Stress - Is there a cure?

Sunday, April 15th, 2018

Amidst the more straight forward questions I ask my patients such as height, weight, medications etc., there is always one I approach with care.. “Has there been any significant stress in your life recently?”

This seemingly simple question often opens a flood of emotion, the most steely eyed person may well up and you sense the pain or mountain of frustration held behind their reply. This moment, whether expressed in tears or volley of angst is so important. Without it, without some release, it festers as incredible tension in our shoulders, our neck muscles then headaches or worse, depression and perhaps other illnesses.

With the pace of our modern lifestyles, school timetables, email, work and finance pressures – are we even aware of our breathing? Many of my patients fall asleep during treatment only to apologise. But why? Shouldn’t we all have a moment to STOP, to pause the endless demands from not only outside pressures but those mountains we create in our heads?

Is it important?

When your car fuel gauge is near empty, how do you drive? When we begin our week, do we consider the precious fuel in our tanks? How much of our energy is lost to stress compared to the task at hand? Now THAT would be a scary question.

As each patient walks into the clinic, I am ever mindful that they may have waited a few days for their treatment and I have a duty to find that attention – to offer the best help I can. I don’t say this lightly. Finding the ‘PAUSE’ button in our day, is perhaps, our most urgent need.

To feel the changes in tissues as they respond and relax requires a sensitivity that also brings a certain quiet, a stillness in my otherwise battlefield brain! Sharing this stillness with my patients highlights the tensions in the body and thereby a release from the chaos and stress we all endure.

I invite you to try and sit, once a day for a minute and sense your breath in and out, accepting the objections and arguments you create against the thought of it!