Counteracting Stress in your Everyday Life

Fortunately, there are many effective ways to reduce stress within our everyday life at work and at home. Some of them can be done by yourself, and with a little practice, they can be instrumental in helping you avoid any long term detrimental effects that might have otherwise have occurred from your ongoing stressful situations.
The key point to understand in the relief of stress is that relaxation is incompatible with the stress state, so that if you can generate relaxation in some way, you will automatically be countering the stress in your life.

Meditation is one of the key ways people can reduce stress and introduce a feeling of complete mental and physical relaxation into their lives, one which can continue to provide help in dealing with any stress experienced throughout the rest of the day. I want to say here, that, because of meditation’s connection with Eastern religions, many of you might feel that it is not in consonance with the life you are leading. The truth is, meditation is a valuable technique that is not of itself religious, but has simply been incorporated by various religions for their own purposes. It can be utilized in a completely non-religious way to achieve deep states of relaxation and great stress relief. Those suffering from serious stress should not hesitate to make use of this valuable resource for reducing stress in their lives.

The basic form of meditation is simply to focus your attention on one simple and relaxing thing. This relaxes the mind and keeps it from dwelling on stress generating thought. As a result, the mind gets relief and with the mind more relaxed the body follows. To do it, you should be in a comfortable position. Some people meditate in the so-called lotus position, you may have seen on yoga magazines. But this is not at all necessary. You can just sit in a comfortable chair or lie on your bed. You may chose to meditate for any period, but 20 to 30 minutes would be a good period to aim for. If you are worried you will lose track of time, you can use an alarm, preferably a gentle one, like a radio with music coming on or another softer choice of sound.
Once you are ready, you can choose how to concentrate your attention. One very popular way is to concentrate on your breathing. Pay attention to your slow breathing in and out. Here I want to point out, controlling your breathing, all by itself, can be a powerful influence on your stress and significantly reduce it. When we are experiencing stress we breathe shallow breathes up in our chest. When we are relaxed, we breathe slow, deep breaths by expanding our lower stomach area. Just by imitating the physiological states of relaxation, by controlling our breathing consciously to be like that when we experience relaxation, we induce our minds and bodies to experience relaxation. Thus, we can note here that breathing to promote relaxation, even without the act of meditation is a valuable resource for reducing stress. The beauty of using breathing for this purpose is that it can be employed wherever you are, even at work. You can just stop for a few moments and take a few slow, deep diaphragm breaths and you will be able to counter any stress you experiencing.
Another way you can meditate is to concentrate on looking at an object. You can do this with anything, but it can be more relaxing to choose a flower or an attractive piece of glass or pottery or a candle with a flame. Observe it carefully, noticing everything about it. Of course, this can be enhanced by breathing in the relaxing way at the same time, even if your attention is no longer on your breathing, but on the object. Some people can become very relaxed by focusing on a sound repeated silently in your mind. It can be short word; it can be a number, like one, or the word “easy,”, or the traditional sound used in religion, Om. You can even make up your own! Today many people have sound machines, and some of you may prefer to sit quietly with all your attention on listening to the sounds generated by your machine. You could listen to waves on a beach, or crickets at night, or a downpour in a rainforest. Many people get relaxed from just listening to such sounds without using them for meditation. There are also many meditative recordings designed to initiate relaxation in the person. Perhaps one of these will prove to your liking and be very beneficial to you. While you are meditating in the way you have chosen, some other thoughts may enter your mind, do not fight them. Just gently turn your attention back to what you were focusing on.

Using imagery is another way to relieve stress that people find extremely pleasant. You can either use a remembered peaceful, relaxing scene you have experienced or make up an entirely imaginary one. As you create this image in your mind, make sure to involve as many senses as possible. For example, an image of a beach should involve seeing the waves and the blue sky with some lovely clouds in it; while at the same time, you should be hearing the sounds of the waves and smelling the water and sand, feeling the warmth of the sun and a light breeze on your body.
Other imagery might involve seeing stress flow out of your body, or things you are concerned with moving away from you into the distance. You can also see waves of relaxation flowing down over your body and these waves can move in time with your breathing. You should feel how the relaxation is moving down your body with each new wave. Once you have done this regularly, wherever you are, you can stop for a while, even for just a minute, or as long as you are able, and imagine you are in your relaxing place or the waves of relaxation are flowing over you while you breathe in the relaxation-inducing manner.
You can also do deep breathing while imagining the stress flowing out of your body with each breathe you exhale.
Another very effective way to reduce stress is by practicing muscle relaxation. Remember that relaxation is incompatible with the stress state, so that if you can generate relaxation in some way, you will automatically be countering the stress in your life. Relaxed muscles are the opposite of the tensed muscles experienced with stress. If you learn to relax your muscles, you will be in a more relaxed state and your stress will be reduced.
Many people use what is called, progressive muscle relaxation. You should consult with your doctor before using this method if you have back problems or muscle spasms, or any other condition you think might lead to injury from this program. Starting either from the top part of your body or at your feet, you tighten then relax each set of muscles. For example, you might tighten your fists and hold this for about five seconds, fully experiencing the tenseness of the muscles used. Then you release this contraction and completely relax the muscles. Breathe out as you do so. It is important to focus your attention on the different feelings of tension and total relaxation. Take your time to fully experience the feelings of relaxation in the muscles. You can repeat doing this with each muscle group, feeling deeper relaxation each time as you release the contraction. Be careful when you contract the muscles in your feet and your back; do this deliberately, but gently and carefully. Practice throughout your body for awhile, then you are ready for the next stage. Now you will tense all the muscles of your body at once and then release them, while saying a word, like “relax” or a phrase, like “let go,” out loud or silently in your mind. Make sure you keep breathing in a relaxing manner as you are doing all these exercises. Never hold your breath. If practiced regularly, you can reach a point where all you have to do is feel in your body where you are experiencing muscle tension, think of that muscle group in your mind, say that word or phrase, and while you are in that stressful situation, you will experience relaxation.
Exercise is another very effective way to relieve stress. It releases tension in the muscles, which leads to a state of relaxation when completed. It improves blood flow to your brain and throughout your body to bring more nutrients and oxygen to these areas and remove toxins and other waste products from them too. In addition, a body in better physical condition is better able to deal with the actual physiological stresses created by being in stress creating situations. Exercising results in an improved mood. This may result from physiological changes within your body, but there is another reason as well. While you are exercising, especially if you are doing some sport, you are focusing on other things rather then the concerns which were causing you stress. Exercise will also help you to sleep soundly, and getting enough healthy sleep is an important part of combating stress. You should examine your sleep habits and make sure you are getting enough sleep each night. Many people do not get enough sleep and this contributes to the stress they experience trying to cope with things during their waking life. If you are one of the individuals who do not get plentiful sleep, you should seriously consider rearranging your life to get more sleep. Make sure you consult your doctor before beginning any new exercise program.
There are some forms of exercise that combine meditation, breathing and physical movement. For example, you might wish to try Tai Chi or Yoga.

Remember, the best stress reduction system is the one that works for you and leads to less stress and more relaxation. Often people can improve their overall results by just adding more pleasant enjoyable moments during the day. Listening to your favorite music or reading a good book are some things you may have neglected to include in your life recently. Taking the time to enjoy good food, and taking a brisk walk can all add up to less stress and a more enjoyable relaxing existence. A lot of little things can add up and change the tone of your life toward the more positive. One of these things, often overlooked, is to include more humor in your life. This might include seeing more comedies in the movies, and amusing shows on TV, for example, going to the Comedy Channel regularly, or reading your favorite comedian’s latest book. It is now accepted that humor and laughter can significantly lower stress and have very positive mental and physiological effects on your health.

You must experiment and see what works best for you. Often it may actually be a combination of things that will best lead to you a less stressful, more relaxing and enjoyable life.

Learning what is the True Meaning of Alternative Medicine

Many people who are suffering from disease or pain have thought about trying the alternative medicine route. Before you try alternative medicine, you may want to learn a bit about it. There are a lot of different types of alternative medicine and they all may not be right for you.Alternative medicine is a type of therapeutic practice that is not considered to be a part of traditional or conventional medical treatment. People use alternative medicine instead of using traditional medical treatment. This is often because they feel it is a natural way to get better.There are many types of alternative medicine. Some are covered by medical insurance, but most are not. Some forms of alternative medicine that may be covered are chiropractic and osteopathic therapy. These forms of alternative medicine are widely used.There are other forms of alternative medicine that are not as widely used, but are becoming more popular by the minute. These are: massage therapy, therapeutic touch, folk medicine, herbal medicine, special diets, homeopathy, music therapy, aromatherapy, naturopathy, faith healing, and new age healing. There are also some non-western forms of alternative medicine such as: Chinese medicine, gi gong, reiki, and ayarveda.There are some less commonly practiced forms of alternative medicine as well. One is called bio field therapy. This is a form of alternative medicine that works with your so called “energy fields” to heal you. Another is bio electrical magnetic therapy. This alternative medicine uses pulse and magnetic fields to heal you.Alternative medicine is quite popular for people who are terminally ill. Many AIDS and cancer patients prefer it. An example of this is a cancer patient who uses alternative medicine instead of receiving traditional chemotherapy or radiation therapy. People also use alternative medicine to heal ailments such as back pain or migraines. Instead of traditional painkillers, the patients would use aromatherapy, sound therapy or herbal therapy. Alternative medicine is even used on animals. Have you ever seen the movie “The Horse Whisperer?” That was about a form of alternative medicine used on an animal. Acupuncture, herbal therapy, and others have also been used on animals.The last thing you should know is that there is no scientific evidence that alternative medicine is effective. There have been no scientific studies to prove if they are safe or if they work for the diseases or ailments they are used for. Before using an alternative medicine, talk to your doctor, make sure your doctor feels it is safe and will not harm you.There are many different kinds of alternative medicines to choose from. Now that you understand it a bit better, you can decide if it is right for you. For more information talk to your doctor or research it online. With careful research, you may find one that is right for you.

Understanding and Managing Stress

Stress is destructive to health and relationships. Stress is experienced when a person feels demands and expectations that exceed perceived available resources. Resources may relate to time, money, skill, tools, etc. The perception of the imbalance between the demands and resources and potential future adverse consequences for failing to meet the demand or expectation does not have to be correct in order for the situation to cause stress. That is, false understandings or beliefs can cause significant stress. Therefore any event or thought that causes a person to perceive a threatening demand is a potential source of stress.
It is true that on this planet there are situations that need to be reacted to and in the absence of stress, our species would never have survived. Accordingly, a positive aspect of stress is that it alerts you to a threat and provides you with increased levels of energy and motivation to help in coping with the threat. However mishandled stress or too much stress causes strain and can be devastating for you.
The negative effects of stress are numerous and perhaps we don’t even know them all. However, they include fatigue, irritability, anger, difficulty concentrating, a lower immune system, a variety of serious physical health problems, insomnia, depression, anxiety, loss of personal relationships, over eating and drug and alcohol abuse.
There is no one way to deal with stress. Stress may be reduced, eliminated or managed by addressing one or more of the underlying components of stress. For example you might reduce demands by planning ahead, increasing available resources, just saying “no”, finding ways to increase efficiency. Or, you might reduce the stress emotions by taking a break from the stressful situation, relaxing, exercising, getting a massage, taking a vacation. Or, you might eliminate or mitigate the impact of the consequences of failing to meet the demand by preparing for the consequences (e.g. having a savings account or buying insurance), changing your priorities (so what if the car doesn’t get washed?), accepting what can’t be changed, putting energy towards improving the situation.
You need to have the correct perspective concerning the demands you face. You need to be aware of your capabilities, resources, and the real consequences of failing to meet a demand. You need to see things accurately without distortions. Believing something is terrible when it is only just unpleasant can cause unnecessary stress.
There is scientific evidence that suggests that the experience of stress in the past magnifies how you react to stress in the future because stress actually alters your body and your brain. You can become sensitive to stress and then even the smallest stressor can invoke reactions in your brain and body that cause your brain to treat a small incident as a life threatening event. Because some stress is requisite for humans, your body is designed to provide an appropriate reaction to stress depending on the degree of the threat. However, when you become sensitive to stress due to earlier stress experiences, your body’s response that is designed for life threatening events is activated by ordinary trials and tribulations of life such that you respond inappropriately (in other words, overreact). This sensitivity to stress may begin during childhood. It is likely that the impact is greater when it is initiated during childhood.
It is of extreme importance that you become aware of your body so that you can sense when it is getting stressed and either reduce the stressors (i.e. demands perceived to exceed resources and perceived negative consequences) or take time for meditation, yoga, exercise, gardening, reading, writing, listening to music, going for a walk. Also, the knowledge about being sensitive to stress due to past stress experiences (i.e. the life-death reaction to inconsequential matters) is helpful, if it applies to you, because you can use logic and rational thoughts to understand why you’re reacting as you are and to correct this behaviour if you feel yourself overreacting to stressors.
You are vulnerable to stress and will experience stress; but you do not have to be its victim. You have the ability to control stress and what you permit it to do to you.

Energy Medicine: The Medicine Of The Future—Now Part 2: Tools And Diagnostic Techniques That Measure Energy

Last week, we discussed energy sources in general terms, describing vibrational frequencies and the interactions between the currents of all kinds that flow around and through us. Today I want to propose some thoughts that may seem outlandish, but I’m going to try to explain in terms that will make the concepts more clear. Here’s a revolutionary thought:All healing takes place at the energy level.Let’s look at some commonly accepted energy tools that are in use today in the practice of medicine. Interestingly, a number of these have been in use for decades, and their reliability is unquestioned for diagnostic and healing purposes. But putting two and two together, we’ll move on…Years ago, a researcher discovered that the heart gives off electrical waves that can be measured. The healthy tissue in a patient gives off a very specific pattern. Stressed or dead tissue gives off a distinctly different pattern from the healthy tissue. The resultant recordings of those waves we know today as an electrocardiogram, or EKG. An EKC is a powerful diagnostic tool; it picks up the specific electrical changes in the heart’s waves when anyone being tested is having a myocardial infarction (heart attack), or has had one in the past. An electroencephalogram (EEG) is capable of determining normal and abnormal brain waves, to the point that probable sources of seizures can be diagnosed because of abnormal electrical signals given off in the brain. We have also discovered and labeled different waves per second (delta waves) have a frequency of 1-3 waves per second, called Hertz or Hz, which is seen in people in deep sleep. Theta waves have a frequency of 4-7 Hz, which is seen in different stages of sleep, and with emotional stress. Alpha waves, at 8-14 Hz, are seen in the alert state. Finally, beta waves, 14-50 Hz, are present when there is intense mental activity. A magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a machine capable of interpreting normal and abnormal responses of tissue to magnetic energy, from which an image can be extracted. Spectroscopy is a laboratory diagnostic tool which can identify a specific substance based on the frequency that it gives off. This frequency is measured and placed on a graph. Every substance gives off a different frequency, which can be used to identify the substance.Ultrasound is basically a tool where sound waves are released, and as they bounce off tissue and return, this feedback can be interpreted by a machine and create an image. There are PET scans, and SPECT scans, which can differentiate healthy tissue from diseased tissue by the energy characteristics that are given off. We have many other tools in medicine, including auditory-evoked response, visual-evoked response, myograms and oculograms, all of which tell us whether that particular tissue is normal or abnormal, based on its measurable electrical output. There are also many therapeutic tools or modalities in medicine. One of the first was pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy, which releases specific low frequency, electromagnetic pulses to stimulate bone healing in non-healing bone fractures. Lithotrypsy has laser focused frequencies that are capable of breaking down kidney stones. Many of us have heard of or used light therapy for depression, called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Acupuncture is recognized within the medical field for its effectiveness in pain relief, which is based on centuries’ old energy flow lines called meridians that flow throughout the body. There are also cold and hot laser therapy, which have been used in the healing of wounds and skin disorders. Outside of the medical field are many energy and electrical devices that are in common use. For instance, the computer chip in your computers, or the remote controls that send frequencies to television sets, radios, light switches. Even though we don’t understand electricity, we have become accustomed to using lights and other things that need electricity to function. We even accept energy emissions from billions of light years away that are obtained through our telescopes. Gravity, much misunderstood, is a force that attracts objects from a distance to the center. A polygraph machine is capable of sensing electrical changes at the skin level, which differentiate a relaxed state of the parasympathetic nervous system and the anxious state of the sympathetic nervous system to determine the stress in peoples’ bodies in answer to specific questions.This background is merely useful for opening up our minds to the concept of how much energy and frequencies and magnetics and electrical devices are influencing our lives today, that we take for granted, whether we understand them or not. In order for us to recognize the potential impact of energy and frequencies on the body, we’ll start by understanding how individual cells function in our bodies. That will be in our next article. For now, let’s recap the different energy tools and sources we’ve reviewed today:In the medical field:Electrocardiogram (EKG)Electroencephalogram (EEG)1. Theta waves2. Alpha waves3. Beta wavesMagnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)Ultrasound1. PET scans2. SPECT scansAuditory-evoked ResponseVisual-evoked ResponseMyogramOculogramPulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF)LithotrypsyLight TherapyAcupunctureCold Laser TherapyHot Laser TherapyOutside of the medical field:Computer chipsRemote controlsLight travel visible through telescopesGravityPolygraph machinesCell phonesIpodsInternetTelephone wiresIt might be interesting to take a walk around your house or office and observe the number of devices that utilize energy from known and unknown sources! For more information, visit

How Can I Relieve Stress And Anxiety Naturally?

First we must examine what exactly stress is and what happens to the body during stress. Stress is something everyone experiences every day and a natural part of life. The body responds to stress by releasing adrenaline and corticosterone giving you the so called “Fight-or-Flight” response, this occurs automatically. Your adrenal glands produce these hormones which include cortisol, adrenaline, and corticosterone which give you an energy boost to fight or run away. These hormones boost energy, increase awareness and focus which happen whether it’s a physical threat or emotional stress. Some stress in life is good for us. Stress helps keep us focused while there is an emergency; however, it’s chronic stress that causes a problem.
When stress becomes chronic, elevated stress hormones can be a problem. These stress hormones effect inflammation, immune system response, and metabolism. When our bodies are continually stressed these hormones are continually high and can affect the nervous system causing anxiety and depression, suppress the immune system which can lead to sickness or disease, or effect the digestive function causing over eating and weight gain. Although we don’t want to turn off the stress mechanism, we don’t want to remain in a state of constant stress. (1-3)
There is hope, Holy basil is an herb found in India used for more 3000 years for medicinal purposes. Holy basil is a member of the mint family. Closely related to the sweet basil we cook with. Holy basil is native to tropical regions of Asia and can now be found throughout the tropical parts of the world. Holy basil is a strong antioxidant that demonstrates antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. (4-6) Holy basil has been used to treat everything from the common cold to bronchitis and even fever. Holy basil has been used as a digestive aid and can be good for ulcers. Let’s examine how modern science has taken a closer look at this herb.
In the past ten years scientific studies have focused on the benefits of holy basil consumed orally. These studies have revealed great promise and suggesting holy basil may indeed provide effective relief of those previously mentioned customary uses. Studies have even suggested that holy basil can be taken with radiation therapy to help fight side effects, and even good for diabetes. (4,5,7-9) Holy basil’s greatest potential is in the area of stress relief and relaxation.
Holy basil is an adaptogen, enhancing the body’s ability to cope with physical and emotional stress. Adaptogenic herbs help the body function at optimal levels during stress with out effecting mood. Several studies examining holy basil have found this amazing herb to lower corticosterone levels. Lowering corticosterone can improve mental clarity and memory and help reduce age related mental disorders. 10 Lets look further to see how this actually works.
Holy basil has various compounds that provide health benefits. Such as, eugenol and caryophyllene which are aromatic compounds that are pleasing fragrant scents said to boost mood and spirit. Studies suggest that eugenol helps combat stress and enhance mental clarity. Triterpenoic acid an isolate of holy basil has been shown to improve the body’s response to stress. Several studies have examined the anti-stress effects of the different components of holy basil. When isolated and examined individually, the eugenol and caryophyllene significantly reduced the corticosterone level and helped the body cope with stress, elevate mood and improve mental clarity. (12-14)
If you are looking for a good brand of holy basil, look for a product that is standardized to the active ingredients eugenol, caryophyllene and triterpenoic acid, in the form of ursolic and oleanolic acid. These components differ significantly in their chemical structure, different extraction methods are needed to get the most beneficial components out of holy basil. There are three extraction methods that are most common, steam distillation, alcohol extraction, and super critical (CO2) extraction.
Steam distillation breaks down plant tissue and pulls out the essential oils and key components released into the steam and collected when cooled.
Alcohol extraction is a bit more complex and the most frequently used form of extraction. The plant is complete dissolved and distilled for purification. Then alcohol is applied to remove the insoluble plant constituents, and then the solution is distilled to remove the alcohol leaving only the active components.
Finally, supercritical extraction has become popular, where carbon dioxide (CO2) under extreme pressure to removed the active components of the herb. This process is executed at low temperature which preserves the components ensuring that the components aren’t damaged by high temperature. High temperatures can alter or damage the components of holy basil and this is why CO2 extraction is becoming more popular.
Stress can be triggered at any time in life both physical stress and mental stress. Over time the negative effects of stress can affect our health through our immune system, digestion, or nervous system. Figuring out what is causing stress in life and working to eliminate this stress can ultimately bring healing to your body, holy basil can help aid in the process by reducing the stress hormones and help in recovery for quick relieve of your daily woes.
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2. Sapolsky R. Stress, Glucocorticoids, and Damage to the Nervous System: The Current State of Confusion. Stress. 1996 ;1:1-19.
3. Elenkov IJ, Chrousos GP. Stress hormones, proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines, and autoimmunity. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2002 Jun;966:290-303.
4. Gupta SK, Prakash J, Srivastava S. Validation of traditional claim of Tulsi, Ocimum sanctum Linn. as a medicinal plant. Indian J Exp Biol. 2002 Jul;40(7):765-73.
5. Uma Devi P. Radioprotective, anticarcinogenic and antioxidant properties of the Indian holy basil, Ocimum sanctum (Tulasi). Indian J Exp Biol. 2001 Mar;39(3):185-90.
6. Geeta, Vasudevan DM, Kedlaya R, Deepa S, Ballal M. Activity of Ocimum sanctum (the traditional Indian medicinal plant) against the enteric pathogens. Indian J Med Sci. 2001 Aug;55(8):434-8, 472.
7. Prakash J, Gupta SK. Chemopreventive activity of Ocimum sanctum seed oil. J Ethnopharmacol. 2000 Sep;72(1-2):29-34.
8. Vrinda B, Uma Devi P. Radiation protection of human lymphocyte chromosomes in vitro by orientin and vicenin. Mutat Res. 2001 Nov 15;498(1-2):39-46.
9. Agrawal P, Rai V, Singh RB. Randomized placebo-controlled, single blind trial of holy basil leaves in patients with noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther. 1996 Sep;34(9):406-9.
10. Montaron MF, Drapeau E, Dupret D, Kitchener P, Aurousseau C, Le Moal M, Piazza PV, Abrous DN. Lifelong corticosterone level determines age-related decline in neurogenesis and memory. Neurobiol Aging. 2005 Jun 10.
11. Sembulingam K, Sembulingam P, Namasivayam A. Effect of Ocimum sanctum Linn on the changes in central cholinergic system induced by acute noise stress. J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Jan 15;96(3):477-82.
12. Sembulingam K, Sembulingam P, Namasivayam A. Effect of Ocimum sanctum Linn on noise induced changes in plasma corticosterone level. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol. 1997 Oct;41(4):429-30.
13. Archana R, Namasivayam A. Effect of Ocimum sanctum on noise induced changes in neutrophil functions. J Ethnopharmacol. 2000 Nov;73(1-2):81-5.
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Emotional Freedom Technique vs. Zensight – A Comparison of Energy Healing Approaches

Many people arrive to Zensight energy healing technique after first experiencing Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Frequently questions arise as to what the differences are, and when to use which approach.

EFT is a technique created by Gary Craig, as a result of his work in streamlining Roger Callahan’s Thought Field Therapy (TFT).

EFT and TFT both involve focusing upon very specific concerns – often fears, phobias, or some other kind of emotional or physical upset – while tapping on different energy meridian points. EFT generally involves tapping upon the same sequence of points regardless of the particular concern being worked upon, while TFT involves tapping upon different sequences or sets of meridian points, depending upon the type of concern being targeted.

EFT and TFT can be considered to be the “grandfathers” of the energy psychology movement. I believe that these were the first targeted energy psychology approaches.

Zensight and EFT share many similarities. Both are excellent, highly targeted healing approaches that can be easily learned and used as a self-help treatment for rapidly healing fears, phobias, traumas, and other issues including many physical concerns. Both of them removed congested energy from the energy meridians, and both of them can be easily incorporated into psychotherapy, if desired.

The most obvious difference between Zensight and EFT is that with Zensight no tapping is involved. Instead, with Zensight, we use a “healing symbol” to assist us in focusing our intent. As we do so, upsets and concerns simply melt away, while at the same time the energy meridians that were affected by the upset become more balanced.

The most common experience during Zensight in addition to feeling better about the targeted concern(s) is a deep and profound feeling of relaxation. Some people may also experience the same type of warmth, tingling and energy “moving” sensations that are frequently experienced with Reiki and other Universal energy approaches.

Secondly, Zensight includes a focus upon the use of visualization as part of the healing process. Although Zensight can be done without the use of visualization, it is strongly recommended that visualization – or, alternatively a focus upon body sensations – is incorporated into your Zensight healing work.

The reason for the emphasis upon use of visualization is twofold:

a.) Working with visual images allows us to access areas of the subconscious mind that we can not readily reach through the use of language alone. Often the visual images that arise during Zensight work are similar in nature to those seen during meditative or dreamlike states – they often include aspects of the situation or concern, that we had not consciously recognized.

The use of the healing symbol to then transform and heal those images, allows us to address even those aspects of the situation that we may otherwise have missed.

b.) The combined use of visualization together with verbal statements activates both hemispheres of the brain. This allows the whole brain to become involved, which often then assists us in linking logic together with emotion. A disconnect between logic and emotion (for example, having a fear of the dark even though one rationally may recognize that they are safe) is often a big part of most personal concerns.

Thirdly, while EFT, TFT and most other energy psychology approaches instruct the user to focus upon very specific aspects of their concerns, with Zensight we begin by targeting our healing approach at the most general level.

For example, rather than focusing upon a specific phobia, we will target our healing work to all of the areas of our lives in which we experience fear, whether we consciously recognize all of those fears or not. We do this through the use of visualization and statement that target fear at the general level, as well as through energy balancing exercises that can be accomplished with Zensight in a matter of minutes.

We do with Zensight also work on the specific level as needed, but even in doing so, we set the intent of healing a wide area.

For example, I will frequently use statements such as:

I now heal any and all beliefs that any parts of me formed in connection with this incident or any other incidents similar to it that don’t serve my highest good now.

I now heal, transform and release any and all roles or identities that any parts of me have taken on from my mother or anyone else who gave me negative messages about myself.

I now heal and dissolve any and all programming that any parts of me have internalized from my family, from society, or from anyone else about my appearance or weight.

It may sometimes – but not always – still be necessary to do more work at the specific level. We test this by checking in with the specific concern and see if any upset is remaining, and then dissolve whatever is left using both general and specifically targeted healing statements, or additional visualizations.

The activation of both hemispheres of the brain, and the included focus upon the general level – as well as an emphasis upon engaging all parts of self in treatment – leads to most people finding that their results with Zensight generalize to more areas of their life, and thus experiencing more rapid and more thorough results than they may have previously in their healing work.

Most people also enjoy the freedom and relief of having less need to identify hidden aspects of concerns.

However, some people who are particularly kinesthetic in nature, may feel as if they are not “doing” enough when using Zensight.

While it is not necessary to do so, those people may feel more engaged in the treatment process if they use their EFT tapping as they process with Zensight. They also may wish to begin by targeting any beliefs or expectations that if no physical action is taken, that healing is not possible.

Just as EFT may initially feel uncomfortable or strange to newcomers – until they experience the incredible benefits it offers – some people may experience an initial uncertainty with Zensight.

Another experience that people occasionally have is that when in a state of overwhelm – or in a state of acute physical pain such as with an ear infection or other illness – it is sometimes easier to simply tap than to stop and focus intent, particularly if you are new to Zensight.

If such a situation arises, I suggest to people that they may wish to begin with a couple of rounds of tapping to decrease the overwhelm and/or pain, and as it lessens, that they then settle in and process the remainder with Zensight.

Whatever technique you experience benefit with, and find easy to use, is the one that is most right for you. The beauty of EFT, Zensight and many other energy healing approaches is that they can be adapted and combined to best meet the needs and comfort level of the individual user.

Good Stress – Is There Really Such A Thing?

While all stress must be managed, it is a mistake to think of all stress as bad. Some stress can be very good. Look at the following brief definitions.
* Stress is your body’s response to any demands made on it.
* Situations or events that cause stress are called “stressors”.
* A bad or detrimental stressor is called “distress”. “Di” means “two” in Greek. Think of double trouble. Distress is a disabling or crippling stress.
* A good or beneficial stressor is called “eustress”. “Eu” means “good” in Greek. Think of joy and laughter. Eustress is a pleasant or a healing stress.Examples of Good Stress – Eustress
Good stress may, like all stress, seem too much to handle emotionally or physically – but good stress does not drain you of power. Its very nature energizes you, helping you handle more than you thought possible.
1. Life-saving stress. You may have experienced, or heard of, an accident in which someone was pinned under a heavy vehicle. The physical demand of lifting that vehicle might seem impossible, but the good stress of that impossibility provided the rush of adrenalin needed for someone to lift the incredible weight.
2. Stage Stress. The actor who waits for the curtain to rise often experiences eustress, or good stress. The good stress helps him or her to focus and remember opening lines, despite the feeling that the demand is too great.
3. Earning power stress. You lost your job, and try as you might, you seem unable to get another. The emotional demands of trying to make ends meet is causing stress, but it turns out to be good stress because it pushes you beyond what you thought you could do. It pressures you to keep trying until you land a job.
4. Job Interview Stress. The oral interview for that new job is much more than you feel ready to tackle. The emotional demand seems too great, but good stress kicks in, supplying you with clear thinking and ability to express your thoughts in ways that will be of positive help to your interview.
5. New job stress. You want to make a good impression on that new job. Landing the job is a positive in your life, but the demands of learning the job seem more than you feel you can handle. Good stress presses you to apply yourself, focus, and succeed.
6. Winning Score Stress. The athlete in a close competition looks at the score board. The score is tied, with less than a minute remaining. He or she needs a competitive edge if the winning score is to be made. Good stress supplies that competitive edge. The athlete concentrates, the mind clears, and the score is made.
7. Final Examination Stress. You are going to take an important examination. You feel stress, certain you are unable to do as well as you want. That good stress will drive you to prepare, and to think clearly and quickly during the exam.
8. Wedding Day Stress. Few people think their wedding day calls for stress management. That’s because a wedding is viewed as a happy, positive step. At the same time, your wedding may raise doubts as to your ability to meet the demands of a new life. That beneficial stress will send adrenalin racing through your body, giving you that “competitive edge” that makes you fight off your doubts.
Those are but a handful of examples of eustress – beneficial stress.
You cannot avoid stress, nor should you want to. You especially do not want to avoid good stress.Stress Management – Good Stress
Managed properly, beneficial stress energizes you and clarifies your thinking. It helps you focus, providing the edge you need to attain goals that would otherwise be unattainable. Learn the techniques needed to manage eustress, and you will find it an enjoyable experience.
Stressors are neither good nor bad in and of themselves. They become good or bad based on how your body reacts to the stressors. Your body reacts according to how you train it, or tell it to react.5 Steps for managing eustress.
* Identify the stressor. When the first twinges of stress hit, identify the situation or event that is causing it. What is it that makes you feel you are emotionally or physically unable to handle the stressor? Name it.
* Describe the stressor. Pull it into the open and look closely at it. Is it something your body really cannot be expected to handle emotionally or physically? How big is it? How long will it last?
* Differentiate the stressor. Is it bad or good stress? Is it distress or eustress? Does it seem detrimental or beneficial? Give it the benefit of the doubt.
* Laugh at the stressor. Your conscious decision to laugh at the stressor can strengthen your body to handle it. It can help you convert potential distress to eustress. Modern scientists are learning the truth of an ancient proverb: humor is healing. So consciously smile and laugh to turn the stressor into eustress.
* Relax with the Stressor. Consciously allow yourself to relax, aware that eustress is helping you do this.
Eustress provides your body with chemicals that stimulate your brain to relax the neck and back muscles. As your neck and back relax, your brain also relaxes. It begins to refocus. It begins to think more clearly and quickly.
Eustress provides physical health to your whole body. It reduces your blood pressure, and strengthens both the immune system and digestive system.
Follow these five steps whenever you feel physically or emotionally unable to handle a situation. Turn distress to eustress, and you will soon be more proactive in dealing with the stressor.

Think yourself Thin

In this celebrity obsessed world, our quest for perfection has never been greater.  Trying to live up to how we think we should look can govern an enormous part of our everyday lives.  So wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could find a way to enjoy natural weight loss by using an easy and highly effective method that puts an end to fad dieting and constant self-doubt?


The Technique in a Nutshell

It’s called the mind-body technique and has been used for centuries in various forms to cure all types of ailments and to promote a stronger, fitter and healthier body. This particular method also combines some basic Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) exercises that can actually stop cravings and feelings of self-doubt before they take hold and eventually destroy your personal goals for weight loss.  Above all, this incredible method for weight loss requires nothing more than the power of your mind and a willingness to believe that it will work for you.  It has been shown to be extremely effective in procuring a positive attitude towards yourself that can make a big change to both your figure and your self esteem.

The two-part technique is very easy to master and, if adhered to, it’s benefits can be seen within two to three weeks.  Practice this initial visualization exercise every day until you achieve your ideal weight and combine it with the EFT integration method, described later on, for maximum results.  Keep using the technique to maintain your ideal weight once you achieve it.


Visualization Toning

 Find a time in the day when you won’t be disturbed and strip down to your underwear.  Now stand in front of a mirror (full length is best), relax your body and your mind as you take a good look at yourself.  Breath in and out slowly as you focus on your body.

Now take a slow, deep breath in and slowly allow your eyes to close whilst mentally holding onto the image of your body.

Continue holding your breath as you begin to individually visualize those areas of your body that you are unhappy with.  Your stomach perhaps, or maybe your upper arms or thighs.  Now, as you exhale slowly, see those areas start to change,  See them become smaller, tighter, more ton ed and defined.  

Keep your eyes closed as you continue to slowly and deeply breathe in and out now, visualizing your body becoming thinner, more toned and more defined with every breath you take.  

Now take a mental snapshot of your new improved body.  Visualize a dial at the bottom of your image and, in your minds eye, mentally turn it until the image becomes sharper, more colourful and so bright that it glows.   

Open your eyes again and look at your body in the mirror.  You’ll notice how your physical reflection has faded slightly.  Now allow your eyes to close again and feel yourself relaxing more with every breath you take.

With your eyes still closed, visualize your new and improved body again.  Take a very deep breath and turn the dial again to intensify it’s color, sharpness and brightness even more. 

Repeat this process at least ten times during each daily session.


EFT Integration

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) was developed in the mid 1990s by Gary Craig who was inspired by the benefits produced by the earlier Thought Field Therapy (TFT).  The technique focuses quite simply on applying acupressure to certain parts of the body through tapping key points which correspond to the Meridians used in Chinese Medicine.  It’s really a very simple and effective technique and can relieve many physical and psychological conditions.  When used in conjunction with the Think Yourself Thin Visualization Toning exercises, it can be particularly effective in battling against food cravings and addiction.  


EFT Points

Please note that the Think Yourself Thin plan doesn’t use every single EFT point in its exercises.  For simplicity and ease of adoption, we have found that the following eight points, when tapped as shown below, are the most effective in combating cravings when used in conjunction with the visualization toning exercises.

The Sore Spot – This is found on your chest in the area where you would  pin a badge. Gently tap with your fingertips until you locate an area that feels tender.

The Bridge of the Eyebrow – This is the point where the bone of your eyebrow turns into the bridge of your nose.

The Inside Corner of the Eye – On the bone in the inside corner of your eye.

Under The Eye – On the bone just below and in line with the centre of your eye.

Under The Nose – The space between your nose and upper lip

Under The Mouth – In the indentation between your chin and your lower lip

The Karate Chop Point – on the side of your hand, roughly in line with your life line.

When you’ve located each point, try tapping each one ten times and see what kind of feelings it produces.  If you’re feeling stressed, you’ll probably notice that you feel a lot more relaxed afterwards.  Try scoring the feelings you have before and after each tapping session between one and ten (one being the most relaxed and ten being the most stressed).


Controlling those cravings with EFT

So you’re desperately craving that chocolate bar in the cupboard and you know that you really don’t need it as you’ve just enjoyed a nice healthy lunch.  Here’s how to use EFT to rid yourself of the craving and get back on track.

 Tap your EFT points ten times whilst focuses on the object you crave (e.g. chocolate).  Say to yourself (either silently or aloud) “even though I crave this (say whatever it is you crave) I am still a wonderful person and I deserve to lose weight”.  

It may sound terribly corny, but keep repeating this mantra as you tap each point until you start to feel your craving diminish.  Eventually, after several minutes, you’ll feel a lot less like eating that chocolate bar and, hopefully, extremely proud of yourself for not yielding to the temptation. This method is so simple and it really does work. 


Making it Work for You

By integrating the simple EFT methods shown above into your Think Yourself Thin schedule, you will, with the self-belief and confidence that comes from your visualization toning, achieve the body you deserve.  Don’t expect miracles overnight but, day by day, see the difference that a positive and guided mind can make to your body size and self-image and start being the person you’ve always wanted to be.


The Impact Of Stress

Acute or chronic stress can have a serious impact on a person’s emotional or physical wellbeing and can be a significant contributor to mental illness.
Stress is a term that refers to the sum of the physical, mental, and emotional strains or tensions on a person. A stressor is defined as a stimulus or event that provokes a stress response in an organism. Stressors can be categorized as acute or chronic.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) defines a psychosocial stressor as “any life event or life change that may be associated temporally (and perhaps causally) with the onset, occurrence, or exacerbation (worsening) of a mental disorder”.
Hans Selye (1907-1982), a Canadian researcher was a pioneer in studying stress. Selye defined stress, in essence, as the rate of wear and tear on the body. He observed that an increasing number of people, particularly in the developed countries, die of so-called diseases of civilization, or degenerative diseases primarily caused by stress.
In humans, the biochemical response to acute stress is known as the “fight-or-flight”activation of a section of the brain called the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal system, or HPA activates the release of steroid hormones which include cortisol, the primary stress hormone in humans. Neurotransmitters known as catecholamines are released which have three effects:
1. They activate the amygdala, an almond-shaped structure in the limbic system that triggers an emotional response to fear.
2. They signal the hippocampus, another part of the limbic system, to store the emotional experience in longterm memory.
3. They suppress activity in parts of the brain associated with short-term memory, concentration, and rational thinking. This suppression allows a human to react quickly to a stressful situation, but it also lowers the ability to deal with complex social or intellectual tasks that may be part of the situation.
The body’s physical reaction to stress can cause heart rate and blood pressure to rise, the person breathes more rapidly allowing the lungs to take in more oxygen. Blood flow to the muscles, lungs, and brain may increase by 300-400%. The spleen releases more blood cells which increases the blood’s ability to transport oxygen. The immune system redirects white blood cells to the skin, bone marrow and lymph nodes; these are areas where injury or infection is most likely to occur. In chronic stress, the organ systems of the body do not have the opportunity to return fully to normal levels. Different organs become under or over activated on a long-term basis. In time, these abnormal levels of activity can damage an organ or organ system. Stress has negative effects on the Cardiovascular system, the Gastrointestinal system, the Reproductive system and the Musculoskeletal system.
The physical effects of stress on the brain include interference with memory and learning. Acute stress interferes with short-term memory, although this effect goes away after the stress is resolved. People who are under severe stress become unable to concentrate; they may become physically inefficient, clumsy, and accident-prone. Chronic stress is a reaction to a situation that is stressful but ongoing. Chronic stress affects the human immune system and increases a person’s risk of getting an infectious illness. Several research studies have shown that people under chronic stress have lower than normal white blood cell counts and are more vulnerable to colds and influenza.
There are 2 major categories of mental disorders directly related to stress-the-post-traumatic syndromes and adjustment disorders. Stress is, however, also closely associated with depression, and can worsen the symptoms of most other disorders. Post traumatic stress disorder and Acute Stress Disorder are defined by their temporal connection to a traumatic event in the individual’s life.
Stress is related to substance abuse disorders in that chronic stress frequently leads people to self-medicate with drugs of abuse or alcohol. Substance abuse disorders are associated with a specific type of strategy for dealing with stress called emotion-focused coping. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders defines adjustment disorders as psychological responses to stressors that are excessive given the nature of the stressor; or result in impairment of the person’s academic, occupational, or social functioning. The causes of stress may include any event or situation that a person considers a threat to his or her resources or coping strategies.
Acute stress is defined as a reaction to something perceived as an immediate threat. Acute stress reactions can occur to a falsely perceived danger as well as to a genuine threat; they can also occur in response to memories. Social isolation and loneliness can produce chronic stress. A study done in Norway between 1987 and 1993 found that social support networks mad a significant difference in lowering the impact of both acute and chronic stress on mental health.
Another stress factor is sleep deprivation. Many people get only six or less hours of sleep each night even though the National Sleep Foundation estimates that most adults need 8-8-1/2 hours per night for good health. Fatigue due to sleep deprivation causes additional stress.
Lastly, economic trends have produced a “Winner-take-all” economy in which the gap between the well-off and the average family is constantly widening. Socioeconomic status (SES) affects health in a number of ways. Persons of higher SES can afford better health care, are less likely to suffer from exposure to environmental toxins, and generally lead healthier lifestyles. In addition, chronic stress associated with low SES appears to increase morbidity and mortality among persons in these income groups.

Stress Relief

Stress relief can be as complex as you allow it.

Stress relief can come in many applications. It can be a drug, an exercise, an herb, a ball, a game or even a food supplement. Every option has its own positives and negatives. One technique will work for one person while the same technique will confound another adding to the stress.

Some of the deciding factors of relieving stress is to determine what kind of stress you are dealing with and how long a duration it has been. Is this something that has been there forever or is this a new, out-of-the-blue issue?

The kinds of stress come in three broad categories: physical, nutritional, and emotional. We are going to deal with emotional stress but be aware that physical and nutritional stress can affect the mind, and in turn, cause emotional stress.

Emotional stress is the stress we think about the most when we talk about stress. Stress and stress related disorders are on the rise. Though the number is rising there is no specific stress reliever which can work on all the effects of stress. This is the reason why different stress management programs come up with different kinds of stress reducers.

Some stress management programs are kind and minimal; they make you feel good while you are practicing the stress management technique but in reality they are time wasters when it comes to addressing a correction for the stress.

But if there was one stress reliever you could carry around with you and you could use it anytime you needed, what would it be?

You already have it. It is sitting on top of your shoulders — your mind.

Your mind can cause more stress than you can imagine or can eliminate more stress than you thought possible.

Inside your mind you hold the key to life-long stress management. How it is unlocked and used for your benefit is what a course in the ultimate natural stress management course is all about.

Think for a moment about a point of stress in your life. What kind of reaction do you have? Do you feel a pit in your stomach? Does your head get full of noise? Do you get an impending doom feeling?

The stress you are thinking about is creating an energy in your body. It is a literal energy pocket that is creating chaos inside you. If you could take this energy and re-organize it, your thinking about it would be completely different. It may not even cause a reaction in you at all.

Now, let’s do something about this stress. Take the image of this stress and hold it in your mind’s eye. Look at it and see it clearly. Bring the image into focus. Is that it? Is that the stress in your life?

Now as you hold that image in your mind, take your finger pads of both hands and place them on your forehead an inch above your eyes. These are your emotional centers and you’re going to reset them while holding that image in your mind.

You’re going to hold your finger pads on your emotional centers as you hold the image of your stress in your mind. Hold these two for 30 to 45 seconds completely focusing on your stress.

As you continue the image of your stress will fade and its intensity will drop significantly. You are literally resetting your emotional reaction to this particular stress. How amazing is that?

Whatever stress you have make an image and reset it. This is a technique you can do all the time and you will make incredible changes in your stress and your life.

Run this process and use it for good.