‘ITCHING’ TO RUN or FIGHT: Managing a ‘Ready to Take Off’ Stress, Fight or Flight Response

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Remaining cool, calm and collected has been my ongoing goal to ensure that I stay grounded during times of stress, emotional upset and tragedy. My baseline calm default was altered in the past due to stress trauma and at times had me ‘idling’ on the edge. When stress and grief became a factor in my life, my ‘itchy’, ready to respond sympathetic nervous system ‘gas pedal’ would activate. This disrupted my overall balance, exaggerating my ‘not yet’ overcome vulnerabilities.

Some people have an over active, under active or faulty blood sugar, hormone, immune, heart or blood pressure response. Medically and generally accepted as ‘out of a person’s control’. An over active or run away stress, fight or flight response is seldom given the same understanding or acceptance. Extreme cases may be diagnosed as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

So what do you do if you find yourself somewhere between an ‘itchy’ stress, fight or flight response and PTSD? I am not going to mislead you by telling you there is a quick fix.  I have been working on restoring my baseline calm default for years using a variety of natural strategies and have made gains and experienced set backs.  The good news is the gains have been greater than the set backs. I am a ‘work in progress’, daily keeping my focus on my ultimate goal of ‘think, feel and respond like a Buddha’. You can find many of the holistic strategies that I have used in the past that have helped me to make huge gains in my health in my book The Whole Person Well-being Equation. Below you will find some additional and expanded strategies that I use and you can use to help you.

  1. Maintain life balance. This can be a challenge when you are going through major stress provoking times of your life.  Sometimes I feel like I am on a roller coaster ride when these major life stressors come my way. I have worked really hard to maintain life balance over the years and help clients and workshop participants to assess, restore and maintain life balance so that they are better prepared when the major life stressors come their way. You can learn about my life balance tools and workshops by clicking on the image below.  Board with
  2. Create a mantra.  This can help reprogram how your body and mind respond, gradually resetting your base ‘calm’ default. One of my mantras is ‘I chose to remain cool, calm and collected in the midst of stress, drama and the unexpected’.
  3. Use breathing. I recently started this practice again after a major life stressor. Inhaling to a count of ‘1,2,3’ while exhaling to a count of ‘1,2,3,4,5,6’ prompts the parasympathetic nervous system to slow your heart, putting on the brakes to prevent an out of control stress, fight or flight response. When at home I set my cell phone timer to remind me every hour to repeat the breathing sequence several times. When away I can ignore it when it goes off or take a few moments in my busy day to repeat the breathing sequence.
  4. Use imagery and visualization. Combined with the breathing sequences, imagery and visualization help engage my parasympathetic nervous system’s braking action, decreasing my stress hormones and ‘itchy’ sympathetic nervous system’s gas pedal response. Lily of the valley has been a favourite image for me since I was a child visiting my grandmother’s farm garden, and I use it as my ‘go to’ visual and sensory reset. The perfect little bell shaped flowers and calming aroma bring me back to my grandmother’s garden. I have a picture of the lily of the valley on my cell phone wallpaper. I use a variety of sensory essential oils to provide a calm reset.
  5. Incorporate Symphony of the Cells. Symphony of the Cells is an orchestrated application of therapeutic grade essential oils developed by Boyd Truman after 20 years of experience working on thousands of people with chronic and acute emotional and physical conditions. The professionally designed protocols combine the layering of specially selected essential oils with therapeutic properties which are applied in layers to the spine and feet and inhaled aromatically. The spine is an excellent application site since the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system travel along the spine and the spinal cord fluid can carry the therapeutic benefits up to the brain and central nervous system. Each protocol application provides an immediate relaxing and sometimes releasing impact with continued therapeutic benefits as the oils therapeutic properties reach the cellular level. I alternate the neurological, sensory and forgiveness protocols regularly since they can be helpful for managing stress, PTSD, emotional trauma, fear, anger, tension, hyperesthesia, anxiousness, OCD, mental fatigue, loneliness, self-doubt and grief. I highly recommend adding the Symphony of the Cells to your wellness plan. Come and see me for a one on one complimentary introduction and application to get started.  Attend or host a Symphony of the Cells workshop. Contact me at elisabethlhines@gmail.com  or my daughter Amanda Dumouchel @mamasandoils for more information.
  6. Prayer, gratitude, nature and quiet.  My daily companions to promote calm and keep me balanced.

Wishing you ‘cool, calm and collected’ living!

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P., Holistic Wellness Practitioner, Health by Design, www.mybodycanhealitself.ca,

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#stress #PTSD #emotionaltrauma #fear #anger  #tension  #hyperesthesia #anxiousness   #OCD  #mentalfatigue  #loneliness #selfdoubt #grief #fightorflight #posttraumaticstressdisorder #lifebalance #bloodsugarregulation

YOUR BODY CAN HEAL ITSELF: Follow My Road Map to Get There

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UPDATED:  June 22, 2020

Looking for recent blog posts?  You will now find them at https://biturl.top/MBJnqu.

Sometimes I forget how ill I really was. The forgetting is a blessing for sure!

I am revisiting my multiple chemical sensitivities (MCS), toxicant induced loss of tolerance (TILT), environmental illness (EI), chronic fatigue (CF), multiple food allergies, irritable bowel, depression, seasonal affected disorder (SAD), stress sensitization and spasmodic dysphonia ‘past diagnoses’ today.  I am often reminded about how severely ill and affected I was by these conditions when I get inquires from all over the world asking for help from those still suffering.

All of the preceding diagnoses (plus more) were given to me in the past. I suffered severely for many years and I now have good health and feel good. I can eat all foods and be safe in previously toxic environments, obviously avoiding those that everyone should where possible. Like all humans, I share their vulnerability to the challenges of microbes, ‘wear and tear’ to body parts and life’s stressors.

On my journey to good health I tried many strategies, always looking for ‘the cure’.  Like many people I read every article about the latest supplement and cures and spent a lot of money on trying them.  From today’s view point it is clear to see that one cannot regain their health by merely supplementing/adding on something; one must start at the very beginning. The holistic health approach to regaining health is a series of natural strategies that help your body and mind to ‘peel back the layers’ of past physical, mental and emotional health challenges to allow healing.

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One of the most impactful strategies in my health recovery was a series of herbal baths which I used to detox my body pollution, a major health challenge which most of us have even newborns.

Body Burden:  The Pollution in Newborns 

“Chemicals have replaced bacteria and viruses as the main threat to  health.  The diseases we are beginning to see as the major causes of death in the latter part of (the 1900’s) and into the 21st century are diseases of chemical origin.” 

Dr. Dick Irwin, Toxicologist, Texas A&M University www.lesstoxicguide.ca/index.asp

During my recovery I had tried many detox remedies with minimal results. Through my studies of herbs I learned about the potential detoxification and healing abilities of herbs. I used that information to create a ‘botanical spa therapy’ herbal bath recipe.  My clients have had incredible health improvements, like I have, as a result of taking a series of these baths. I now recommend this as a first step to anyone who asks me for advice.  Whole body detoxification requires a two step detoxification process, stop adding to your body pollution and remove your existing body pollution. You can find the recipe and instructions for botanical spa therapy herbal baths in my book below. Make you botanical spa therapy baths well deserved ‘spa events’, add spa music, an natural scented beeswax candle, and a new book.

botanicalspatherapyebook

Purchase Botanical Spa Therapy

“Search for the cure within the cause,

            the body itself is the best healer”            

Plato C427 -C347 BC

Regaining health requires implementation of a series of  ‘stop, start and change’ strategies. The biggest challenge, in ‘hind sight’ and from the successes of my clients has been knowing ‘what do you stop, start and change‘. That’s where my road map can help you.

As a holistic wellness practitioner I share my variety of holistic strategies with my clients, on my website, in my blog posts and through more detailed guidance in my booke-books and consultations.  The Whole Person Well-being Equation is a holistic ‘how to’ book of easy to follow steps that will guide you to improved health through education, natural strategies, intuition, belief, faith and prayer by promoting body, mind and spirit balance. The easy to read book provides coaching to help you know what you need to stop, start and change to restore your health. Learn how to get to the root cause of your symptoms and eliminate them, so that you can get on with your life and the pursuit of meaningful goals. Join satisfied clients who have used the steps to become symptom free. From one of my readers: “The workbook makes tangible what can be construed as spiritual healing into something that can be followed with your eyes and pencil. This helps in understanding and actually seeing what your body is doing; without only using intangible (potentially spiritual) reflections.” Aamir A., Gatineau, Quebec. More is possible in terms of your health and following the steps in this book will make it possible for you. Get started today on a healthier version of you, you deserve it.

whole person well-being = holistic health 

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The cure for what ails you starts with your personalized ‘stop, start and change’ protocol. Contact me to get you started on your ‘healthier you’. I over a variety of event opportunities and holistic B&B retreats at my location for people who travel from afar seeking health recovery. Regardless of your condition, the first step to recovery is a personalized ‘stop, start and change’ protocol.

The human body comes equipped by the Creator with amazing abilities to heal. Many factors can potentially interfere with these amazing abilities. This is why it is important to determine your ‘stop, start and change’ list. Your body can heal itself with some help and proper navigation – let me help you navigate your well-being journey.

“Everyone has a doctor in him or her; we just have to help it in its work.The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well.”

Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, Greek Physician (460BC-377BC)

Health by Design, the name of my web and blog pages reflects how I designed my health using a variety of strategies. These are now all a part of my holistic protocol (how to guide) which you can find in my books and blog posts. Good health is an achievable goal. Your body and mind can heal!

Get started on a healthier you today!

Remember – small changes can have a big impact!
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Every person’s mental health equation, including yours, is uniquely different and yet every person’s mental health equation shares common denominators. Do you need help determining yours? Visit my blog post MENTAL HEALTH by DESIGN: How to Edit Your Mental Health Equation for Improved Mental Health

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While you implement a ‘stop, start and change’ holistic protocol consider adding natural symptom relief strategies to help you ride your wave of symptoms. Visit My Green Medicine and Makeup Cabinet for my natural strategy favourites.

My goals are now focused on achieving healthy longevity and sharing these strategies with clients, so stay tuned. Neuromuscular biofeedback (applied kinesiology) assessments throughout the years on multiple clients has provided a bounty of useful information to promote healthy longevity. Ongoing research provides additional insights. Please check with your regular healthcare practitioner before implementing any changes.  Do not stop taking your medications or stop your treatments without consulting your regular health practitioner.

Consider escaping to the farmacy, gardens, nature

‘for your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual ails’

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Escaping to, immersing in and eating from nature

dispenses body, mind and spirit benefits!

Escapes are a way of using distractions as body, mind and spirit therapy and have been one of my ongoing tools for coping with life’s challenging days. There are many mind immersing ‘distraction therapy’ tools available to provide you with temporary escapes from your own, sometimes, challenging reality.  Follow my posts where I share some of my favourites.

From the uplifting, mood boosting high that comes from watching peonies burst into full bloom to the comforting embrace of a tree covered shade providing path, escapes to nature, green spaces and gardens should be a ‘prescribed’ recommendation for everyone, one I suggest to all of my clients.

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In my Escape to the Farmacy posts I share my botanical inspirations and where available, the science behind the many easily acquired benefits gained from escapes to  nature, plants, herbs, green and botanically inspired decor and activities like art. I have always been drawn to trails in the woods, and retreat there as often as possible.  Living in Southwestern Ontario, the many deciduous trees drop their leaves in the fall, leaving the trails more open to the much sought after winter, life giving sunlight. When the weather is too uninviting to coax me outdoors, I retreat to the many botanically inspired art and décor projects that provide me with the embrace of nature that I so desperately desire. Join me as I share my botanically driven ‘escapes to the farmacy’ for an enviable dispensing of body, mind and spirit benefits through my blog posts.

Looking for recent blog posts?  You will now find them at https://biturl.top/MBJnqu.

Dealing with cancer or mental health issues?

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P., Holistic Wellness Practitioner, www.mybodycanhealitself.ca

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#multiplechemicalsensitivities #MCS #toxicantinducedlossoftolerance #TILT #environmentalillness #EI #chronicfatigue #CF #foodallergies #irritablebowel #depression #spasmodicdysphonia #SAD #bodymindspirit #holistic #mindfullness #wholepersonwellbeing #naturalcures #yourbodycanhealitself #healthbydesign #B&Bretreats #holisticB&Bretreats #womensretreats #escapetothefarmacy

 

 

STRESS IDLING & SENSITIVITY: A Modern Day Health Challenge

Post updated March 23, 2020

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Do you feel stressed most of the time? Do you feel like you are stress idling? Are you more sensitive to stress than the people in your life?  Do you have to work harder than others to stay grounded? According to research “individuals who are sensitized to stress become so over time through repeated exposure to external, as well as endogenous, stressors.  As such, increasingly minor stressors maintain the disorder than were required to trigger its initial onset”.

Where does your stress meter hover? Stress is not necessarily a bad thing, it motivates – allowing you to achieve your goals. Ideally your HPA (hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal) axis will correctly mount and return your body to its normal healthy shutdown point – allowing relaxation and healing on a regular basis. Being chronically stressed out and stress idling indicate that the body’s the stress response is flawed. This can interfere with normal body functions including the necessary communication for accurate immunosurveillance, immunoassessment and immunoresponse. Read more in my blog post YOUR BODY’S INTERNAL COMMUNICATION SYSTEM: Improving crucial messaging for better health. Stressors come in many forms and the combined physical, mental, emotional and spiritual stress load can take its toll.

According to research reported by the American Psychological Association article Stress Weakens the Immune System, “Managing stress, especially chronic or long-term stress (even if it’s not intense), may help people to fight germs”.  Germs include bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa. The best action you can take to keep your immune system strong and able to handle ‘germs’, providing virus protection, is to manage your stress. FIGHTING AGE RELATED IMMUNE DECLINE: Implementing Strategies to Keep You Protected provides you with additional information. 

A number or of factors, including interference, can modify normal stress responses. You may be suffering from a case of life imbalance which can really play havoc with your stress response. For more on assessing and restoring  your life balance read LIFE BALANCE: The Well-being Root – http://mybodycanhealitself.ca/wordpress/?p=140. So what does a normal healthy stress response look like?

First, your body (brain/hypothalamus) makes a judgement whether a situation is stressful based on sensory input and processing (what your body sees, hears, senses) and stored memories (past stressful events and how your body responded).

Secondly, your body (HPA – hypothalamus to pituitary and adrenal medulla) mounts a stress response, ideally equivalent to the threat.

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Thirdly, the  HPA stress response ideally returns to its normal healthy shut down status, allowing ongoing relaxation and healing.  

Recent research carried out by Rachel Yehuda into the intergenerational effects of trauma reveals that descendants of people who survived the Holocaust have different stress hormone profiles than their peers; perhaps predisposing them to anxiety disorders and inability to cope with life’s stressors. If your family’s generational history reflects major past trauma you may have an altered stress hormone profile – possibly inadequate levels of cortisol, the hormone that allows the body to return to normal after trauma, and inadequate levels of the enzyme that breaks down cortisol. You may need more stress management strategies to maintain calm and balance and an ability to cope with life’s stressors. You can read more about the study in the March/April 2015 Scientific American Mind Magazine article Epigenetics: Descendants of Holocaust Survivors Have Altered Stress Hormones – http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/descendants-of-holocaust-survivors-have-altered-stress-hormones/.

For information on how harmful chemicals, stress and other influences can permanently alter which genes are turned on without changing any of the genes’ code read:

The Case for Inheritance of Epigenetic Changes in Chromosomes by Michael K. Skinner – http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-case-for-inheritance-of-epigenetic-changes-in-chromosomes/

Is your chronic inflammation caused by stress? How stress influences disease?

Study reveals inflammation as the culprit – https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120402162546.htm

Is your body chronically reacting to foods and substances in the environment (physical stressors)?  This constant reacting can weaken and interfere with your immune system response. Learn how to determine what makes you weak, potentially weakening your immune system by learning to read your body’s responses to triggers in my blog post HEALTH PROTECTION: Using Your Body Responses to Identify Health Challenges.

The following is an excerpt from my book THE WHOLE PERSON WELL-BEING EQUATION on the health impact of chronic stress and stress idling.

“Although a normal part of every person’s life, chronic or unmanaged stress in your personal life, caregiver stress or stress resulting from your work  can be detrimental to overall health. Understanding, monitoring and dealing with your body’s stress response is crucial to whole person well-being. The human stress response was designed to provide protection through the ‘fight or flight’ mechanism in situations of grave danger. An appropriate amount of stress is a healthy and necessary part of life. In modern day, the stress response is kicking in on an ongoing basis due to accumulating psychological stressors. Although your car needs to idle at a certain rate to avoid stalling out; you can be hurt by a chronically idling stress response, which keeps you ‘ready to go, ready to run.’ In today’s culture of ‘I need it now,’ fast food, commuting, problem solving on the fly, climbing the work ladder, running the kids to and fro, technical devices, social platforms and juggling finances; it can be a challenge for your body to restore the stress response to its default stand-down position. During times of stress, energy is diverted from the parasympathetic to the sympathetic nervous system, which activates the ‘flight’ reaction.  The parasympathetic nervous system strives to maintain homeostasis after periods of pain or stress by getting the body to relax. An idling stress response can take the leap into a full-blown fight or flight response during a crisis, with dire consequences. Even if a full ‘fight or flight’ response does not kick in, the chronic stress idling with its ongoing, harmful dose of hormones can have detrimental effects on health including stress sensitization. In his Psychology Today article, Stress – It Is Worse Than You Think, John Carpi highlights the harmful effects of chronic stress as well as how we can become sensitized to stress like a lobster coming to boil in a pot. Stress sensitization can cloud perception, logical thinking and judgement, without your awareness.”

 

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WHAT CAN YOU DO TO COPE WITH STRESS:

STRESS IS COMPLEX: Major life stressors are inescapable. I had to learn new strategies to manage them. This is an excellent video: How does stress affect your heart? Watch this 7 minute excerpt from the brilliant documentary “Statin Nation” as Dr. Paul Rosch explains. Follow this link: http://ow.ly/hY3AW,

“Any therapies or activities that promote calm and relaxation like deep breathing, meditation, visualization, yoga, tai chi and nature walks assist in shutting down the stress response and restoring homeostasis. Chronic stress can damage the parasympathetic nervous system so that deep breathing does not reset the stress response. Eliminating caffeine, which amplifies the stress response, is a must for those that run on adrenaline and other stress hormones. Various herbs and essential oils contain nervines[1] which enhance relaxation and restore the stress response back to its default stand-down position. See Rejuvenate, Self–Help Therapies & Tools, Stress Management on page 136 for stress-buster tools.” Excerpt from my book THE WHOLE PERSON WELL-BEING EQUATION.”

Meditation and relaxation strategies are a must.  You can find them in my book.

From the American Institute of Stress article by Jim Porter “My recommendation for stress sensitive people is to take up meditation. Meditation may actually help you rewire your nervous system. One study of mindfulness meditators (at the University of Wisconsin) showed that people who meditated for 30 minutes every day for 8 weeks were actually able to increase the size of their left prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for happiness and contentment.”

I listen to ultimate zen meditation music when feeling stressed, overwhelmed and while sleeping when needed.

Essential oil therapy via a diffuser and reflexology points can greatly relief stress symptoms.

ESSENTIAL OIL THERAPY FOR SYMPTOM RELIEF: Skip Harmful Drug Side Effects For Healthy Longevity – http://mybodycanhealitself.ca/wordpress/?p=1380 and SYMPTOM RELIEF: How To Get To 100% Symptom Free Naturally – http://mybodycanhealitself.ca/wordpress/?p=1155. Contact me to get you started.

Chronic stress idling with it’s dose of stress hormones disrupts  your body’s overall hormone profiles. Unmanaged life, work, classroom and homework stress can cause chronic stress idling.

HPA disregulation is associated with depression.

HPA Axis Dysregulation

Body scan visualization #4 in THE WHOLE PERSON WELL-BEING EQUATION can help your body to restore your normal, healthy and accurate HPA stress response and shut down. 

Implementing strategies to restore and maintain life balance will help store a normal, healthy and accurate HPA stress response. Find out more by reading my blog post LIFE BALANCE: The Well-being Root

Affirmations can help to offset the negative effects of stress. The following affirmation is just one that I use with my clients that helps them to diffuse stress and anxiety about traumatic situations.  It acknowledges the situation, but diffuses or neutralizes any negative impact. Some clients were quite skeptical when I suggested they use it – thinking I was crazy that this could possibly help – but it did. Use this affirmation whenever you start to feel anxious or stressed or overwhelmed. 

Neutralizing/positive Affirmation:

Although ‘A’ (situation, circumstances that are out of your control, and how you think or feel about them), I am okay, I will continue to be okay; and I will not allow ‘A’ (situation, circumstances) and my thoughts and feelings about ‘A’, to have a negative affect on me. 

My favourites:

I choose to remain cool, calm, collected and grounded in the midst (in spite of) of ____________________!

I choose to thrive in spite of _________________  (or everything)!.

Try this for a couple of weeks.  It really works. 
P.S. . Venting, rehashing and reliving the past, and negative thinking will interfere with the power of affirmations and restoring and maintaining a normal, healthy stress response and a healthy immune response. . 
Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P.

Holistic Wellness Practioner, www.mybodycanhealitself.ca elisabethlhines@gmail.com

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All rights reserved. No portion of this post may be copied and distributed in any manner without the written permission of the author or publisher and associates.

 


[1] Christopher Hobbs, Lac, AHG, Herbal Nervines, healthy.net, www.healthy.net/scr/article.aspx?Id=950, accessed April 29, 2012.

[1] Igor Grant, M.D., Caregiving may be hazardous to your health, ©1999, American Psychosomatic Society, http://www.psychosomaticmedicine.org/cgi/reprint/61/4/420.pdf , visited March 2007.

[3] Christopher Hobbs, Lac, AHG, Herbal Nervines, healthy.net, www.healthy.net/scr/article.aspx?Id=950, accessed April 29, 2012.

[4] John Carpi, Psychology Today, Stress – It Is Worse Than You Think, published on January 01, 1996, http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/199601/stress-its-worse-you-think, visited March 2007.

Images – Google images