"These are fast and busy times. Today, most people’s lives are filled with stressful events. To the human body, stress is identified with CHANGE. Whether the change is “good” (such as getting a job promotion or going to a fun party) or “bad” (such as catching a cold or worrying about paying the bills), the brain as the center of the nervous system is called upon to deal with any stressor that makes demands on the body, mind, or spirit. One way the brain handles stress is by regulating the production of the body’s feel-good chemicals, such as endorphins. In doing so, the body always attempts to maintain a state of equilibrium or balance, otherwise know as homeostasis, or the state of being “just right.”
The body’s ability to adapt, however, has its limits. When the stress load is overwhelming, and the body is OVERSTRESSED, problems can occur. Some symptoms of overstress are sleeplessness, tension, fatigue, decreased immunity, anxiety, and increased production of aches and pains.
Pain can be a major stressor on its own. Pain may be acute (of sudden onset) or chronic (persistent or recurrent). Pain may be a warning sign of underlying disease. Pain is the number one reason people seek out health care, and managing pain can be a challenge. Some people seem to have a high tolerance for pain, and others do not. The important thing is to not ignore pain, since it is the body’s signal that an area needs attention. Dealing with pain in a holistic manner can help to alleviate the symptoms and lead toward improved quality of life and ability to more easily function in all the roles of daily life - at home, at work, and at play.
In order to support good health, stress must be successfully managed. Learning to slow down and take time to destress can enhance the body’s natural pain controls. Holistic healthcare practitioners learn to integrate their skills with the health care community. By working with the patient/client, goals can be developed and methods chosen to help manage both stress and pain! Scientific studies are investigating the possibilities that complementary and alternative approaches – such as therapeutic massage and other forms of bodywork, music therapy, yoga, meditation, exercise, acupuncture, proper diet, psychotherapy, chiropractic, movement retraining, biofeedback, and other modalities - provide effective stress and pain management techniques. Science is beginning to understand the wisdom of the ancients in achieving physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.