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What's the Problem with Stress?

We live in stressful times. The economy is tough, global conflicts rage, severe weather events are affecting people in every corner of the globe, and our numerous technological devices don't seem to be making things any easier. Of course, this is nothing new. Every generation thinks theirs is the best of times and the worst of times. But the result is that people everywhere have high levels of stress.

Sometimes stress is a good thing. Mechanical stress, such as exercise, causes your muscles and bones to become stronger and your nerve system to become smarter. Taking on a new assignment at work or taking a challenging class in school may be stressful, but the effort involved in achieving a successful result will cause you to grow and develop in ways that you might not have imagined. After all, the great philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche famously said "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

But chronic, ongoing physical and mental stress, the kind that affects us every day, is not good for us. Chronic stress causes real psychological and physical problems. People undergoing chronic stress may develop anxiety, which if not managed effectively may lead to depression. Chronic stress may lead to a variety of disorders and diseases, including arthritis, inflammatory conditions such as Crohn's disease, gastrointestinal problems such as peptic ulcer, diabetes,1 high blood pressure,2 and even heart attacks and stroke.3 As we are all subject to numerous stresses every day, both personal and work-related, it's very important for us to develop strategies that will be successful in helping us manage ongoing stresses.

The most important method for managing stress is to attempt to focus your point-of-view, your frame of reference, on the present moment. Our minds are constantly in motion, constantly at work creating new thoughts and new scenarios regarding some potentially stressful situation, or rehashing old conversations, old conflicts, and old problems. The result is that we're almost never at peace. When we try to sit down and relax for a bit, it's never too long before our minds start bringing up the exact things we'd like to be able to forget or ignore, at least for a little while. Most of us can't flip a metaphorical switch and shut off our incessant stream of mostly negative self-talk. But we can learn to remind ourselves to return to the present, to come back to this moment, the one that's happening now.
The best way to do this is to ask yourself, "is this [what I'm thinking about] happening right now?" If you can see that what's happening now is that you're sitting in a chair reading the newspaper, you have a good chance of being able to let go of what your mind is talking to you about. Say to yourself, "I'm right here, right now, and none of that other stuff is actually happening right now." This will help you create some distance from your self-talk, and the self-talk may even recede into the background for a while. The feeling of calm you might then experience is one you can build on. The more you practice returning to the moment, the more power you gain in being able to manage the stress in your life.
1Bener A, et al: Association between psychological distress and gastrointestinal symptoms in diabetes mellitus. World J Diabetes 3(6):123-129, 2012
2van Dijk, AE, et al: The association between prenatal psychosocial stress and blood pressure in the child at age 5-7 years. PLoS One 7(8):e43548, 2012
3Pereira VH, et al: Stressed brain, diseased heart: A review on the pathophysiologic mechanisms of neurocardiology. Int J Cardiol 2012 Apr 20 [Epub ahead of print]

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Reviews By Our Satisfied Patients

  • "I have benefitted tremendously from the chiropractic care I received from Dr. Anderson. Not only has the adjustments helped alleviate my stiffness and aches, but it has helped me have more energy and just feel more balanced over all. A few months ago, I was able to resume a favorite hobby of mine: golf. Due to my previous pain, I never thought that’d be possible."
    Back Pain
  • "I was very impressed with the chiropractic care I received from Dr. Anderson. I had received chiropractic in the past for my neck pain, but not to this level of care. After only a few sessions, my symptoms began to disappear, especially my neck pain, and I know I would not have been able to perform to my everyday work functions without the treatment I received."
    Neck Pain
  • "May says, Dr. Luke is the Best Chiropractor Doctor, I have gone to in all my life. Before seeing Dr. Luke, I used to receive massages and I took Advil daily. I had symptoms of lower back pain, headaches, and pain in my abdomen. Dr. Luke and his style of Chiropractic relieved my headaches and lower back pain; Chiropractic has made me feel much better since I started adjustments with Dr. Luke. Event the pain in my abdomen is gone. I never thought another Chiropractor would be beneficial but I found out that Dr. Luke is the Best that there is. He does make a huge difference and would recommend Dr. Luke to everyone. Thank You, Dr. Luke!"
    May & Zen Abe
  • "I am a professional landscaper constantly using my back and body my work is very physical. With severe back pain especially in my lower back area. I would tell anyone the importance of proper alignment, which leads to a good physical body. Your body needs correction and you must take the steps to correct your problem. Whoever hesitates to correct the body's misalignment will lead to malfunctioning and a crippled body. Dr. Luke adjusted my body to have correct alignment. I'm back to work and good to go. Mahalo, Dr. Luke!"
    Edward Chang
  • "I used to get adjusted every couple of months thinking that was all my body really needed. Since I have come to Dr. Luke I have had my back, neck and elbows adjusted. I no longer have headaches or migraines. Awesome environment as well!"
    Brittany Feiteira
  • "Awesome!!! Helped both my husband and I. First it was my husband- his shoulder would lock up and was stiff and painful. 1st treatment with Cold Therapy/adjustments his shoulder unlocked!!! no more pain or stiffness.
    Then recently I injured my knee, I was on pain medicine and told by my doctor I would need surgery to fix this. I ended up in Dr. Luke's office and have already felt tremendous relief. I mustered up the courage and one day got my back and neck adjusted as well. OMG!!! I am truly enjoying my smooth turning neck and less lower back stiffness due to the adjustments, Don’t be scared just do it !!! And feel great.
    Both my husband n I continue our visits with Dr. Luke . We enjoy the easy going atmosphere . Dr.Luke will teach you how to care for your specific condition . Come and check it out !!! You will be amazed and most happy that you did.."
    Derrick & Lisa Tanabe