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Ask Dr. Scott About Stress

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Q: Dr. Scott, chronic stress is my family’s biggest problem. Constant financial worries and emotional upsets have worn us out. What can natural medicine do about stress?A: Stress-induced illness now causes far more deaths and diseases than do infections, which used to be the predominant killer in industrialized societies. Today most of us will live long enough and wel…

Q: Dr. Scott, chronic stress is my family’s biggest problem. Constant financial worries and emotional upsets have worn us out. What can natural medicine do about stress?A: Stress-induced illness now causes far more deaths and diseases than do infections, which used to be the predominant killer in industrialized societies. Today most of us will live long enough and well enough to get seriously ill with a stress-related disease. And given that most of us would rather have this happen later than sooner, it’s really important to learn about the links between stress and disease.
Though most people can cope with a great deal of stress (emotional and physical trauma) in early life, this ability tends to diminish as your life progresses. There are also inherited characteristics which influence our capacity for coping. Importantly, there are environmental factors which also determine to what extent stress can influence our physical and mental health. Important among these are nutritional considerations, structural and lifestyle factors, exercise patterns, general fatigue, and the sum total of your stress.
Stress is the spur which moves us into action and if our responses are not appropriate, it can also become the mountain that buries us. There is a point where our body’s capacity for adaptation and adjustment in the face of stress becomes inadequate. When this occurs, health begins to break down in obvious ways.
Anxiety in the face of changes in health and the onset of pain quickens the downward spiral. If you wait for this stage before taking corrective action, you may have waited too long. However it is possible to regain health from this point, but only with great effort.
If you can begin to see that a repetitive cycle occurs in which life stresses are poorly coped with, and that the end result of this is depression and mental and physical ill-health, then your need to gain control of the underlying causes becomes clear. Control of the emotions comes through understanding and awareness so that negative feelings can be replaced with positive ones.
The importance of reviewing and altering your diet, exercise and rest patterns, lifestyle and personal attitude, as well as your behavior patterns (many of which are within our conscious control) are all features of a comprehensive protection plan which can deflect many of the potentially harmful effects of stress in your modern, hectic daily life. The key to such a change is awareness of where the key to improving things in your daily life lies, to …
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