Overcoming Psychological and Emotional Stress

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In reading more than 300 books on the subject of health, perusing thousands of articles, websites, and studies, and communicating with thousands of people all over the world for the last 6 years on the subject… I have been funneled increasingly in one universal direction.  Like it has for many others, stress has emerged as a repetitive theme in the causation of all kinds of illnesses.  Until now, I’ve stayed away from the psychological and emotional triggers of stress because the purely physiological side is greatly underappreciated.  I mean, just say the word “stress” and people naturally think about work stress, divorces, family deaths, and other things that everyone considers stress.  Very few think of lack of sleep, attempts at dietary purity, pregnancy, fatty acids, or inflammation as forms of stress that equal and sometimes even surpass the psychological variety.

But it’s long overdue that I started delving deeper into what is obviously an incredible trigger of the physiological stress chain reaction – various forms of psychological and emotional stress as well as trauma of all varieties.  While everyone is aware of the more trendy and accessible forms of stress release like yoga, meditation, or a simple warm bath or nap – I’m fortunate to be privy to what are truly advanced methods at neutralizing the emotions at the root of psychological and emotional malaise.

Today I wanted to offer a little question and answer session with my very close friend Bella Dodds from Higher Mind Health.  Bella and I go way back, and can both attribute much of our successful health pioneering to the use of methods that Bella and I came across exactly 7 years ago (November 18-19, 2005) in an extremely intense workshop in Hawaii.  Mostly the methods helped us to start following our interests and passions with great vigor, resilience, and realism instead of loosely thinking about what we wanted to do with our lives but never taking action – choosing instead to sort of recreate our way into misery (yes, it is possible to become stressed from having too much fun and having too little challenge in life).  The simple act of taking action was the greatest emotional liberator I think I’ve ever experienced.  Not to take anything away from snorkeling with sea turtles or Maui sunsets or Eckhart Tolle, but trying to be “at peace” and “have fun” with no real fulfilling mission driving me was akin to being in a mental straight jacket – or engulfing Mai Tais all day to keep a smile on my face.

Wow, okay that was getting a little off topic.  I’ll shut up now and let Bella share some interesting concepts on emotions, stress, and such with you…

Bella, we both mutually agree that stress, in all its many forms, is the most common universal trigger of symptoms and disease in the human body.  Could you sort of explain the intent of the work you do in your consultation practice and in the many workshops that you’ve hosted?

Hi Matt, wonderful to connect with you and your fellow readers on 180 Degree Health. Hello everyone!

Matt and I have talked about collaborating on this subject for some time now, so I am glad we finally are getting to it. Understanding how stress impacts the body is truly such an important topic. Matt and I spoke last week reflecting on how true health is a comprehensive balance of all aspects of who we are. We cannot separate ourselves and leave one area unaddressed and expect beneficial results. For instance, if you focus on eating well, but do little to move or exercise your health will greatly suffer. If you sleep, eat and workout in healthy moderation, but mentally and emotionally you are not addressing high levels of unresolved stress in your life – your body is not going to fare well either. We are multi-dimensional beings and all aspects of who we are mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually will have a great impact on our physical bodies.

My intent in working with individuals and in my workshops is to first help people to see the greater power and purpose within their stress, because the truth is after having worked with thousands of individuals from all over the world in the last decade, I haven’t met one person who hasn’t experienced hardship in his or her life. It is key for us in the modern-day world to learn how can we make stress and challenge productive in our lives, rather than destructive and corrosive. We will all experience stress – but it is what we do with it that can have a profound, transformative and deeply healing impact on our life and health. Resentment, anger, sadness, depression, anxiety, fear, and guilt are all heavy emotions that greatly impact our relationships, how we see and act in the world, and thus how our bodies must cope with these highly emotional states.

My level of work is understanding how the mind and emotions are connected to physical disease in the body. I specialize in anxiety, insomnia and stress and use several modalities in working with my clients such as META-Medicine and the Demartini Method to isolate the specific mental emotional stress causing physical problems in the body and how to dissolve this stress.

This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from one of the early pioneers of stress physiology, Hans Selye…

During both eustress and distress the body undergoes virtually the same negative stimuli acting upon it.  However, the fact that eustress causes much less damage than distress graphically demonstrates that it is ‘how you take it’ that determines, ultimately, whether one can adapt successfully to change.”

You say that you help to “dissolve” stress but I don’t know if I would totally describe it that way.  I would say it’s more like neutralizing illness-inducing emotions by helping a person reach a balanced viewpoint about who they are, the people in their lives, or past events.  Say for example a person has a spouse die in a tragic accident, and has a strong emotion of pain, sorrow, guilt for not being there to save him or her, and so forth.  Instead of encouraging them to be heartbroken and guilty and expressive of their grief, you instead would go in and show them positive changes that occurred in their lives as a result of an incident that they can only perceive as purely negative.  And then, you keep pushing until the person actually comes to a place where they are perceiving the event quite differently.  I know this is but one aspect and one tool that you use, and difficult to explain to the uninitiated, but could you elaborate a little bit on how that works?  And maybe give a brief example of someone having a realization that led to the neutralization of some chronic stress-causing emotion?

Haha, yes you are right it is much more than dissolving stress. That is the generalized term that I have come to use as the essence of what I do requires a more in-depth explanation.

How into it shall we go then Stone!?   I say this is 180 Degree Health with a group of high level thinkers so let’s get down and dirty and push our minds outside what we talk about on a normal day to day basis. Down the rabbit hole we go! You have been warned.

Okay, so everything in the Universe is energy. Our thoughts and emotions are also forms of energy – just finer vibrations so you can’t actually see them or touch them like you can say your car, but know that thoughts and emotions are energy and they give off wavelengths of charge and vibration. The smallest measurable units of energy discovered by Quantum Physicists is a quantum. Physicists were confounded when studying the quantum world because they discovered the laws of Newtonian Physics broke down. Energy at this level acted differently and was not predictable. We can predict with great precision when the next Solar Eclipse is going to be 2,000 years from now, but in the quantum world the laws of physics are not the same. What Scientists discovered was that energy in its pure state is actually in multiple places at once and is timeless, charge-less, space-less, and mass-less. In other words, energy in this quantum state or photon state has no time, weight, charge or mass and exists in multiple possibilities.

So what does this have to do with stress, emotions and our health?

When a single quantum of light interacts with the physical world its properties change and it splits into a positive and negative charge, and it now has weight, time and charge. The two electromagnetic forces of positive and negative charge make up one unit of light and you cannot have one without the other.

How does this information relate to our emotions, thoughts and what we experience in the world?

What physics tells us is that when energy interacts within the physical world it splits between a positive and negative charge, which means that when you experience an event in your life you will interact with this energy and measure it as either an experience that you’re repelled by (negative charge) or attracted to (positive charge).

Let’s make this as simple as possible. If you are in a relationship and you come home to find your partner in bed with someone else, you will most likely experience this to be VERY negative. You will be angry and resentful and you will be repelled by what you have witnessed. Now where is the other side of this quantum of energy? How is this also positive experience? This is where our human mind can break down and go huh? “There is not a positive this was only a horrible experience! I have been betrayed. I am devastated.”

Our human mind sees things as good or bad, black or white, supporting and challenging, but typically not both simultaneously, especially when we are talking about a highly stressful event; however, when we learn to understand that our mind and emotions are made up of energy and that this energy comes in two forms of both a positive and a negative charge, we can learn to balance our perspective and see the other beneficial side of why something has happened to us thus allowing us to clear and heal trauma in our lives. Taking us back to your quote Matt from Selye “it is how you take it,” that ultimately determines your mental, emotional and physical health.

So what could possibly be the other side for an individual seeing their mate in bed with another person? I’ll give you a few examples to get the mental juices flowing:

1. Perhaps this individual had been revolving their life around their partner and had forgotten to focus their energy and time on their own life and career, and seeing them in bed with another person, woke them up for how they have been betraying their own goals, desires and purpose in life. Now they have new, powerful energy, waking them up to get their own life back on track.

2. Perhaps they haven’t been focused enough on their career and their finances are now in a poor state, and they now realize they need to get their s**t together. Five years down the road this event helps them to invest in a house and have a solid savings.

3. No longer having their partner around they find comfort from friends and family, forming new bonds of trust, love and respect that are unshakable and deeply meaningful.

4. They feel rejected and perhaps unattractive, so they have a new revived inner fuel to get in shape, get healthy and feel on top of their game again.

5. Their partner didn’t fully love, respect or appreciate them so ultimately it was an unhealthy relationship and they decide enough is enough – they break free fully from the relationship that was actually weighing them down and making them unhappy in life.

These are 5 examples from real life clients, but I promise you I have worked with very challenging cases, and the benefits are always there – to equal degree. When the mind sees the other side and owns how something very challenging and painful actually served to help and support them in very life-changing and empowering ways, the mind finds a new level of healing and the body is supported back into balance.

Jeez Bella!  Didn’t I say 200-word answers?  What the hell?  What are you trying to prove here?!  I think you’re the one with unresolved issues!  No seriously, that was a fantastic explanation, and you were even able to mention Quantum Physics without sounding completely insane – just slightly insane!  I think the biggest thing is that people start to visualize how someone could go from being devastated to actually relieved and the pain and suffering immediately released upon having a change in perspective.  Then they could start to visualize and be open themselves when it comes to being taken through this often gruesome, headache-provoking, but ultimately therapeutic process of emotional re-working.

While the thought of being free of emotional turmoil seems like it must be good for overall health, and emotional balance is something we all desire, you have found that the relationship between emotions and specific health problems is a lot more precise than most would assume.  In Meta Medicine they can actually look at brain scans and see lesions that correspond with breakdown in certain specific regions of the body.  In terms of specifics, what has taking some people through the process of rebooting their emotional beliefs about persons and events done to eliminate specific ailments, like insomnia for example which you feel you’ve been particularly successfully with?  And how else would you explain Meta Medicine?  

I know you have had great success from a nutritional standpoint in helping people get a sound night sleep, and  I hope more people can benefit from your knowledge as truly the need for a healthy sleep is so important.  How I work with insomnia using Meta Medicine is to find exactly what mental and emotional stress is causing the problem – I do not look for a generalized cause. Meta Medicine is a whole topic in and of itself, which would be great to talk about in more detail sometime – but the gist of the gist is that it links how an individual who goes through a stressful event (and most importantly how they perceived that event) creates specific biological symptoms in the body.

For example, let’s say there are cutbacks in a corporation and a group of individuals are told that today is their last day of work.

Worker #1 might experience the news with great anger and resentment as they felt they had worked hard for the company for years and that it was completely unfair that they suddenly lose their job for no good reason. This extreme shock and internal anger can be seen through a CT scan of the brain, which if it is an indigestible anger conflict it would show up as a ring pattern in the Brain Stem affecting the large intestine.

Worker #2 might take the news by beating themselves up that they blew it and now their family is going to struggle because of their mistake. This self-devaluation stress can be seen in a CT scan hitting the Cerebral Medulla layer of the brain and affecting the muscles, ligaments, bones, etc. This individual might have a low back problem as their stress is a core self-devaluation conflict, or they might experience shoulder pain feeling the weight of the world on their shoulders but not being good enough to provide for their family.

Worker #3 might feel totally terrified of the future and completely powerless of how they are going to pay their bills, which can be measured in the frontal lobe of the Cerebral Cortex resulting in symptoms of anxiety.

Ultimately, we can see that the same scenario happened to 3 individuals, but each took the news in their own way. When we are under stress quite often we have a default pattern that we fall into, and the more times we fall into this, the more often it shows up in the physical body.

In relation to insomnia I look at the mental and emotional stress that directly affects the Thalamus. When an individual responds to a stressful situation where they denounce life by saying to themselves:

“What’s the point?”

“What does it matter?”

“I give up.”

“It is too much.”

“I am tired of it all.”

“It is hopeless.”

Or even more severe perceptions:

“I would be better off if I were dead.”

This conflict directly impacts the Thalamus and can cause anywhere from broken sleep to severe cases of insomnia. Why do these stress responses create insomnia in the body? Meta Medicine recognizes that the body is a highly intelligent organism, and its response to stress is for the survival, self-healing and evolution of an organism. In the case of insomnia, the Thalamus will give the body more energy and pull it out of its parasympathetic nightly rhythm and into its sympathetic day rhythm to give the body more energy to solve the problem – to overcome the challenge and to survive.

Ultimately, if you address the conflict mass that is causing an individual severe stress, you allow the body to heal and return to balance of its normal night and day rhythms. Remarkably, I have worked with individuals who have not been able to sleep well for 15 years and within just several sessions are now able to enjoy a regular restful night sleep. If you treat the cause and not the symptoms you can get profound results.

Thank you Bella.  I’m sure we could go on for pages and pages and pages, especially if we were to get into some very specific cases and see the step-by-step process of having a person go from being emotionally paralyzed by a person or event to the point of complete freedom from their prior, debilitating, extremely polarized point of view. 

It’s important for everyone to remember that health is multifactorial.  Bella helps people overcome anxiety all the time on a psychological front.  She overcame some of her own anxiety-proneness using a tip I gave her.  I don’t want to just give that tip away, but I’ll give you a hint.  It rhymes with “Don’t drink so much f’ing water!”  Follow the yellow pee road. 

Anyway, I’m quite happy to have had the chance to dive into the emotional side and get away from focusing purely on the dietary and physiology front.  More mutual conversations between Bella and I, and hopefully some recorded calls to come in the future.

Bella’s website:  www.highermindhealth.com

38 Comments

  1. First!

    How’s that for psychological stress?!

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  2. Now for my actual comment. I have been dealing with so much stress this past fall in my work situation that is completely out of my control and I have been doing everything I can think of to try to manage it. I have taken to eating sugar by the spoonful in the evenings just to help relieve all of the muscle tension I come home with. Thank God for sugar!

    Food is not always the problem, but sometimes it can be the answer…

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  3. I don’t know much about the DeMartini Method or Meta Medicine, but a lot of this corresponds to other practices and techniques, just using different language.

    For example, Non-Violent Communication helps practitioners get in touch with what needs are or are not being met in moments of accord or discord. So, in the ‘partner sleeping with someone else’ scenario, you might also end up thinking through what need was underneath those feelings of betrayal or anger, and use that to to point toward some of those same action plans- becoming more self-reliant, attractive, in shape, etc.

    And the Meta-Medicine stuff is fascinating. Out there authors like Louise Hay have a whole list of the spiritual beliefs underlying ailments, and MM offers a physiological basis for how this makes sense. Stress in certain arenas has a downstream effect on the body’s ability to manifest health in certain parts of the body. So folks who are carrying around extra fat might, as Jon Gabriel says, be in need of safety. Their bodies are holding on to the weight for protection. Or maybe you have some trouble with your hands- maybe you’re holding on too tightly to something, can’t let it go. Etc.

    Great stuff, for sure.

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  4. Ugh.

    Can the alt-health world please stop abusing quantum mechanics to justify their beliefs? What’s wrong with saying, “we’re not quite sure why Technique X works, but it seems to have something to do with the way experience, and our conscious and unconscious interpretations of it, interacts with the stress response, having cascading effects on our health and well-being”?

    Why do we need to resort to pseudoscientific interpretations of the theory of fundamental particle interactions to explain macro-scale biological and psychological phenomena? They have very little to do with each other in the way you’re presenting them here, despite the new-age obsession with “quantum” this and “energy” that, which seems too often to take the place of legitimate inquiry into real phenomena, and typically distorts the actual meaning of the terms into near-unrecognizability.

    I have no issue with the idea that the techniques you’re describing may work very well, and help people who are hurting. And that’s great. But quantum mechanics is not the place to look for deeper understanding of human emotions or human health.

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    • I agree with uncephalized. The whole quantum physics analogy has become so cliche’ that it is hard for me to take whatever follows seriously.

      I am sorry. It is quite possible that I am missing something, but the following sounds like re-hashed Anthony Robbins:

      [quote]Say for example a person has a spouse die in a tragic accident, and has a strong emotion of pain, sorrow, guilt for not being there to save him or her, and so forth. Instead of encouraging them to be heartbroken and guilty and expressive of their grief, you instead would go in and show them positive changes that occurred in their lives as a result of an incident that they can only perceive as purely negative.[/quote]

      Here’s the thing. I want to feel all of the human emotions, including pain. FRAMING the loss of your spouse (can you imagine doing the above exercise if your child had died…you with children will understand that) as something positive not only seems GROTESQUE to me, it’s also a form of escapism, a flight from the range of human emotions into emotional Disneyland. Surely, as with all things, there comes a time to get on with life (sometimes with lifetime scars) after an emotional trauma, but the suggestion that we should reframe all our “negative emotions” sounds like the AFFIRMATIONS claptrap one can read in any New Age book.

      Healthier, more authentic approaches would be Mindfulness training or, if you are Christian, the Welcoming Prayer. I am sure that there are many other good ways of dealing with pain and stress other than running from them or covering them up with REFRAMING techniques.

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      • Thomas, I’m not sure I agree, at least not fully. I’m not saying we should put fingers in our ears and pretend away our troubles, without actually giving space for our emotions to run their course. A friend told me this Buddhist idea that emotions have a lifespan of about a minute and a half- beyond that, they feed off of what we give them. And so I think not blocking them is essential, and part of the reason they persist is we sometimes don’t let them actually get out.

        That said, I think humans are myth- and meaning-makers. We do that well. We’re really good at crafting stories to make sense of even tragic horrors. I don’t want to make any definitive statement and say nothing is out of bounds, that all trauma has a ‘positive’ side to it. But the capacity to learn and grown and mature in response to pain seems deeply human. Moving through hardship and becoming stronger and better adapted as a result makes sense to me, and that’s my charitable read of what Bella and Matt are talking about here, not a simplistic and naive ‘everything’s great’ attitude.

        Help me understand why REFRAMING is so off-putting to you.

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        • Reframing is off-putting to me because it has an ego-oriented goal, to get out off sadness, anger or whatever so-called NEGATIVE emotion and get to happiness or at least a simulacrum of happiness. I don’t have a problem with your suggestion that we should learn from these events. In fact, that is part of what I am saying. The emotion, the trauma has a lot to teach us. The ego will avoid that lesson for to avoid pain. Paradoxically though, the ego’s strategy, though it might work in the short-term, does nothing but sweep the issue under the rug, where it accumulates. That is the real problem, isn’t it? That we have wittingly or unwittingly stowed suffering, let it accumulate until it has such power that one day it overwhelms us. Reframe? My dog died. Great, now I don’t have to pay for dog food and take it for a walk two times a day. I won’t cry over the loss. No, I will reframe it, and do something POSITIVE,like sit at home and m*sturbate or maybe watch Jeopardy on TV. What a mind f*ck and act of self-deception!

          I have no truck with the need to have moments of equanimity vis-a-vis some emotional event. However, I also agree with James Hillman that we have to live life nakedly, beauty, ugliness and all, rather than wrap it in a bunch of cosmetic concepts. Life lives through us.

          Matt says below that this technique is not Reframing. He may be right about that. My observations are based upon this brief article and may be entirely unfair to its author.

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          • The intent isn’t to prevent ourselves from experiencing emotions. Rather it is a tool for reeling them in when they have become debilitating baggage that manifests in real health problems. Try to use it on a minute-to-minute basis and it is indeed the mindf*ck of all mindf*cks. Similar to trying to intellectualize every possible food choice, intellectualizing every emotion leads to an incredible disconnect from living life. Been there, done that.

            So I would say it’s more like dealing with the dogs that died in people’s lives that they are still upset about and controlled by 10 or 20 years later. Obviously people are capable of becoming paralyzed by emotional events and never overcome them. Why not overcome them if you can, and lighten the load? That’s more the point. And it’s not to make people think positively either, but being neutral. Being positive is annoying, almost sickening and delusional like Greg Kinnear’s character in Little Miss Sunshine.

          • Hmm yeah reframing seems pretty idiotic to me. And affirmations can become silly as well (“I’m so perfectly gorgeous, and the world is so gorgeous, and everything, it’s all so gorgeous”). That said, I agree with Bella that what we believe about ourselves is important. If we believe, for example, that we are so unawesome no one will ever like us, and we interpret our negative experiences (someone dumps us) as proof of that belief, it’s quite damaging, and of course, affects how we live. As to how to change our beliefs, I doubt repeating “I’m so awesome” in front of the mirror is the best approach. XD But I don’t really know. I’ve had some success with meditation and healing prayer… Honestly I’m not sure how I feel about them at the moment, but I cannot deny that they definitely produced positive changes in how I saw myself. :P But yeah, just anything that increases our awareness, as you mention, has got to be good.

            If you haven’t heard of Brene Brown, Thomas, I think you’d really like her. She has some really good talks on vulnerability on youtube. Here’s one: http://youtu.be/X4Qm9cGRub0

      • It’s not really a reframing technique. NOr is it about not experiencing our emotions. It’s more about achieving balance in emotions after the fact so that we aren’t complete slaves to them. We are not focused and efficient in highly emotional states. Nor are highly polarized states particularly conducive to health. The work also includes thinking about positive things in a more negative way until those are in balance, and that’s the main difference. This isn’t about taking a one-way trip to happy land. It’s about getting away from both happy or sad land, because both are irrational and delusional states of the human mind – oblivious to the other side of the equation.

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        • I agree. When negative things happen to me, I try to process and acknowledge my feelings, and at the same time look for any positives that I can be grateful for in the situation. Totally learned this from therapy, and it works. You feel what you need to feel to work through, and avoid falling into the pits of despair.

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    • I agree. I hope Bella takes this comment to heart. I know she wants to communicate well, and keep an audience open and receptive. Like me, this kind of language causes eye-rolling and strongly diminishes the power and validity of the work itself. And I know Bella wants to distance herself from the cliched world of new age fluff, because the work she does isn’t new age fluff. Not at all. And she doesn’t want it to be perceived as such. As an advocate of it myself, I don’t either.

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    • Thanks for your comment and I can totally appreciate your dislike of the whole overused alternative obsession with quantum mechanics. On my site I don’t talk about it for that reason because it has a negative connotation. I am not far from new age frustrations myself, but that being said do you need to reject all that knowledge and research just because it has become cliche?

      Back in the day medicine was based more on superstition, evil spirits, sin, punishment and karma – and I think we can all be grateful for what science has now taught us about human biology. Why stop there then? If we look at what is going on around the planet and how humans create war and conflict based on emotions and ways of thinking, I personally think we are due for a new revolution in terms of how we understand our emotions and our thoughts – especially in relation to conflict.

      Trying to separate the mind and emotions from science and what the study of energy can teach us about ourselves and saying that it is all hogwash, to me reminds me a bit of when germ theory first came about and it was met with great skepticism and controversy. If it is controversial perhaps that means we are onto something good and shaking up the status quo – and I think that is great.

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      • I totally believe in the energy stuff, and I see it in action. To use an analogy, accupuncture has no proven way of working, but it does. Prayer has been proven scientifically, too. I attended a church service this weekend, and the minister was talking about God as “energy” and how energy affects other beings around you. I don’t think it’s as “out there” as it used to be.

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    • Thank you so much for saying it. I totally agree.

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      • I wonder if gender has something to do with this. A common argument I have with men is that throughout history, all you’ve been asked to do is ‘kill the beast.’ Well, that’s pretty easily measurable. Women have had to raise the children, take care of the home and the environment around them. Not so easily measurable and there are highly variable degrees of outcomes. If you want to downplay ‘knowledge’ because it’s not fitting into your understanding of ‘valid science,’ and take the position, “I’ll wait for a study to say so,”go ahead. Women don’t have as much of a luxury. Modern science is fraught with vulnerabilities and the limitations of language, particularly English, is another downfall. I think Bella may have to cater to her audience, but since the perspective of science is still highly male dominated…

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    • Justifying beliefs about health with attempts at science is happening all the time. Many people feel very uncomfortable with the fact they they do not have the answers as to why certain health measures work. Its human nature since the age of science began (but especially after the power of the atomic bomb was unleashed), and this trait itself causes mental stress. A good example of someone suffering from this would be Dr. Mercola – this does not mean I discount everything he has to say or his intentions. Personally I evaluate situations individually and accept that often there are variables at play which I cannot understand or certain variables have not been discovered yet, and then all of these these variables interact in a way that influences the outcome, especially with stress reduction and stress response techniques.

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  5. Great article Matt. I’ve been using all kinds of methods to manage stress and PTSD. I’d HIGHTLY recommend learning TRE: Trauma (or tension) Release Exercises. They’re six or seven simple exercises you do to exhaust muscles until you finally lie down and allow your body shake (kind of like a dog shaking water off their coat, only we’re shaking off stress and holding patterns.) Takes maybe 1-2 sessions to learn them if you can find someone close by, but I think there’s a DVD too.

    David Bercelli created them when he saw that trauma survivors in other countries had no access to therapy or other therapies. It feels really good too…

    http://traumaprevention.com/2009/12/31/what-is-tre/

    Reply
    • Hey Karen,

      That’s interesting- I was told recently by a woman I shared a bed with that I have a bit of a spasm right as I’m falling asleep. My lower body just kind of shakes it off or something. Not of any long duration, as far as I can tell, but a little something. Wonder if this is related to ‘shaking off’ the tensions of the day before slumber.

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    • Karen, now this sounds very interesting. Thank you. BTW, I just ordered a Kindle Edition of this book from Amazon for 10 bucks.

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  6. So, within the construct of those methods is there a way to determine what is stressing you if you are consciously unaware? I mean, if I got fired, I would know what the issue is. I’ve worked through lots of crappola over the years, but I still have a weird “heavy” feeling as if there is something hanging over me. How do you put a happy spin on something when you don’t even know specifically what that something is?

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    • Hey Mitzi, thanks for your comment and great question. It is not always obvious exactly what the main issue is weighing us down. So you investigate and you use all areas of your life to help you find the answer. Everything in our life is actually a feedback of what our achilles heel issue are. What area we have the most emotional stress holds a tremendous amount of incredibly valuable information – which is why I like to work with it – and not just try to get rid of it or be with it. Use it don’t be used by it!

      Getting clear and as specific as possible about your charge can make all the difference in the world – when you get to the source you can have profound shifts. It is so valuable to look at the areas where you feel anger and resentment, because it has a lot more to reveal to you then the surface level of anger.

      So to answer your question how do you put a happy spin on something when you don’t even know specifically what that something is? To really give you an answer I’ll direct you to a free ebook I wrote that answers this question specifically – as it is truly a great question and one worthy of exploration.

      If you are interested to learn more and check it out you can go to my about page – and 7 Steps to Dissolve your Stress is in a yellow box at the bottom. It should answer your question and then some if you are really interested.

      http://highermindhealth.com/about-bella-dodds/

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  7. Wheee doggies Matt …. This one has given me a lot to chew on. (I would have said a “bone”, but couldn’t do it w/out cringing …)

    Thanks!

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  8. This article is timely. Didn’t you hear? Twinkies are headed towards extinction!!!

    Interesting how this practice may help in fostering policy by means of communication. I mean, I sit in a room listenting to a lot of dietitians ready to underwrite the next wave of failing and damaging nutrition policy directed at the poor and our children, but most every contribution I offer comes out ‘negatively charged’ (note the adjectives I used for nutrition). I’ve been told by many higher ups to temper the anger, but at least now, I may have more motivation to do so. I sure do feel that this messes with my health.

    Thanks!

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    • Hey just don’t forget the power and importance of negativity. It’s great for leveling out those who are thinking about something in an overly optimistic light.

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  9. When s**t hits the fan in someones life they can go into severe stress, which can have dire consequences on their body if not life threatening. So I take my work very seriously and I use all resources at my disposal.

    Many people when I first work with them still wonder if THEY did something bad to deserve the pain they are experiencing, or if they are being punished because of bad karma – which is certainly pretty medieval if you ask me – but this is a common form of human nature when we don’t understand things. Eclipses, Mars the planet of War, Sun Gods, the Plague … all were created into myths and legends because we didn’t understand them.
    This is exactly why I like science – especially in relation to sorting through the COMPLEXITIES of human emotions and thoughts. Severe stress and hardship can keep a person stuck in an unhealthy pattern for years if not their whole life. I have worked with people in their 60′s who still felt they were being punished for things that happened to them in their early teens – YES PUNISHED, and the same stress they have been carrying around for 50+ 99.9% linked to their current health problems.
    Working with the mind and emotions is not at all cut and dry, which makes having a greater understanding of how emotions are energy incredibly valuable. There are certain scientific laws that govern energy and understanding these laws can be profoundly helpful when you are dealing with pain and human suffering.

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  10. I’m not really sure what I can take away from this for practical application. I mean, this past week I had a super stressful day and my temperature nose-dived .6 degrees (and yes this takes into consideration monthly fluctuations). That’s a huge drop and I’m not sure what I can do about it, besides just keep doing what I’m doing and wait for it to bounce back.

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    • well, what you can do about it is process through your reactions to the stress. figure out why you responded to the stress in the way that you did, etc

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  11. I found this fascinating. It would have been better with the pretension to quantum physics (really?), but still the fact that these things show up in CAT scans is solid.

    I’m also fascinated by the description of the Workers 1, 2 and 3, because I respond to stress like Worker #2 exclusively. And you know what? I occasionally have lower back pain, my shoulders are my weakest lift at the gym, and I never get indigestion or suicidal/depressive thoughts. The coincidence is enough to intrigue me.

    I wish there was a better way of learning about this Demartini stuff that Matt has mentioned before than doing a live seminar. That’s really not in the cards. Is Bella’s site a reasonable substitute? I’ll try to ignore the quantum physics stuff, which isn’t even remotely plausible (based on what I know about quantum physics).

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  12. another very great presentation of the kind of work this post is about can be found in gabor mate’s book “when the body says no – exploring the stress-disease connection”

    it’s not about bypassing the so-called negative emotions like anger, but about owning true anger and communicating with yourself honestly. repression and suppression are really big indicators of ill health and future disease states.

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  13. ha ha! Finally… I’ve been waiting for you to go here, Matt Stone…

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  14. KarenE thanks for bringing up TRE. I trained with John F. Barnes who uses Myofascial Release unwinding to release stored tension and trauma out of the body. His technique is a little bit different but it also helps the body to shake and release energy. This is also known as the Piezoelectric Effect in which the body creates a movement that is not guided by the conscious mind to release trapped tension in the body.

    If you experience a stressful and traumatic event your perception of that event is extremely negative. The greater your emotional imbalance, or the more emot-ions you have the more tens-ion you will have in your body. TRE and other modalities help to relieve this inner emotional stress of – energy.

    Having practiced and received MFR for years as well as Somatic Respiratory Integration, which is another modality to release tension out of the body – I can say that they are all beautiful and very therapeutic work; however, what I didn’t find complete in the process was not consciously having a connection to what I was releasing time and time again. Some people do. I didn’t which I found limiting after sometime to solely release energy. It can be very valuable, but I find with clients who are able to understand the core root of their pain and balance their perception, the stress in their body leaves and does not come back – because you go to the core problem.

    Don’t get me wrong I love working with the body on all levels and we are under a lot of stress in the modern world, so the more the tools we have at our disposal the better!! Sometimes I myself can release stress purely on a physical level using the techniques above, but to get to the core root I find incorporating the mind to be profoundly powerful. But we are all different and there certainly is no one right way.

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  15. You can put all the best food and supplements into a body, and this will help to an extent, but if the mind and emotions are weighed down with heavy, unresolved emotions, things are still going to be bad for that person, because they can only see “bad” through their filters.

    It was a good interview, and the QM stuff was so light that anyone tuning out because of it is probably stuck in a negative judgment projection pattern.

    BOOM!

    :-)

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  16. This is a timely post for me. I read The Healing Code over the weekend and have been struggling a bit since implementing the recommended balancing techniques. I am feeling physically and emotionally worse than I have in months. For example, I struggled with hip pain for years. I was able to get rid of it five years ago after reading John Sarno’s book, Healing Back Pain. Now the hip pain is back. In exactly the same location. Is there such a thing as a healing crisis in this work?

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  17. The human organism subconsciously assess the threat level of the environment and adjusts the state of consciousness to respond appropriately to said assessment. Humans in the modern world are bombarded by tons of ambiguous information regarding threat level. It is too much information for relatively narrow human consciousness to subconsciously assess accurately.

    This suggests that we have a great deal of leeway in how to interpret how “good” or “bad” this world is. It is both good and bad, but that cannot be assessed accurately by the mind.

    The consequences of how “positively” or “negatively” one interprets the world are huge. I disagree with Matt in that emotional neutrality is necessarily the best. Positive emotions tend to facilitate behavior that expands a persons life, makes one more interested in the world and other people, try new things, etc. This is the way people are naturally wired.

    If you don’t feel safe you will obviously close up on yourself and be in a defensive state of consciouness which really limits your potential. Now this isn’t to say that there aren’t benefits to negative emotions or that people don’t get out of balance the other way. I think its more common and debilitating for modern people to be too negative rather than too positive.

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    • I’ve experienced that eliciting gratitude can help a great deal in maintaining a positive state. Likewise avoiding taking most things and oneself too seriously has also been helpful to me.

      I suspect a lack of gratitude/appreciation and taking small stuff too seriously is a common emotional imbalance in the modern world.

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  18. I would be interested if someone here tries this method out. I can’t help it. It raises all of the red flags. Got this off of the De Martini website:

    Dr. Demartini Provides Consultations on:
    Clarifying your purpose, goals and objectives
    Breaking through anger, fear or depression
    Staying focused, enthusiastic and vital
    Business development strategies
    Health and wellness management
    Building wealth and financial mastery
    Resolving personal conflicts and dissolving distractions
    Empowering relationship dynamics

    Empowering relationship dynamics? What a freaking mouthful…And, all the people on the website are sporting shit-eating grins. Scary. It appears to be more of the same. Anyway, if somebody here tries it, let me know how it goes….not after two weeks but a few months.

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  19. Hey Thomas I haven’t checked out this post in awhile but here is a video I came across a few weeks ago preparing for a workshop. You might find it interesting. When a tool of any kind is powerful …. it can easily become applicable in numerous areas. With Matt’s suggestions on diet many are noticing they can have less anxiety, sleep better, have more centered emotions, etc, etc the list goes on. It is not because his research and suggestions are too good to be true – but because when something is real and of value, it more often than not is applicable and helpful on numerous levels – not just one. Which actually points to it being authentic and of high value.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZC14gfo5Q4

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