Friday, November 20, 2009
It is well known that stress plays a major role in the development of illness - everything from the common cold to cancer, AIDS, and heart disease. Similarly, it is widely recognized that the mind influences one's physical body and how the body responds to treatments (placebo effect). To understand the mechanisms and process of how this happens we must define what the mind, body, and stress are, and how the mind regulates what happens in the physical body.
First, we will begin by recognizing that body and mind are merely different levels or frequency ranges of an energetic information processing system. Nothing exists in apparent physical form without fields of energy and information that underlie it's presence. Mind, that which is engaging in the process of receiving, interpreting, and using information, is non-local. It is a field-like phenomenon that is not confined to a particular physical location. Mind can focus attention and energy into the physical domain but is not limited to that domain.
Stress is a sense of disturbance or resistance to stimuli perceived in one's environment. We recognize that stress occurs primarily in the mind based upon the mind's perception and interpretation of what is transpiring in the life of the individual. Stress is the interaction between the mind and what is unfolding in one's life experience. The mind gives meaning to whatever it perceives and the mind generates stress or ease with what it perceives. When there is resistance, a vibrational energy shift occurs which creates a distortion in the natural, free-flow of energy through the layers of the energetic system. Thoughts and feelings are vibrational energy patterns which are harmonically connected to other layers of energy that animate the physical body. This is an intelligent system, and when mental and emotional patterns arise the energy system reflects those patterns and guides the body to respond accordingly. When anxious or agitated the body will be guided to release hormones to stimulate the nervous system and other body functions to enable a person to use fight or flight resources. When a person is calm the nervous system will be guided to relax and maintain equilibrium.
Stress-related hormones are known to foster disease. They create excess acidity (unhealthy pH balance) in the body and generate cell-damaging free radicals. Stress hormones have been consistently shown to suppress immune function. These hormones disrupt metabolism and use up nutrients such as vitamin C, which are needed for our overall well-being. When we are overstressed, whatever aspect of our energy system has a pre-existing weakness is the area where we are likely to see health problems appear. Thus, stress will lead to different illnesses for different people. Since our energy system is multi-leveled, we need to clear stress from these multiple levels to maintain our health. This may include using body-oriented therapies like massage as well as energetic therapies (reiki, sound, color, acupressure, etc.), aromatherapy and Bach flower essences, psychotherapy, meditation, hypnosis, physical detoxing, healing retreats, and more. Research has consistently shown that using stress-reduction and stress-relief therapies and practices can greatly improve our health. A recent example of this is research demonstrating that people practicing transcendental meditation were able to reduce their risk of heart attacks by nearly 50 percent.
Jed Shlackman, LMHC, is a licensend counselor, hypnotherapist, and energy healer in Miami, FL.