IMG_3831I’m posting this article as it fits within my treatment philosophy. I will add and those who have received treatments from me know that where you feel stress in your body differs from one person to the next. Where it resides gives the Chinese Medical practitioner clues on how to help heal the root issue.  Curious?  Read on!

[[This is posted with permission by Kevin Dougherty, LAc. in Boulder, Colorado]]

What Actually Causes Our Stress?  A Revealing Look Inside This Worldwide Epidemic

It’s commonly said that most, if not all, of our chronic health concerns are caused by stress.  The question I have for you is, what causes your stress?  Given the fact that stress is such an important factor in the creation of imbalance and disease within the body, we need to be able to answer this question in order to really get to the root issue and heal at a deeper, long-term level.

Western medicine excels at the treatment of acute and severe health conditions.  Where it falls short is in offering viable solutions for chronic health concerns.  There’s little to no ability within the framework of Western medicine to treat the root cause of chronic health issues, largely because there’s such little focus on the management and elimination of stress.  Instead, pharmaceuticals are used to address the symptoms of illness or imbalance, which often creates immediate relief to the sacrifice of long-term healing.

Some alternative health practitioners don’t treat chronic health concerns at a causal level.  Yes, they can often temporarily relieve stress and help people feel more relaxed and at peace, but this experience tends to be short-lived and the patient finds that they become dependent on the modality in order to ‘feel good.’

As Chinese Medical practitioners, our focus has to return to this question of what is actually causing us to feel continual and chronic stress, so we can treat it at a causal level.  In my clinical and life experience, I have come to realize that stress is largely the result of the conditioning we experience in our childhood and teenage years.  We are all taught specific beliefs about who we are, what life is, and how we should function in this world.  Many of these beliefs are limiting and even harmful.  As we become attached to these beliefs, we lose our connection with who we really are and the unlimited potential we inherently possess.

There are many examples of beliefs that limit us in life; here some of the most common ones:

  • You have to fight your way to the top
  • Life isn’t safe; you have to put yourself first at all times
  • Money is evil
  • The key to success is to get a secure and safe job– don’t worry about following your passions
  • I’m not good enough.. and I never will be no matter how hard I try
  • The key to happiness is finding someone who will love me
  • My job defines me

To the extent that these limiting beliefs linger in our minds, they will determine the choices we make and the behaviors that we initiate throughout our life.  This is why so many people find themselves in jobs or marriages that promote suffering or struggle.

The body is often a mirror for the mind, especially when it comes to chronic, long-term health issues.  If the body is ailing due to stress, and our stress is caused by holding onto limiting and harmful beliefs about who we are, then the key to lasting health and healing is to free ourselves of these beliefs and operate in this world under a new set of principles and values.

Many of us experience a ‘wake up call’ of sorts when we are diagnosed with a health condition such as cancer, diverticulitis, disc degeneration, IBS, or chronic fatigue.  This is the body’s attempt to wake us up to an opportunity to create life on our own terms and to let go of what we’ve been taught about how we should live and what it means to be a good person.

If you want to get to the root cause of your health issues and consciously create optimal wellness, start with your own mind.  Examine the beliefs that are holding you back and see if you can link these beliefs to the lifestyle choices you’ve made in your career, relationships, dietary choices, and so on.  A skilled health practitioner can be of great assistance in this process.  Contact me if you’d like to discuss your unique situation to determine if I can help.