In today’s episode of “Healing From Within” Host Sheryl Glick welcomes special guest Peter Mc Carthy author of “Adrenalin Nation,” a detailed guide for evaluating and understanding stressors leading to chronic stress. Chronic stress can set into motion damaging chemical and hormonal changes in the body causing impairment to the immune system, the digestive system, reproductive system increasing the output of cortisol which plays a major role in both supporting blood sugar management, and combating pain and inflammation when needed. As a former commercial airline pilot and B-52 bomber pilot for 36 years, Peter Mc Carthy knows first -hand the impact stress can have on the human body. Observing pilots and stewardesses suffering from disproportionally high rates of cancer and autoimmune disease, and watching family members die from heart failure and cancer, Peter clearly saw the limitations of our conventional medical establishment and became motivated to find personal ways to safeguard our health through specific life altering behaviors. In 2003 he began his career as a traditional naturopath using a combination of in depth lifestyle approaches, and other non-invasive modalities such as energy work, bioresonance therapy, and detoxification therapy to help the body return itself to the path of health. Naturopaths and indeed I myself as a Reiki energy practitioner do not attempt to diagnose or treat disease, but recognize sub- par health conditions as part of destructive cumulative patterns of behavior, and recognize early childhood or adult traumas that undermine a sense of Self and well being. Changing these patterns and creating a new sense of life enhancing attitudes and behaviors is the beginning of a healthier way of enjoying life. Many alternative health professionals work with methods that release energy blockages including stress induced conditions.
Chronic stress can also increase feelings that we are alone, and this sense of isolation in conjunction with other stressors can lead to psychosomatic disorders which cause symptoms of anxiety, fear, tiredness, leading to less productivity and joy in daily life activities. However, the good news is by recognizing what issues, relationships, or work related situations are precipitating this exaggerated state of stress, it becomes possible to renew the body’s innate healing mechanisms by incorporating a combination of in depth diet, natural vitamins, herbs and minerals such as Vitamin C, Omega 3 Fish Oils, B vitamins and trace minerals such as magnesium. It is now well known that the body can regenerate even when stress or illness has made a major impact. Cells are restructuring and every 7 years we have a whole different body.
As a naturopath Peter suggests that self-empowerment and better health may be achieved through new learned information which helps a person change behaviors that negatively impact their health. Motivation and action kick in to foster natural lifestyle approaches for an improved sense of peace, calm, health, and, the elimination of an overload of stress through use of newly learned behaviors and health practices, become a consistent part of a wellness plan. In discussing Deepak Chopra’s concept of the Hypnosis of Social Conditioning which suggests there are a host of factors in our daily life which impact our bodies ability to withstand stress we learn of factors widely accepted as normal, but in reality they are toxic. It then becomes a challenge to target them, and eliminate them, from our everyday situations.
Since our culture of high achievement is associated with an acquisition of wealth, and an attitude to win at any cost, competition with co-workers, friends and family are considered desirable and normal. However cooperation rather than extreme competition promotes a higher state of health, and works to eliminate fear, anxiety, dissatisfaction, stress, unhappiness, and inappropriate expectations of Self and others. At this time many people are on a personal journey to realize spiritual evolution and a drive for self- empowerment. Parents, teachers, and medical professional would be wise to embrace a new sense of acceptance and allowance for individual needs, and not buy into a” collective consciousness” of unbalanced or undesirable thinking. While some sense of competition is perhaps a good stimulus, too much is adding to stress, unrealistic goals, and a poorer satisfaction with physical realities. Harmony balance, and empathy would be necessary ingredients in correcting this state of thinking in our educational, medical, and corporate systems.
In looking for an adequate definition of stress we may say,” Stress is a state resulting from a stress factor; especially one of bodily or emotional tension resulting from events that tend to alter an existent equilibrium.’ However, as Peter lets us know each person will have their own concept of stress and what creates that state of mind and bodily changes. Of course all stress is not harmful. Good stress known as eustress that enhances physical and mental function such as strength training, aerobic exercise, or, rewarding work experiences, and relationships that one finds stimulating or challenging, actually produce hormones and chemistry that stimulates the body in positive ways. In contrast, distress which is a state of unrest that cannot resolve itself through adaptive responses, which are appropriate reactions to an environmental demand, may result in negative physical, mental or emotional consequences leading to illness. This is chronic stress.
Peter establishes in his book “Adrenalin Nation” a system known as “The Stress Stack” which are the elements that may lead to a weakened immune system and also a lowered level of joy in life. Parts of this system include: Dietary Influences (Food and Beverages Which Cause Stress),Lifestyle Influences (Activities and Habits Which Cause Stress), Nutritional Gap,(Vitamins, minerals and herbs), Toxic Influences (prescription drugs, chemicals, fungi or bacteria), Trigger Factors (job loss, death of a spouse/child, automobile accident)
Peter and Sheryl also discuss a concept about Vibrational Medicine for the 21st Century as discussed by Richard Gerber MD in his book. It is necessary to first recognize that at our fundamental level we are all energetic beings. Each of us produces and radiates a low level electromagnetic field that interfaces with, and reacts to the electromagnetic environment around us. We are being influenced by the electronic nature of the places we live and work in, and the stressful content and over use of television and the media, producing too much violent or negative content and our interactions with other people. Long term exposure to appliances, computers and smart phones is increasingly being recognized as harmful. Even though our society has become progressively more technologically advanced, our relationships are becoming more fragmented, and an increasing sense of isolation is creating an epidemic of loneliness which is also a factor for the body to form effective stress responses.
It will be through changes in the entertainment, health care, Corporate America, political structures and interpersonal relationships that the road to a healthier, more loving and satisfied quality of life for many will register lower levels of stress.