Modern Medical Interpretation of Stress
Stored hypothalamic stress-effect is resolvable but MUST be understood by the person.
A survey, taken in 1987, reported that the average person, in this culture, was exposed to more than 1000 times as many stresses/person/day as people were exposed to 100 years ago. This works out to more than 382,000 stressors/person/day. Only 10% of those stressors were psychological, or social, stressors. All the rest are physical, chemical, electromagnetic, etc.; things you hear about in the media every day.
All stressors cause the same response in your system: your body has a "Fight or Flight" reaction whether you have a fight with your spouse or are exposed to a chemical.
In 1990 the American Society of Chemical Engineers celebrated a milestone: they announced that they had just introduced the 500,000th invented chemical into the market place. That means that there are now at least 500,000 chemical stressors in the environment that had not even EXISTED in nature 100 years ago.
It is now estimated that there are more than 200,000 electromagnetic frequencies, in our environment, that are man-made and did not exist in nature 100 years ago. We are just now beginning to appreciate that, though invisible to our eyes, they are not without influence on our molecules. Chemicals PLUS Electromagnetic Smog = worse effect. The combination of each stressor with another magnifies the "stress effect" of EACH stressor.
The point is: there are too many things causing a "Fight or Flight" stress response for us to discharge that much "Readiness" in the usual 8 hours sleep. Now, each day, we wake up with a little more "Readiness" than we had when we woke up the day before. Over the years that creates a heavier and heavier burden of alertness that influences how we respond to EVERY stressor. Relative insomnia is one of the very early signs of this overload.
If you tripped over a rock, in the middle of a field, you would feel a stress-effect. If you tripped over the same rock, in EXACTLY the same way, at the edge of a cliff, the near-death experience ("Ack! I almost fell over a cliff!!") would result in a much greater stress-effect from the SAME stressor (the trip). The same thing is true of EVERY organ system in your body. The closer you are to the edge of your reserves, in that organ system, the more stress-effect you will experience IN THAT ORGAN SYSTEM. Anything that produces more distance, between you and the limits of your reserves, will result in each stressor affecting you less.
Remember, you did NOT fall over the cliff. The stressors (trips) were identical. What you EXPERIENCED was the "stress effect" and that is what is stored in the autonomic system.
Dr. Hans Selye was right about stress and its effects on human physiology--all the way back in the '50's. We are just now starting to learn what he was telling us.
Anyone interested in practically applying this concept to their daily lives needs to read a copy of my book Saving Yourself from the Disease-Care Crisis.
READ HEALTH AT THE CROSSROADS BY DEAN BLACK, PHD, TO FIND OUT WHY THIS IS NOT "COMMON KNOWLEDGE" ALREADY. CALL (800) 333-4290 TO GET A COPY.
Write for more info. Walt Stoll, MD