to better cope with stress. It helps you to untangle inner chaos and brings order to your thinking in order to problem solve. It also restores neurological and emotional balance and is especially good to do at the end of these exercises, as it locks the shifts in place, maintains the balance and retains the calm and peaceful feelings!
- Simply place the 3rd finger of one hand in the upper shelf of the belly button and place the 3rd finger of the other hand on your forehead about 1” above the space between your eyebrows, which is also called the Third Eye. Just push in and pull up on both 3rd fingers as you breathe deeply and hold for about 90 seconds!
- Covering the Eyes-Another wonderful soothing exercise is to LAY the hands over the eyes and just deep breathe. This can be done if you have extreme anxiety.
If you begin to practice these Energy Medicine Tips for Relaxation and Reducing Stress, I can assure you that you will begin to see a difference in how you handle your life. You will feel more positive, clearer and Happier!!!
For those of you who feel that there is too much stress in your life and you would like to learn how to COPE, then YOU MUST ATTEND MY WORKSHOP SERIES! The dates for my upcoming November Relaxation Series-using Energy Medicine and Meditation at the Rye YMCA are: Wednesday, November 2, 9 and 16; Monday, November 21; Wednesday, November 30 and Wednesday, December 7 from 7:30p.m. -8:30p.m.
Tell anyone you love who needs peace, calm, rejuvenation and fun in their life to join you at this series! Do it for yourself and for the ones you love! I look forward to seeing you all there!
For more information about the upcoming Relaxation Series, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact Laura Tiedge-Director of Healthy Living at the Rye YMCA at 914-967-6363 in order to register for the class.
Kindly also check out my website www.VitalEssenceHealing.com to see what a personal Energy Medicine Session is all about and how it can help take you to the next level of health, healing, spiritual attunement and joyous living!
Help spread the word that tapping into your innate healing potential is EASY WITH ENERGY MEDICINE!
Sending you peace, love and joy,