A Triad Approach to Stress
Most people know that stress has a very bad effect on health. When we talk about de-stressing we conjure up images of meditation and yoga and chanting om and things like that. But to really recover from the effects of stress, we have to take what’s called a triad approach to stress. So what is a triad approach?
A triad approach is when we recognize that stress affects the body and is affected by three main sources. Those sources are structural problems, biochemical and nutritional problems, and emotional issues.
To deal with structural problems, we primarily use chiropractic, massage, and exercise, including specific rehabilitation exercises.
To deal with biochemical and nutritional issues, we recognize that stress causes organ dysfunctions and nutritional deficiencies as seen in our general talk on nutrition response testing. Stress specifically robs us of our B vitamins and vitamin C, our minerals especially calcium, magnesium, potassium and iodine; it raises stress hormones that adversely affect the adrenal, thyroid, and liver, and also affects the gastrointestinal tract and digestion, as well as suppressor immune function. All these issues must be dealt with with proper diet and nutritional supplementation.
Once we have dealt with the structural and biochemical issues of stress, emotional issues tend to be dealt with easier. Everybody knows that if you’re stressed out and anxious, hungry, tired and not sleeping, you’re going to have trouble dealing with emotional issues. But once we deal with structural issues such as pain, and biochemical issues mentioned above, stress becomes much easier to deal with. In fact, I found that not dealing with the structural and biochemical issues makes it so that emotional issues keep on coming up. I mean how are you supposed to feel good if you’re in constant pain? How are you supposed to feel good if you have a neurotransmitter deficiency in your brain is constantly sending out stress signals? These issues must be dealt with first.
The reason behind this can be explained by looking at stress as a subjective experience. This subjective experience of stress causes the body to release stress hormones such as cortisol and additionally has an impact on the brain, stimulating brain waves to speed up and cause what is called an acute stress state. This acute stress state causes further neurochemical changes that makes biochemical imbalances worse. To cool down this whole situation you work backwards. You handle the biochemical imbalances which takes stress off the brain. From there the brain wave pattern can change and stress hormones become lessened. This in turn decreases your subjective experience of stress so you can see life differently and as a result, you become freer to act and react differently.
Emotional issues can be broken up into two different areas, external factors, and their internal factors. External factors means things from the outside affecting us; such as job, family life, finances, and social media. Internal factors have to do with our views on things. We also call this autosuggestion. Basically, whether we think we can, or can’t, we are right. Whether we think we are a good person or a bad person, we are right. Whether we think we are deserving or undeserving, we are right. Basically, recognizing negative emotional patterns tends to bring them to light, and releases our pent-up energy from them. Recognizing external issues and internal issues is key. Once we recognize these issues, I usually tell people to develop a daily de-stressing routine. There basically two ways to do this. I find that most people do well with low-level aerobic exercise such as walking, especially while looking around at nature and focusing on the external, and meditation. On another talk I’ll go and more about the specifics of how to meditate for stress reduction. Both these things, low-level intensity exercise such as walking outside, and meditation, will lower stress hormones, so that we feel less stressed, and therefore react in a less stressful manner. People who want to destress, need to incorporate both techniques.