There are 3 Components to the Concept of Stress:
- The Stressor.
- The Informational Processing & Perception of the Stressor.
- The Stress Response & Its Effect on Our System.
These all add up to decreased health & well-being. The Stressor is the situation that initiates & stimulates the Stress Response. Informational Processing & Perception by the individual (which of course varies from person to person), is what determines WHICH stimulus is indeed a Stressor to that person. This can build over time, or occur very swiftly. Our Processing & Perception is what connects our Stressor to the Response by our system. The Stress Response is well-defined and involves all aspects of the individual, from psychological to physiological. This response is a call to action response from a threat, or sense of urgency, about something in one’s environment. It is designed to be a short-term event. Too much Stress Response, especially when it turns chronic, undermines our health. The Stress Response is non-specific, it is not limited to any specific stimuli. Any number of different stimuli, which can be ANY aspect of one’s life, can become a Stressor and initiate a Stress Response. The Stress Response is cumulative…many different SMALL Stressors can have the same effect as one LARGE Stressor.
The key to managing stress is to address EACH of these 3 components, which is accomplished with Fundamental Field Theory & Therapy:
- Identify & remove the Stressor (removing is not always feasible, but identifying it is).
- Change how we Process & Perceive the information so that the Stressor’s meaning to us is not so compelling or threatening.
- Counteract the effects of the Stress Response.
These 3 approaches interact in positive self-reinforcing ways, for example: Removing the effect of the Stress Response will allow us to process information in different ways, changing the meaning of the Stressor, and providing insight as how to more effectively remove the Stressor, which in turn means less Stress Response. Potential Stressors are internal as well as external. Our thoughts can initiate a Stress Response without the presence of an external Stressor. For example, when our thoughts are difficult to control, negative, self-reinforcing, and part of a stress-creating pattern, we then have Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD). Conscious/unconscious internal conflicts can be a source of continuous chronic stress. Our impulses to act are blocked by conflict, building tension. We are compelled to act, but can’t, because our conscious/unconscious selves may see any other alternative as threatening in some way. The best approach to resolving INTERNAL stress is to handle in the same way as our approach to EXTERNAL stress, by addressing ALL 3 components.
The physiological stress response starts in the Central Nervous System (CNS). There are two pathways. First, is through the hypothalamus to the pituitary, & then to the endocrine glands of the body, especially the adrenal cortex. Second, is the acute fight or flight response which is an activation of the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS), especially the adrenal medulla.
All bodily systems exhibit a Stress Response & its various stages:
(This portion of the energy model of stress is based on the work of Jim Said, D.C.).
- Optimal Functioning
- Collapse / Degeneration
These stages are related to internal energy of a system, which in turn are related to the phase states of matter: vacuum, air, combustion, liquid, & solid. These phase states, & stress stages, relate to the traditional Energy Medicine elements of: Ether, Air, Fire, Water, & Earth (as used in Polarity Therapy & comprise the Negative Pole of my Fundamental Field® Theory).
As an example, these are the stages as they occur in the endocrine system: If stress continues after the initial alarm stage, the endocrine system goes into the defense stage. Here the thyroid begins to compensate for the over-worked adrenals, which can lead to thyroid problems. As the stress becomes chronic, the exhaustion stage, the thyroid gives out & the ovaries compensate, for males it’s the testes. This can lead to hormonal problems especially in women, with naturally varying hormonal cycles. As the Stress Response continues, the thymus & immune system are the next to compensate for the exhaustion in the system. This can lead to lowered immune system & chronic fatigue (viral infection). In the degenerative state, the hypothalamus & pituitary begin to fail. This leads to a multitude of problems & there is little regulation & feedback within the hormonal system.
I have gathered this knowledge through personal experience with my patients & I call it, the Stress Cascade.
© Copyright 2010 by Richard Metz, D.C. ~ Content may be shared freely if author & source is cited.