Relaxed, Recharged and Grounded
How many times do you wake up feeling tired, no energy or no excitement for the day ahead of you? Do your discussions with friends and colleagues often end up being about the fast pace of life today, the stress of the deadlines, the over commitments, and never having the time to do what you want to do or spend quality time with friends, family, or even sometimes just by yourself?
The media is educating people about stress and the effects it has on their lives. With the struggling economy, people are losing their jobs or taking jobs for a lesser salary, and are having difficulty meeting their economic and professional goals. People who have not lost their jobs are now doing the work that three or four employees did before. This is just one aspect of the many effects of stress that people face everyday.
- Job loss
- Over commitment
- Fast pace of life
Another stressor common today is that there are more single and divorced people over the age of 40 than ever before. Relationships are difficult. Being single is lonely for most and this can often cause stress and depression. Single parenting, beginning to date again, the new financial situations, and the isolation created by divorce are some of the factors that increase stress and anxiety for many people.
Chronic stress has been shown to cause a myriad of physical and psychological health problems such as digestive and cardiovascular disorders, worsening symptoms of menopause, impaired memory and weakening the immune system. It is also becoming more obvious that stress related symptoms do not respond well to conventional therapies.
With the awareness and availability of alternative healthcare, more people are seeking relief from their stress through energy healing modalities and bodywork. People are learning that it is important to get to the source of the stress in order to make changes in their lives. Yet, there are still many people who ignore the signs and symptoms of stress perhaps because they do not read in the paper or hear from friends that, "Joe died at the age of 45 and his death was due to the stressful pace of his life." However, stress and the symptoms created by a stressful life can definitely cause death. Heart attacks, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system are the side effects of not attending to the stressful situations in life. There is a need for a deeper awareness and understanding of the long-term effects of the fast paced lives that many are living today. The body is constantly sending messages that this life style is wearing it down permanently.
A New Trend Toward Treating the Mind and Body as a Whole
The September 27, 2004 Newsweek magazine was dedicated to the topic of the science of the mind and body. In the article, "Brain Check," it was stated that "An estimated 60 to 90 percent of doctor visits involve stress-related complaints." The article detailed medical sciences’ recent acknowledgment of the effectiveness of alternative healing techniques, something many people are becoming more educated about. Feelings of stress and anxiety are the result of working too much and not dealing with unresolved anger, or disruptive issues that negatively affect the whole person. Responding to these symptoms of stress and anxiety by ignoring them will definitely cause serious long-term negative effects on the mind and the body. Newsweek stated, "…there is now little question that uncontrolled stress can kill."
Louise Hay, Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Carolyn Myss and others have been lecturing and writing for years about the effects and connection of stress and anxiety on the mind and body. In Eastern medicine, this mind-body connection has been an accepted truth for millennia. The same Newsweek article stated that "1 in 4 people currently enlist some sort of alternative or complimentary healing practice in addition to the medical treatment of these types of stress related or mind-body afflictions."
Ancient alternative healing modalities such as acupuncture, shiatsu, massage, Reiki and meditation offer a unique and very effective method to work on the issues that create stress, anxiety, depression, and an overall dissatisfaction or unhappiness with life. Synthesizing unique benefits of these ancient traditions, modern alternative healing techniques have also been developed such as Integrated Energy Therapy (IET), a gentle hands-on healing modality that offers a safe, gentle, supportive method to release stress, anxiety, and negative patterns of the past. IET uses focused healing energy to clear blocks that accumulate in the body and hinder the natural flow of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual energy.
For many people feelings of being overwhelmed, anxious and tired become a way of life. Living this way can lead to health problems such as headaches, digestive disorders, back and neck pain and tension, and sleeplessness. Other consequences include conflicts in relationships, both personal and professional, and being unproductive and unhappy at work. These types of issues, which originate from physical, emotional, and mental stress and often involve an unhealthy complex relationship between mind and body, are ideally suited for treatment with alternative methods of healing.
Reasons Why People Avoid Seeking Stress Relief
- Lack of knowledge as to what is available
- Depression or low energy
- Don’t know how to explain what’s wrong
- Stress has become a way of life
Making the decision to seek help to work on feelings of being overwhelmed, anxious, or stressed can be a choice that causes stress in and of itself. Most people wait until they feel they cannot go on any further experiencing either the physical or emotional breakdown of the body before they seek help for themselves. This can be a result of not knowing that there are positive choices available. Often people report that they wanted to do something or find help months earlier, but did not know where to go to receive the help needed. They felt that talking about what was bothering them would make things worse, or that it would not do any good. Other reasons why people delay taking care of themselves is that they do not know what to say, how to put into words what they are feeling, or they are not exactly sure what is wrong. They feel depressed, low energy, or perhaps stuck in a rut but not sure why. The stressful pace many people lead has become such a mainstream way of dealing with life that recognizing the signs and discomfort often is difficult. Many times it takes a serious life-threatening event to get the attention that was needed much earlier.
These negative stressful events result in physical illnesses such as migraine headaches, increased menopausal symptoms, ulcers, chronic fatigue syndrome, eating disorders, back and neck pain, joint pain, or even more serious – high blood pressure and heart disease. In the emotional arena what surfaces is feelings of nervousness, chronic dissatisfaction with life, an empty feeling, sadness, feelings of rage and anger, apathy, and depression.
With the availability of alternative healing techniques, people can release the feelings of stress, anger, sadness, dissatisfaction and anxiety, all of which as noted can manifest in the physical body with many negative symptoms.
Alternative Therapies Work
As we begin to be aware of the mind/body connection, it is important to also understand and acknowledge that negative life experiences, i.e. stress, create emotions such as anger, fear, resentment, guilt, and sadness and that these emotions become trapped in specific areas of the physical body. Trapped emotions, often called energy blocks, create physical, emotional, and mental disharmony. Energy blocks allow people to continue implementing damaging patterns of dealing with stressors and this creates a negative effect in all aspects of the body, mind, and spirit.
Benefits of Alternative Therapies
- Release of stress and anxiety
- Disease prevention
- Brings balance, harmony, and sense of purpose to life
- Renewed life energy
The objective of alternative therapies is to release the symptoms of everyday stress that create feelings of being tired, burned out, and overwhelmed. Working energetically with the trapped emotions and the disharmonies in the body is empowering and treats the whole person. Releasing stress offers an opportunity to bring balance to life allowing a clear sense of purpose and direction. The challenge for most people is making time to take care of oneself before the signals from the body become too serious to ignore. Although there is more information today about stress and the effects it has on the mind and body, people are still neglecting themselves. Don’t wait until it is too late. Listen to your body, take action, and begin to feel relaxed, recharged and grounded.
Karen J. Puglia, M.A. is a mind/body/spirit centered psychotherapist and an Integrated Energy Therapy Master-Instructor Trainer. You may contact her at 508 668-4481 and view her website at http://www.TheCenterForEnergyHealing.com