Stress, Distress and Anxiety: The
Root of Nearly 90% of Medical Issues
For the eleventh consecutive year,
April 2003 has been designated Stress Awareness Month.
During this 30-day period, health care professionals
and health promotion experts across the country will
join forces to increase public awareness about both
the causes and releases for our modern stress epidemic.
Sponsored by The Health Resource Network
(HRN), a nonprofit health education organization, Stress
Awareness Month is a national, cooperative effort to
inform people about the dangers of stress, successful
coping strategies, and harmful misconceptions about
stress that are prevalent in our society.
"Even though we've learned a
lot about stress in the past twenty years," says
Dr. Morton C. Orman, MD, Founder and Director of HRN, "We've
got a long way to go. New information is now available
that could help millions of Americans eliminate their
- 75% of the general population experiences
at least "some stress" every 2
weeks (National Health Interview Survey).
- Half of those experience moderate or high
levels of stress during the same 2-week period.
- Millions of Americans suffer from unhealthy
levels of stress at work. (A study several
years ago estimated the number to be 11 million,
given events since that time, this number
has certainly more than tripled. Studies
in Sweden, Canada, and other Westernized
countries show similar trends).
- Worker's compensation claims for "mental
stress" in California rose 200-700%
in the 1980s, whereas all other causes remained
stable or declined.
- Stress contributes to heart disease, high
blood pressure, strokes, and other illnesses
in many individuals.
- Stress affects the immune system, which
protects us from many serious diseases.
- Tranquilizers, anti-depressants, and anti-anxiety
medications account for one fourth of all
prescriptions written in the U.S. each year.
- Stress contributes to the development of
alcoholism, obesity, suicide, drug addiction,
cigarette addiction, and other harmful behaviors.
- The US Public Health Service has made reducing
stress one of its major health promotion
Dr. Orman has invited leading health
care organizations across the country to develop and
disseminate helpful educational materials and other
information about stress during the month of April.
He is also promoting public forums, discussion groups,
and other informative community events.
The Health Resource Network is a nonprofit
health education organization established in 1982.
It consists of health professionals, health promotion
experts, and educators committed to developing more
effective programs for improving health and preventing
disease. In addition to sponsoring Stress Awareness
Month, the organization also sponsors National Stress
Awareness Day, held every April 16—the day after
income taxes are due!
Amsterdam hypnotist Lee Pelletier
notes that while stress and anxiety are constants,
stress can be effectively dealt with through hypnosis.
According to Healthline.com, stress affects the lives
of most adults in developed countries in many ways.
It is a major factor in rising health care costs; one
public health expert maintains that 90% of all diseases
and disorders in the United States are stress-related.
Stress plays a part in many social problems such as
child and elder abuse, workplace violence, juvenile
crime, suicide, substance addiction, "road rage," and
the general decline of courtesy and good manners. Stress
also affects the productivity of businesses and industries.
One nationwide survey found that 53% of American workers
name their job as the single greatest source of stress
in their lives. Furthermore, the overall cost of medical
care, time lost from work, and workplace accidents
in the United States comes to over $150 million per
Hypnosis is appreciated as one of
the best overall approaches for dealing with stress. "It
should be an early response, before medications are
introduced," Pelletier said. "Of course," he
continued, any course of care should be undertaken
with the supervision of the individual's physician." Anyone
can do certain things for him or herself to alleviate
stress. Making healthy food choices, having a
lot of physical activity, and doing things for the
fun of it will help. The simple use of hypnotic
breathing patterns can greatly help to reduce stress.
Pelletier points out that simply drawing in a nice
deep breath, holding it for about 3-5 seconds and then
exhaling slowly will reduce stress levels remarkably
for many people. This should be repeated 5-10 times
to achieve stress reduction.
Pelletier points out that it is very
appropriate that April 16 has been designated annually
as "Stress Freedom Day" as one's taxes must
be submitted by the 15th, and the reduction of stress
is great once that is accomplished. If, after trying
the above techniques on your own, you would like to
consult with Lee Pelletier about managing and even
reducing the stress in your life then call 518-772-5026 to arrange an appointment.
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