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by Steve Sisgold chapter 13

SOS Your Instant Stress Reduction Tool in Challenging Times

Stress impacts the human body in myriad ways that are determined in part by the sensitivity of the sympathetic nervous system. Key to our understanding of the effects of stress is a recognition that the human body-mind did not evolve under constant unrelenting threat. Fight or flight responses were reserved for true emergencies. Those of us with especially stressful lives are crisis-driven; we live in ready-for-anything mode and rarely get a break from that constant tension. Even on our days off we carry around a mobile phone or email device. The accumulated energy of being on alert all the time needs to be discharged. Without an outlet, the body cannot find its way to an easeful state of balance. Once you activate Whole Body Consciousness (tm) you become attuned to your own body and can make the choice to come back to center as soon as you recognize thoughts that are stressing you out. Study after study has shown that stress has a negative impact on the functioning of the immune system and thus makes us even more susceptible to disease. It almost goes without saying that stress is a major contributing factor in the disease process. Long before disease manifests, however, many of us are operating in what Dr. Henry Han, OMD calls “the grey zone” – that sub-par state of being that makes “do your best” sound a bit like “go move a mountain.” Han, the co-author of Ancient Herbs, Modern Medicine defines this in-between state as “a ubiquitous yet generally overlooked area between the state of health and the state of disease... in essence, a state of imbalance.”

Way of the Heart

67


For example, let’s say you have recurrent anxiety symptoms. Even minor emotional upsets get you riled and major ones are ever present given your lifestyle and the era in which you live. You’re feeling emotionally burned out and on the verge of exhaustion. You can’t change your lifestyle overnight, and yet you’re almost out of energy reserves. If you stay in this downward spiral, you will collapse in complete exhaustion. You can see the writing on the walls. Applying the following technique activates the sympathetic nervous system and calms the fight or flight response. Here’s how it works: Pause and close your eyes the minute you feel a crisis brewing, get some disappointing news, or are knocked off balance by a shocking event. Take a deep breath and, if you can, look around to find a safe place to sit down. Feel your feet on the ground. Now scan your body and let go of any obvious tension or simply notice the tension if you cannot let it go. Breathe in and out very slowly, drawing the breath in through your nostrils rather than through your open mouth. Your mind may still be racing, that’s to be expected. Now, here’s the key – continue breathing very slowly in and out of your nose and when a troublesome thought comes into your mind open your mouth and start blowing in and out rapidly for several moments. Then return to slow nostril breathing. Continue these last two steps until you feel at ease. Trust me, if you can just give yourself that one minute break, you will be very pleased at the results. Sound health can be yours when you claim it and do the inner work that clears a path for healing to occur. In the words of Louise Hay, from, Heal Your Body... “The word incurable, which is so frightening to so many people, really only means that the particular condition cannot be cured by outer methods and that we must go within to effect the healing. The condition came from nothing and will go back to nothing.” b

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The only gift, is a portion of thyself. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson 68

Volume 14

| Issue 1


SOS: Your Instant Stress Reduction Tool in Challenging Times by Steve Sisgold 14.1