Stress Management and Relief
The damaging effects of stress are well documented by now. Thankfully there are wonderfully effective tools for turning down the pressure of stress. My three favorite time-tested stress-busters are acupuncture, nutritional medicine and meditation.
How To Relieve Stress!
Acupuncture is now so well documented for reducing stress and increasing well being that even the military is applauding it for PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
I sought acupuncture treatment with Tara at a time of severe depression. I was having a life crisis and although I was only 24 years old, I seriously had reached rock bottom. I was severely depressed, stressed out, exhausted beyond belief and truly overwhelmed with life overall. I literally thought I was Charlie Brown walking with the black cloud over my head. After two weeks of these symptoms, I came in for treatment. Tara asked me a few questions about my condition and proceeded with treatment. As soon as I was asked to lie on the treatment table, I immediately felt Tara’s energy over mine. As she inserted the needles, I felt my body begin to lighten as if I was floating on a cloud. At the end of the treatment, I knew I had just experienced something very incredible. I have never felt better in my life. The feeling of being rejuvenated and cleared of negative energy was amazing and unforgettable to this day
I have been seeing Dr. Tara Perry for acupuncture treatments to find relief from severe depression and anxiety. I told Dr. Perry that I really had no expectations that her treatments could help me with depression or with anxiety. I was also unsure of any physical relief it could provide for my neck and back pain due to my auto accident. However, after 5 treatments I feel amazed that I am not walking under a cloud of gloom and doom waiting for the world to fall apart. I am not looking at my world with a sense of despair as I have for the last three years. I did not believe I could ever feel any way apart from hopeless and alone as if my life was over and served no purpose any longer. I know there will be ups and downs in the future, but I no longer feel the “downs” are a permanent state. And yes, my back and neck have REALLY improved with her treatments. Dr. Perry is really an amazing person and I am so grateful to have been lucky enough to find her and to be able to feel good again.”
Many people get quick relief from stress by simply added certain key nutrients they may be lacking (such as magnesium) or adding botanicals that soothe and relax (such as lavender and ashwaganda).
Meditation is another tool that has been used for millennia and has multiple meta studies backing up it’s impressive results for stress relief, pain reduction, and improved perception in quality of life.
Harvard recently proved that in just 8 weeks of meditation, you gain measurably more Grey Matter (the stuff that makes you smart) in your brain!
Test subjects taking part in an 8-week program of mindfulness meditation showed results that astonished even the most experienced neuroscientists at Harvard University. The study was led by a Harvard-affiliated team of researchers based at Massachusetts General Hospital, and the team’s MRI scans documented for the very first time in medical history how meditation produced massive changes inside the brain’s gray matter. “Although the practice of meditation is associated with a sense of peacefulness and physical relaxation, practitioners have long claimed that meditation also provides cognitive and psychological benefits that persist throughout the day,” says study senior author Sara Lazar of the MGH Psychiatric Neuroimaging Research Program and a Harvard Medical School instructor in psychology. “This study demonstrates that changes in brain structure may underlie some of these reported improvements and that people are not just feeling better because they are spending time relaxing.”
Sue McGreevey of MGH writes: “Previous studies from Lazar’s group and others found structural differences between the brains of experienced meditation practitioners and individuals with no history of meditation, observing thickening of the cerebral cortex in areas associated with attention and emotional integration. But those investigations could not document that those differences were actually produced by meditation.” Until now, that is. The participants spent an average of 27 minutes per day practicing mindfulness exercises, and this is all it took to stimulate a major increase in gray matter density in the hippocampus, the part of the brain associated with self-awareness, compassion, and introspection. McGreevey adds: “Participant-reported reductions in stress also were correlated with decreased gray-matter density in the amygdala, which is known to play an important role in anxiety and stress. None of these changes were seen in the control group, indicating that they had not resulted merely from the passage of time.”
“It is fascinating to see the brain’s plasticity and that, by practicing meditation, we can play an active role in changing the brain and can increase our well-being and quality of life,” says Britta Hölzel, first author of the paper and a research fellow at MGH and Giessen University in Germany. You can read more about the remarkable study by visiting Harvard.edu. If this is up your alley then you need to read this: “Listen As Sam Harris Explains How To Tame Your Mind (No Religion Required)”
SEE ALSO: Neuroscience Shows How Training In Compassion Meditation Makes Us More Altruistic. SEE ALSO: The Placebo-Nocebo Effect & Proof Of The Mind’s Explosive Healing, Curing Power. SEE ALSO: Bliss Of Letting Go: David Lynch Discusses Transcendental Meditation In New Doc. SEE ALSO: A Strong Back And A Soft Front: The Power, Beauty, Neuroscience, And Importance Of Compassion