Monday, January 10, 2011

Stress Removal

Laura Landro who writes The Informed Patient column for the Wall Street Journal has an annual list of her favorite health books for the year.  A book that caught my attention was Stress Less: The New Science That Shows Women How To Rejuvenate the Body and the Mind by Thea Singer.  Essentially, the book cites many facts showing how chronic stress can accelerate the rate at which our cells age.  Specifically, stress can damage DNA sequences of the cells in charge of aging and cause one to "age" in amounts as large as 10 years.

Let's face it.  Stress abounds.  The book focuses on women, so she lists difficult things like caring for children, aging parents, household chores, poor economy and job uncertainty.  Singer does offer evidence based suggestions which include a healthy diet, exercise, sleep, friendship and recollective awareness meditation.

These suggestions are the types of health balancing techniques used in Ayurveda.  The recollective awareness meditation is described as "thinking your thoughts while sitting profoundly still, instead of blocking them out."  The meditation promoted in Ayurveda is primordial sound/mantra based.  The mantra is used to initiate and maintain meditation, but thoughts are encouraged to come and go freely.  Nothing is held back and this allows for profound stress release.  The recollective awareness meditation is strikingly similar and it has scientific studies to back it up.

I am not pushing one mediation over the other.  My goal is health and balance for everyone and it does not matter how you get there.  I just like that these healthy habits and methods are there for everyone to use.

Stay healthy & well,

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