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The Stress Test
Publish Date : 1/10/2006 6:11:18 AM   Source : Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, Ph.D, ND, DACBN

Stress happens. It’s a normal part of our daily lives. But it is how we react to and manage stress that affects the toll that stress will take on our lives. Overwhelming amounts of stress can lead to back pain, headaches, raised blood pressure, indigestion, sweating, palpitations, irritability, and anxiety. It can also contribute to the development of such diseases as cold sores, ulcers, and heart disease. Are you feeling stressed out? Take the following stress test to see if stress is causing you problems and if so, read on to learn how to manage the stress in your life.

The Stress Test

Do you try to do everything yourself and feel overwhelmed when you are unable to?

Are you exhausted?

Do you avoid exercise?

Are you often irritated at yourself and others?

Do your friends, co-workers, and loved ones often tell you that you often make a “big deal” of things?

Do you tend to “bottle up” your emotions, keeping everything inside?

Do you have difficulty falling and staying asleep at night?

Do you feel unable to handle all of the tasks that you have to accomplish on a daily basis?

Do you feel like your way is the only right way to accomplish something?

Do you spend a lot of time complaining about yourself, others, or events that happened in the past?

Do you set unrealistic goals for yourself and for others?

Do you frequently procrastinate big projects or decisions?

Do you eat an unhealthy diet and frequently neglect good nutrition?

Do you have difficulty making decisions?

Do you lose control of your emotions or “blow up” easily?

Do you often fail to see humor in situations that most other people find funny?

Do you frequently feel disorganized and harried?

Do you avoid making positive connections with friends, family members, and coworkers?

Do you frequently get angry when you are kept waiting?

Are you depressed or anxious?

If you answered yes to one or more of the above questions, you may be having trouble handling the amount of stress that occurs in your life. Stress is an inevitable and normal part of life. You can’t prevent it completely, but you can learn ways to manage and alleviate stress so that it does not take over your life. Here are a few techniques that you can use to relieve stress.

Stress Management Techniques

Physical Exercises: Yoga, relaxation techniques, pilates, dance therapy, and general exercise help to relive the buildup of stress hormones in the body and help to promote a general relaxation of the nervous system. Physical exercises also help to integrate the mind and body, relieve muscle tension, and improve physical function.

Mental Exercises: Meditation, guided imagery, art, music, and other mental exercises are a useful way to reduce stress and promote relaxation in your life.

Relaxation Techniques: Slow, diaphragmatic breathing and conscious muscle relaxation can help to manage stress by calming the body and clearing the mind of stressors.

Social Supports: Sometimes, all it takes to relieve stress in your life is to talk about the stressor with a close friend or family member. Pet therapy has also been reported to relieve stress.

Dietary Changes: Stress suppresses the immune system and can cause or aggravate such conditions as heart disease and ulcers. Dietary changes, such as reducing coffee and other caffeinated beverages can reduce the jitteriness, restlessness, anxiety, and insomnia that might magnify the effects of stress. Also whole grains promote production of the brain neurotransmitter serotonin for a greater sense of well being.

Herbs: There are many natural supplements that can be used to elevate the mood and help you relax. St. John’s Wort, SAM-E, Lithium Orotate and marijuana are all popular herbs that are useful in relieving stress. Herbs known as adaptogens, such as include Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus), ginseng (Panax ginseng), wild yam (Dioscorea villosa), borage (Borago officinalis), licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile), milk thistle (Silybum marianum), and nettle (Urtica dioica) may also help to alleviate stress.

Aromatherapy: Essential oils of lavender, chamomile, geranium, rose, neroli, sweet marjoram, and ylang-ylang are commonly recommended for stress relief. They help to reduce anxiety and tension and can be used in massage, added to a bath, or inhaled through a vaporizer.

Treating Stress

Acupuncture: Stress causes tension that disrupts the flow of the qi. Acupuncture can help to restore harmony and induce a state of deep relaxation.

Massage: A regular massage in which the practitioner uses such techniques as rubbing, kneading, and pummeling, can be very beneficial in the management of stress. It can help to increase blood circulation, reduce pain, and relieve muscle tension. Massage also helps to release endorphins, substances that have a mood-enhancing effect. Have your massage therapist use a product called “NOPAINE” to massage the tender points.
“ NOPAINE” is available through

Natural Medication: If stress is affecting your health, you may wish to see your natural health care provider to determine whether or not a specific herb may be helpful in relieving stress.

Therapy: Cognitive therapy helps people lessen the amount of stress they feel in their lives by teaching them how to reframe or mentally reinterpret the stressors that are causing problems.

For more information on Dr. Group or coping with stress, anxiety or depression naturally go to

About the Author

Dr. Group, the founder/CEO and clinical director for the Global Healing Center, heads a research and development team producing advanced, new, natural health protocols and products. To learn more visit

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