Stress: The silent killer
By Dr. Mary Riggin, LAC, FitFM – Family Wellness
Recent investigations have disclosed the identity of the long sought serial killer who strikes all year long but saves most of his devastation to exploit those with year-end holiday season depression.
Stress has been linked to all the leading causes of death including heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis, and suicide. An estimated 1 million people are absent on an average workday because of stress related complaints. The emotional swings caused by stress can often seem worse during the holidays. It is an increase in life’s demands that cause these symptoms and the emotional stress of the holiday season that can aggravate them. The holidays should be a time of joy and family togetherness. However, sometimes those times can become an area of added stress in your life. The joy of giving one minute and
a time of sadness the next. Mood swings can make this joyous season of holiday shopping and reparation a real chore. (It is just a matter of attitude, right?) Throughout history all races have had a celebration at
the time of the New Year. There have been many traditions, but it has always been a time to begin anew. A time to return to balance.
The world begins new again each year, with all things in balance. There is a secret hidden in the previous paragraph and that secret just may be the solution to the problem of stress. It is also the secret to health and happiness and the foundation of acupuncture and Oriental medicine.
The secret, is balance.
We all already know this. If we want to be healthy, what do we eat? A Balanced diet. What relationship
should exercise and relaxation have? Balanced, right? What do we say about someone who we consider has some personality deficiency? They’re “unbalanced”. Everyone wants to be “well rounded” – that means balanced, right? Work and Play, night and day, summer and winter, men and women, technology and ecology, the balance of nature, the balance between our spiritual life and our physical life, it’s all a matter of balance. Balance is an all-pervasive manifestation of life. Life performs a balancing act across the eons as its manifestations on this planet teeter in a tiny window of rapidly changing environmental conditions. The force of life somehow seeks a balance. It is observable in nature on a grand scale and it is also observable in your body chemistry on the smallest scale. Your health depends on billions of factors in balance. From the balance of acid and alkaline fluids in your stomach, to the balance of hormones from your glands, to the balance of function in the right and left hemispheres of your brain, your health depends on balance. What does this have to do with the holidays and stress? We are addressing the force of life here.
Balance is what all the forces of nature strive for. It is the most basic force of life and it is also a basic concept in science. This entire physical universe exists and continues because it is in balance.
As we come to the end of the year it has the effect of completing a cycle. This completion tends to focus attention on areas of our lives that are unbalanced. The custom of gift giving could be an attempt to
“balance accounts.” If someone was good to you during the year, you may have an inclination to
show your appreciation with a gift. If someone gives you a gift and you do not reciprocate, you could feel slightly out of balance. This time of year can be especially stressful to anyone who already has some kind of imbalance in his or her system. Since these imbalances tend to exaggerate during the holiday season, stress will increase and emotional responses will increase. Fortunately, there is hope.
Next month, I’ll talk about an ancient treatment solution for Holiday Stress that produces a euphoric feeling with no side effects!
Executive Director, Acupuncture Physician
Dr. Riggin is FitFM - Family Wellness , is the Founder and Director of Healing Touch Oriental Medicine. As an inspiring health educator, in-demand speaker and doctor of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Dr. Mary has helped thousands of people completely turn their health around. Dr. Mary co-hosts and produces the wildly popular radio show "Food is the First Medicine" and her presentations and viewpoints on natural healthcarehave made her an in-demand and innovative expert in the natural health world.
Dr. Mary Riggin, produces and hosts Food is the First Medicine Talk Radio Show, and is a popular speaker. Since 1996 she has practiced natural medicine in the Tampa Bay area; her passion and purpose is to help as many people as possible. Listen to her weekly on TanTalk 1340AM in Tampa Bay, or online anytime, anywhere at www.foodismedicine.org.
She is former Vice Chair of the Florida State Board of Acupuncture and was appointed to this gubernatorial position by Governor Lawton Chiles and Governor Jeb Bush. She has been featured on various TV and radio shows and frequently teaches free classes at community and recreation centers throughout Pinellas County.
She is a published author and was featured in the book A Woman's Guide to Vitamins, Minerals and Alternative Healing, writes and publishes educational newsletters and brochures, and was elected to serve two consecutive terms as President of the Florida State Oriental Medical Association.