This can become an entire treatment program in itself. There are many stress reduction strategies which can be utilized to minimize the impact stress has on us. We will only be hitting the highlights here, and we encourage you to select one or more of these areas for more in-depth study and practice. Numerous self-help books are available on these subjects, and we encourage you to seek them out.

ELIMINATING THE SOURCES OF STRESS:

We encourage you to look at those areas of your life that seem to be the sources of stress. Many times, our stress stems from activities or responsibilities we have taken on voluntarily. Or from activities we participate in, but which could be done less often. An example would be someone who relates experiencing stress when visiting her mother in law. One strategy for managing that stress would be not to visit your mother in law as often, if at all. When stress gets to the point where it is effecting your emotional or physical health, it is time to re-evaluate your involvement in those activities causing the stress.

TIME MANAGEMENT SKILLS:

At times, stress is experienced not because we are doing too much, but because we are not doing it efficiently. Various time management principles are available to help us accomplish our tasks without experiencing stress as a result. An important part of time management is the setting of priorities, which allows us the opportunity to decide what’s important. We can then focus on those things we feel have to be done, and it gives us the opportunity to decide, more importantly, what does not need to be done.

RELATIONSHIPS:

The area of our life that seems to contribute the most to stress is our relationships. Those relationships would be our marital relationship, our family relationships, and our relationships at work. An important aspect of dealing with all these areas is utilizing effective communication skills. Again, resources are available to assist in the development of effective communication skills.

MIND/BODY TECHNIQUES:

A critical component in managing the emotional and physical impact stress has on us is the implementation of relaxation techniques. There are a number of relaxation techniques available to include:

-Meditation and Yoga.

-Relaxation Breathing.

-Progressive Relaxation.

These techniques have been shown to assist in stress management as well as in lowering blood pressure. We encourage you to choose one of these methods that you believe would work for you, and make it a part of your daily routine.

ACUPUNCTURE:

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has established the Committee for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CCAM), and has accumulated a large database of research published on Complementary and Alternative Therapies. In the December 1998 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, an article was published indicating the effectiveness of acupuncture in a wide variety of conditions. And, in many conditions for which acupuncture is not an effective primary treatment, it has been shown to be effective adjunctive therapy. Acupuncture is often used in combination with Chinese Herbal Therapy to reestablish proper flow of Qi through the meridians, or channels of energy.

With regards to atherosclerosis, acupuncture is helpful in those patients who may benefit from a stress management program. It is highly effective in assisting patients who are stressed achieve a sense of calm and balance. It has also been shown to be effective in lowering blood pressure. If stress is a concern of yours, or if you have hypertension, we strongly suggest you consider acupuncture as part of your treatment program.

SELF:

At Nature’s Healthcare, we believe it is important to focus on achieving a sense of balance, including devoting the proper time and attention to the maintenance of ones’ spiritual and emotional health. This involves the setting of priorities and efficient time management in order to balance the time you spend on your occupation, your family, and yourself. Time for yourself includes not only time spent on your physical health, but also time spent on your spiritual growth, your personal growth, personal reflection and fulfillment.

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