Stress can be defined as any type of
change that causes physical, emotional or psychological strain.
causes increased muscle tension which has a direct effect on increasing your pain
levels. Therefore, reduction of stress and muscle tension helps to reduce your
pain. Stress saps your energy and reduces your ability to cope with the pain and
- a very short-term type of stress that can either be positive (like excitement
at preparing for a deadline) or distressing (what we normally think of when we
think of 'stress'); this is the type of stress we most often encounter in day-to-day
life (e.g. flying, when you have a fear of it or having to make a presentation
to colleagues when you are naturally shy.)
the type of stress that seems never-ending and inescapable, like the stress of
a bad marriage, being a carer for a terminally ill parent or stress in the workplace,
(coping with these types of stress can lead to burnout/ill effects on your health
unless there is some stress management.)
faced with chronic stress, people begin to have physical symptoms. At first they
can be relatively mild, like chronic headaches and frequent colds.
Later, however, more serious health problems may develop. Here are some stress-influenced
obsessive-compulsive or anxiety disorder
and gum disease
has been estimated that as many as 90% of doctor's visits are for symptoms that
are at least partially stress-related!
play Calmtime every day at tea-time and what used to be a chaotic and stressful
time is now calm and relaxed. And we enjoy the music.' Cynthia, Bristol
and Canadian researchers conducting a huge study on the effects of stress on the
immune system recently concluded that it all depended on the type of stress and
how individuals responded to it. They examined 293 studies involving 19,000 people.
most damaging type of stress they found was chronic stress, caused, for example,
by unemployment or caring for a relative with mental illness - both situations
which have no end in sight. These have damaging effects on the whole immune system.
The key to it all, the researchers concluded, was whether the stress was never-ending
or short-term. It was discovered that even the extreme stress of losing a partner
was nowhere near as bad as chronic stress.
thing that was discovered, not surprisingly, is that the older we get the more
susceptible we are to stress. Lawrence Whalley, Professor of Mental Health at
Aberdeen University and author or 'The Ageing Brain' says: 'As we grow older -between
about 45 and 55 - our stress responses become more exaggerated.'
says that it's a fact, being prone to great anxiety in stressful situations increases
with age. "All old people (50 plus) find stress very unpleasant: even the
kind of stress a young person might find intoxicating."
Stephen Palmer of City University in London and the Centre for Stress Management
says: "I would say stress is always bad. A little bit of pressure can get
you out of bed in the morning and give you focus. As you grow older there is more
likely to be long-term chronic stress (eg. caring for relatives, ill health etc.)
- the very type that is bad for you."
I feel strung out, like after a really pressurised day at work, I listen to Calmtime
and that seems to put me into a much calmer and happier state for the remainder
of that day.' David, Bristol
haven't got time to relax!" the
late Richard James
it may seem counterproductive to set aside time to relax in the midst of a busy
lifestyle, doing so can actually help us to increase our productivity, accomplish
more in less time, and feel happier overall.
elicitation of the relaxation response has been scientifically proven to be an
effective treatment for a wide range of stress related disorders." Prof.
Herbert Benson MD
has shown that being too tense and/or living with too much stress has a significant
negative impact on our lives. It can lead to physical illnesses such as high blood
pressure, ulcers, fatigue and headaches and many phychological issues, including
inappropriate or misdirected emotions, confusion, difficulty concentrating and
burn out. Relaxation can improve quality of life.
indicated that regularly relaxing can have a beneficial effect on a number of
stress related health problems. In fact it can help any health problem that is
caused or exacerbated by chronic stress.
are a few examples of health problems that can be helped by relaxation include
Obstructive Airways Disease
Simplex/Colds and Flu
Heart beat irregularities/High
Blood Pressure/Heart Disease
tension produces aches and pains, particularly in the neck and back.
I was heavily pregnant I started to play the CD, most days. I'm sure she could
tell. It seemed to calm her down straight away. It was a great relief for me.'
I don't really know why, but I've always struggled to get a full night's sleep,
it's been a constant part of my adult life and I've kind of learned to get by
on a few hours a night. Until this week. I was given a copy of this CD last week
and I am delighted to report that I've had 4 straight fabulous nights of calm,
I've tried so many things (I can't tell you how many lavender bags, herbal tablets,
teas and meditation books, rainforest or whale song recordings, that are languishing
in various drawers at my place, hundreds of pounds have been spent though) that
I'd rather resigned myself to my odd sleep pattern, but I have to say, I feel
like a different woman now." Emily,