By Elizabeth Carpenter, MS, L.Ac., CEFP
Founder & Chief Clinician, Oriens Living, New York
2014 Promises to be a Record Year for our Sun’s Activity and Solar Flares.
Q: Why am I mentioning this in an article on stress?
A: Because you are running on electromagnetism: your brain, your heart, ion channels and gradients, more. The sun’s activity impacts all electromagnetics earth. NASA and the science community are monitoring the sun very carefully as solar events can, and do, knock out our power grids.
So as we enter what promises to be a record year for electromagnetic stress: between our 24/7 always on /always available lifestyle, our dependency on multiple electromagnetic technologies, and the sun’s drama….
We need to step up the stress challenge more than ever before.
Our physical, mental and spiritual health depend on it.
How often have you said,“The stress is killing me.”?
Here are a few ways it does!
√ Shuts down logic & critical thinking
√ Shuts down intuition & creativity
√ Negatively affects mental focus and memory
√ Produces anxiety, nervousness & irritability
√ Disrupts hormones
√ Undermines immune system
√ Disturbs weight & metabolism
√ Slows reaction times & throws off coordination
√ Disturbs sleep
It’s been 30 years since Time magazine broke the story to the world that stress is the enemy, a silent killer, a mojo hijacker. Yet we’re more stressed than ever.
The Stress Pre-Emptor
We report our stress as mental, but stress is actually something we feel. The stressors may be external – a deadline, a resource constraint, an argument, an event. But the bottom line is this: stress is an internal emotional response to a perception, which in turn prompts a physiological response.
While short-term stress can be energizing and enhance performance, chronic stress engineers physiological changes that short circuit our mental and physical performance, and can lead to significant long-term damage to our health.
To be able to handle stress – which is a normal part of life and something that will continue to escalate -- we need to build resilience.
Resilience is defined as the capacity to prepare for, recover and adapt in the face of stress, challenge and adversity. It is especially important for preventing stress build-up and wasted time and energy. You can learn how to accumulate and store resilience. Building resilience begins with your heart.
The Heart of the Matter
Rollin McCraty, PhD, of the Institute of HeartMath® (a non-profit research organization) puts it this way in his book, The Energetic Heart, Bioelectromagnetic Interactions Within and Between People:
“While it was formerly maintained that emotions originated only in the brain, we now recognize that emotions can be more accurately described as a product of the brain and body acting in concert. Moreover, evidence suggests that of the bodily organs, the heart may play a particularly important role in emotional experience. Research in the relatively new discipline of neuroradiology has confirmed that the heart is a sensory organ and acts as a sophisticated information encoding and processing center that enables it to learn, remember, and make independent functional decisions that do not involve the cerebral cortex.”
The heart, it turns out, is much like energy-based, mind-body medical systems such as Chinese Medicine suggest: intelligent and central to how the mind and brain process our experiences and direct our physiological affairs.
Your Heart-Brain Connection
The heart’s own nervous system is so complex it’s now being called a heart-brain. The heart actually sends more information to the brain than vice versa. These neural signals affect brain centers involved in decision-making, creativity and all aspects of our physiological self-regulation (hormones, immune response, etc).
The emotions we feel change activity for both branches of our autonomic nervous system (ANS). The common parlance for the “speed up” sympathetic branch of the ANS is fight/flight. The complement system, the parasympathetic branch, we identify as rest/digest/repair.
For optimal performance, we need the two branches to work in concert. Too often, however, our sympathetic nervous system dominates; particularly under the burden of chronic stress it can become “locked.” When this happens, rather than co-captaining our physiologic game, parasympathetic barely gets to play.
The Good News
We can optimize heart-brain communication!
We can master stress to master health and create much more quality of life in each sphere: mental, emotional, physical, spiritual.
Any one of the 3 strategies employed in The Oriens Stress Mastery Program will help you change your stress response, and therefore enhance your quality of life.
We use them together – a triumvirate for Stress Transformation.
√ Self-Regulate in Real-Time through HeartMath® Training – Real-time techniques (used by NASA, Fortune 100’s, Olympic teams and others) integrate into your everyday life and workflow to pre-empt, interrupt and recover from stress. These anytime/anywhere techniques help you self-regulate your HRV (heart rate variability) to optimize heart-brain communication so you produce calm, peaceful alertness on demand.
√ Teach Your Body-Mind to Prefer Calm with Acupuncture – Acupuncture operates through your electromagnetic grid. The strategy in this case, is to literally hard-wire your heart-brain’s preference for an optimized state. In perfect synchrony with HeartMath® Training, acupuncture helps to both introduce a coherent state and to reinforce it.
√ Uncover & Neutralize Hidden Mental-Emotional Stress with Harmonyum Healing – This very gentle, calming, revitalizing hands-on treatment directs energy into the spine and other areas where emotional and physical traumas are held and remembered by the body. Safely lifting stress and bringing hidden issues to the surface for your conscious contemplation and action, you address the root of stress.
To Thriving! -Elizabeth