Understanding Stress

Stress is more than just a word. It is a modern theory of health and disease. It is also the basis for nutritional balancing science. Stress is defined as a non-specific response of our bodies to any number of factors that are called 'stressors'. Non-specific means the response follows a similar pattern, no matter what the cause.

For example, loud noise, extreme cold, a bacterial infection, a toxic metal, or worry can all cause the same stress response. It doesn't matter if the stressor comes from within the body (bacteria) or outside the body (noise).

The response to stress is in three stages, according to Dr. Hans Selye, founder of the stress theory. Hair analysis can be used to identify these stages with mathematical accuracy.

Common Causes Of Stress

Internal causes of stress include nutritional deficiencies, bacterial or viral infections, sublux­ated vertebrae, hardened arteries, weak muscles, toxic metals in enzyme binding sites, poor circula­tion, fatigue, energy imbalances, fear-based emo­tional patterns, neuroses or rigid ideas.

External stressors include family problems, financial struggles, school difficulties, interper­sonal problems, extreme heat or cold, polluted air and water, improper diet, low-quality food, toxic medications, drugs and other poisons and many other factors that appear 'external' to us. The internal and the external factors of stress combine to create stress responses.

Noise can be a potent stressor. This includes televisions, radios and even excessive talking. The presence of other people, especially for babies and children, can be stressful. Some people are affected by even more subtle factors such as electro-magnetic waves, colors, tone of voice and even a person's 'aura'. We have all heard the phrase, "there was so much anger in the room you could cut it with a knife".

There are even spiritual stressors. Just telling the truth, or speaking up to a friend, can cause much stress. For innocent children, hearing false statements by parents like "you are a bad child" can be a horrendous stress.

Who Is Under Stress?

Everyone copes with stress all the time. If we are healthy, it means we are in harmony with our internal and external environment. Excessive stress can occur at any age. This includes new­borns, who are often traumatized by the birth process, or even by the thoughts and emotions of the mother who carried them.

All children at times experience fears, anger, confusion and perhaps feelings of inadequacy, failure and many others. This is added to any physical, biochemical, genetic or energetic imbal­ances that may be present.

An important principle is that a stressor for one person may not be a stressor for another. One person may love being around cats, while another has a violent allergic reaction to cat hair.

Salt can benefit one person by raising a low blood pressure. Yet for the person with high blood pressure, salt can be a severe stressor. Vitamins and minerals act likewise. If they balance the body, they are beneficial. If not, they can add to stress. Some stressors, such as nuclear radiation, extreme heat or cold and botu­lism toxin are stressful for everyone.

The Body's Stress Response

Dr. Hans Selye discovered there is a common stress response, no matter what the cause. He divided the response into three stages: alarm, resistance and exhaustion. All organisms go through these three stages of stress, which are followed by death. One can go through all three stages in minutes, or it can take 100 years. The progression of the stages of stress is mediated through the adrenal and thyroid glands.

Dr. Paul Eck's research on hair analysis was greatly assisted by incorporating the stress theory into the interpretation of the hair analysis. Know­ing the stage of stress, one knows a lot about how a body is functioning. This allows one to move beyond symptoms and correct underlying body chemistry.

Dr. Eck discovered the alarm stage of stress roughly correlates with fast oxidation. The resist­ance stage of stress roughly corresponds to a mixed oxidation pattern. It may also correlate with a fast oxidation pattern with a low sod­ium/potassium ratio. The exhaustion stage of stress roughly corresponds to a very slow oxida­tion rate.

Mineral levels change in accord with the stage of stress. For instance, in the alarm stage, sodium rises. As the resistance stage begins, sodium begins to drop. It continues even lower in the exhaustion stage. One can determine the stage of stress with numerical accuracy from the tissue mineral levels and ratios.

Stress And Energy

Each of the stages of stress is a lower energy state. The goal of a nutritional balancing program is to move the body from a lower energy and less healthful stage of stress to a more healthful stage of stress.

Another principle of stress is that coping or adapting to stress uses up energy. When energy improves on a nutrition program, it is because there is less biochemical stress on the body and thus more adaptive energy is available. This is an important principle that helps explain 'healing reactions' and the success of nutritional balancing programs.

The Ideal Stress Response

The ideal stress response is no response. On a hair analysis it would be to maintain a balanced oxidation rate. To do this one must be able to absorb or digest every experience without reacting to it. This can only occur if one is not attached to any physical or emotional state or condition.

Only this way can one not feel threatened by an event or condition that appears hurtful to the physical, mental or emotional self. In philosophy, this is often called a state of 'emotional detach­ment', or living in the world, but not being of the world.

On a physical level, we can assist this process by balancing and strengthening body chemistry. This can help one to cope with everything from invading bacteria or viruses, to negative thoughts, fearful emotions and physical, social or financial hardship. The principle of nutritional therapy is that reducing the internal stress on the body, one can handle or digest more external stress.

Much more can be said about the subtleties of stress. We encourage everyone to study stress theory.

This material is for educational purposes only
The preceding statements have not been evaluated by the
Food and Drug Administration
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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