My name is Karen Jin. Welcome to StressMatters.ca – an information-sharing / resource blog about matters relating to stress, why it’s important to know about stress, and ways we can manage and reduce it.
You may have already heard things like: “Stress is the number one killer in North America!” and “Stress is THE Health Epidemic of the 21st Century!”… but if I were to ask you to define ‘stress’ and explain to me why it kills, would you be able to?
It seems that the majority of people have a somewhat nebulous concept about what stress is. Most describe stress as feeling “stressed out” from various external pressures (e.g., work, school, financial, or relationship stress). People usually associate being “stressed out” with anxiety, difficulty sleeping, feeling overwhelmed, frazzled, irrational, and short-fused but few have ever been informed about what stress actually is and how it negatively impacts us.
The fact of the matter is – there are many different kinds of stress (e.g., physical stress, emotional stress, etc…) and to further complicate things, stress is defined differently depending on one’s culture, philosophy, or discipline.
For example – in Eastern cultures where people prioritize and are more in tune with spiritual balance, stress is “an absence of inner peace”. In Western cultures, stress is commonly defined as “a loss of emotional control or an inability to cope with one’s problems”.
Those are just two examples, but I believe all of the definitions out there accurately encompass at least one aspect of what stress really is. I may delve more deeply into this topic in future posts – but for the purposes of this blog, I will use a neuroscientific-based definition:
STRESS : Any mental or physical stimulus that disrupts the body’s equilibrium.
Any change you must adapt to (positive or negative).
The operative word here is equilibrium. Homeostasis and balance are of utmost importance! When things are out of balance, it prevents our bodies from self-healing. In the weeks to come, I will talk about key stressors (sources of stress) which contribute to imbalance and get in the way of healing.
If you remember nothing else about today’s post – remember this one thing:
Our bodies were created with the ability to self-heal.
Learning this one concept has been a game-changer for me and my family. It changed my paradigm for healing from “What can I do to (quickly) fix the problem (or symptom)?” to “Let’s get the body back into balance so it can do what it was designed to do” (which is to self-heal and stay healthy).
Our bodies don’t get sick and diseased overnight… and yet we expect there to be some kind of magical short-cut to our healing and recovery. In this world of ‘fast’ and ‘instant’ everything, we are naturally drawn to the easiest and fastest methods of so-called ‘healing’. We pop pain killers for headaches and muscle pain, blood pressure meds for hypertension, anti-depressants for anxiety and depression… the list goes on. I’m not pointing fingers… I did this too! For as long as I can remember, I took antihistimines practically every day to help manage my terrible environmental and food allergies. I freely took Tylenol or Advil whenever I experienced any discomfort.
I know better now and realize that over time, those medications were taking a toll on my body. Not only that – the biggest realization was that while these medications were giving me temporary relief, they did nothing about solving the root cause of the problem. To be honest, I never even thought about tackling the cause… I was so used to dealing with just the symptoms.
As I think about that now, I can see that addressing symptoms alone is as futile as trying to remove just the top (visible) portion of an iceberg. Or better yet – it’s like a mechanic plugging your ears or turning up your stereo so you can’t hear the funny noises your car is making.
The information I will share in this blog comes from hours and hours of researching for ways to help my son heal and recover from autism. As a Speech-Language Pathologist, my training was all therapy-based. A few years after my son’s diagnosis, we realized that therapy alone was not making many significant changes because it focused on dealing with the symptoms and behaviours (the tip of the iceberg) – not the root causes. It was only when we started bio-medical interventions that we began seeing huge breakthroughs in my son’s healing. It was like every few months, we would receive another new piece for our healing puzzle!
Part way through this quest, I realized that what I was learning was not just for my son but it was bringing healing to myself, my family, and my community. For example – I learned that the root causes and key stressors for autism are the same as so many other disorders – including allergies, asthma, depression, anxiety, ADHD, digestive issues, autoimmune diseases, etc… I was so excited about these new-found discoveries and how I was able to help bring healing to others by sharing what I had learned that I decided to go back to school to study ‘stress management’ and become a quantum biofeedback specialist (more on that next time!).
So – this quest is not over. I’m still researching, learning, and trying to apply what I’ve discovered so far. I would love to be able to say, “I have arrived! My journey is complete!” – just like those fitness trainers who show photos of their incredibly ripped bodies while saying – “Do you want a body like mine? Follow me!” Unfortunately, I have not reached that point… Yet. I’m still a work in progress. Even though my focus is healing from the inside out, I’m sure a photo of my insides wouldn’t be very appealing either! Lol! 🙂 My invitation to you is this: Journey with me as we learn how to approach and achieve greater healing – not only from the inside out – but from the roots up!
Here’s a quick preview of some topics that I hope to cover in future posts:
- toxicity and detoxification
- nutritional supplementation
- anxiety and depression
- oxidative stress
- quantum biofeedback
- chemical sensitivity
- highly sensitive people
- electromagnetic fields
Thanks for reading my first-ever post! Please bear with me as I learn this whole new world of blogging. If this process isn’t too painful, I hope to start up my autism blog in the near future. 😀
Please subscribe, like, and share my posts! Remember – healing happens in community so let’s journey together!
For questions, comments, or topic requests – please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. 🙂
Mind Over Medicine – Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself Dr. Lissa Rankin 2013
Stress the Silent Killer Course – Integrity Biofeedback Academy Sharron Oyer/Brenda Judah
Autism: The Paradigm Shift Course – Integrity Biofeedback Academy Sharron Oyer
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