stress, stress relief, natural medicine charlotte, stress management therapy, the lifestyle clinic charlotte

Stress and Your Health

What is Stress?

Stress is the stimulating feeling one gets when facing a difficult situation or pressuring thoughts. Most of us live such busy lives that stress is a common occurrence for us. We commit ourselves to so many things on a daily basis; our work, families, friends and communities. We often question how we will fulfill all of our responsibilities. That constant feeling of pressure leads to chronic stress.

How Can Stress Affect Health?

You may think of stress as something that only affects your mental state on a day-to-day basis. However, chronic stress plays a huge role in our physical well-being. Some stress can be good for us and may provide us with small bursts of energy and increased attentiveness. Although, having too much stress can interfere with our daily functioning; creating brain fog, chronic headaches, fatigue, lack of concentration, an impaired immune system and other serious health problems. Stress can have a profound impact on your body weight, heart health, menstruation, skin complexion, and mental well-being.

Recognizing Symptoms of Stress

Many times, we experience the feeling of stress so often that it feels natural to us and we stop recognizing its presence. At that point, we are at an even greater risk of experiencing negative symptoms from stress. Chronic aches and pains, often accompanied with headaches are very common signs of stress weighing on our health. Forgetfulness and lack of concentration are both typical indications of uncontrolled daily stress. Unexplained irritability is also attributed to chronic distress.

Taking Action Against Stress

Many acupuncture practitioners are observing the positive results of acupuncture for stress reduction. Research shows acupuncture treatments can lower stress hormones in the bloodstream. This is done by acting on areas of the brain to reduce sensitivity to common stressors. Acupuncture can also help to improve memory and attention, both of which are afflicted by stress.

Stress management may also be achieved through proper counseling. Consulting with a psychologist or licensed therapist may help you to reduce or cope with stress. Mental health professionals can guide you in managing stress effectively and help you recognize factors that contribute to your chronic stress. Together, you and a professional can create a customized program for managing stress and maintaining good health.  

The Lifestyle Clinic offers both acupuncture and counseling with a licensed therapist in order to help you manage stress. If you need additional help, call us to schedule today. 

Available for sale is the Stress Less in 10 Days program – $39.00 – Pick up your copy at The Lifestyle Clinic and get started today!

Stress-Less in 10 Days is a day-by-day detox program to guide you through a deeper understanding of those underlying emotions that drive your everyday decisions. It was developed specifically for the everyday person to enhance optimum wellness! This process was developed by Dr. Lorrie J. Miller and is steeped in the understanding that Stress is a Mental & Emotional Experience. And despite the physical benefits, all the salads and physical fitness in the world will not change how you think, view the world or respond to your emotional stress triggers! The only way to effectively manage emotional stress is to face your emotional baggage head on! Stress-Less in 10 Days will help you jump start this process!!

Dr. Lorrie J. Miller is the newest addition to The Lifestyle Clinic team! To learn more about her visit: http://lifestyle-clinic.com/our-team/. Dr. Miller specializes in Stress Management and General Counseling Therapy.

Tips on Fighting Stress Symptoms

Breathing Exercises

A simple breathing exercise can immediately calm the body’s nervous system and ease an overactive mind. Your breathing pattern must provide an exhale that is longer than your inhale in order to provide a calming effect. Follow these steps as many times daily as needed.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

To begin, sit still and tall somewhere comfortable. Close your eyes and being breathing through your nose.

Then, inhale for a count of two… hold the breath in for a count of one… exhale gently, counting out for four… and finish by holding the breath out for a count of one. Keep your breathing even and smooth.

If the 2-4 count feels too short try increasing the breath lengths to 4 in and 6 out, or 6 in and 8 out, and so on. But if longer breaths create any anxiety there is no need to push yourself. The most important thing is that the exhale is longer than the inhale, not the absolute length of the breath.

Set a timer and breathe this way for at least five minutes! You will see a difference in your mood.

Other Useful Tips Include:

Maintain an adequate sleep schedule – Ensure that you get a healthy 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Eliminate caffeine, eliminate the use of technology such as television, computers or handheld devices at least one hour prior to sleep.

Practice relaxation exercises – yoga, general daily stretching and other relaxation exercises not only help reduce stress, but also boost immune functioning.

Follow a healthy diet – Eat mostly fruits and vegetables and avoid high-sugar foods.

If you or someone you know are experiencing the negative side-effects of chronic stress, call The Lifestyle Clinic today to learn the services we have available to help!

 

Reference:

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4386/A-Simple-Breathing-Exercise-to-Calm-Your-Mind-Body.html

Lifestyle Clinic in Charlotte NC

Having a Healthy Heart

Heart disease may be a leading cause of death, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept it as your fate.

Although you lack the power to change some risk factors — such as family history, gender or age — there are some key heart disease prevention steps you can take. You can avoid heart problems in the future by adopting a healthy lifestyle today!

One step to having a healthy heart is by having healthy mental health. A way to achieve this is by surrounding yourself with love. There is truth to the saying that love heals all wounds. Researchers are showing that our emotions affect our physical health. Love, gratitude, and appreciation can improve our physical health by improving our heart health, boosting our immune system, reducing stress and tension, improving mood, and reducing blood pressure and heart rate.

Research shows that emotions such as love put the body in a strong state of coherence – our hearts beat in a consistent and strong pattern that is healing for our central nervous and cardiovascular systems. It is the irregular heartbeats caused by stress and strong negative emotions that take a toll on our heart and health over time.

Here are five suggestions for cultivating more love in your life:

1. Social Support:

Research is showing that individuals with loving and supportive social ties to family, friends, or their community enjoy significantly better health. The key is to be part of groups that make you feel good, loved, appreciated, and supported. Spend more time with people who leave you with feelings of well-being and positivity. Find groups based on interests, hobbies, and lifestyle, religious or spiritual beliefs.

2. Hugging till Relaxed:

Hugging till relaxed is an exercise developed by marriage counselor Dr. David Schnarch that you can do with your partner.

To do this exercise, stand a few feet apart to begin with. Close your eyes and become centered and in-tune with yourself. Then shuffle forward and wrap your arms around each other for a hug. Try to stay balanced within yourself while sharing emotional energy with your partner.

3. Journaling for Love:

There are several journaling techniques that can help you cultivate more love in your life. A gratitude list is essential for shifting negative thought patterns into the empowered energy of appreciation. Love letters written in your journal can be a great way to say thank you or express love for people who have positively influenced your life. A free write on your most favorite memories can help you cultivate self-love.

4. Cultivating Self-Love:

More ways to cultivate self-love include doing Louise Hay’s Mirror Work. This exercise asks you to look in the mirror and lovingly say “I love you” to yourself. You can also decide to do more things to improve your mood and well-being such as treating yourself to a gentle massage or spa day, a night out with friends, or engaging in activities you love.

5. Putting Love into Action:

One of the most rewarding ways to increase the love in your life is to put your own love into action. Random acts of kindness, paying it forward, volunteering, or planning a special day for a loved one all help you help others. The positive emotions that are generated by loving actions can last throughout the day. Not only are you putting more love into your life, you are putting more love into someone else’s life.

Lifestyle Clinic in Charlotte NC

Omega 3 Fatty Acids and Mental Health

Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essential fatty acids

 They are necessary for human health but the body can’t make them — you have to get them through food. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish, such as salmon, tuna, and halibut, other seafood including algae and krill, some plants, and nut oils. Also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), omega-3 fatty acids play a crucial role in brain function. Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function. Symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression, and poor circulation.

Uses in Mental Health:

Depression

Several studies have found that people who took omega-3 fatty acids in addition to prescription antidepressants had a greater improvement in symptoms than those who took antidepressants alone. Other studies show that omega-3 fatty acid intake helps protect against postpartum depression, among other benefits.

Cognitive Decline

A number of studies show that reduced intake of omega-3 fatty acids is associated with increased risk of age related cognitive decline or dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.

ADHD

Children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may have low levels of certain essential fatty acids (including EPA and DHA). In a clinical study of nearly 100 boys, those with lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids had more learning and behavioral problems (such as temper tantrums and sleep disturbances) than boys with normal omega-3 fatty acid levels.

Anxiety

The results of a 2011 study from the National Institutes of Health suggest that increased intakes of omega 3 fatty acids could be beneficial for young, healthy people by reducing anxiety symptoms and inflammation, a process that plays a role in many diseases. Consumers should be aware that all Omega 3 fish oil supplements are not created equal. The purity and concentration of supplements vary widely depending on the source of the fish and the processes used to create the fish oil. Inexpensive, bargain brands have been shown to contain dangerous chemicals and heavy metals such as mercury. If you are considering taking omega 3 fish oils, talk to your health care provider or schedule a supplement consultation at The Lifestyle Clinic.

We only use physician grade supplements that are high quality and highly purified.

Sources:

  • The Natitional Institutes of Health ( nih.gov), University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine (umm.edu)