Tuesday, June 6, 2017

If You Don't Deal With Stress

This is the continuation of a series on allostatic load.  In part 1, there are notes from a video discussion with Dr. Donald Bosch of the Headington Institute on allostatic load.  He does a very good job of explaining what allostatic load and allostasis are.

I really enjoy how he explains allostatic load.

If you have not seen Part 1, go there first.

I have always said that if you don't deal with stress, stress will deal with you.  We all will probably shake our heads and agree, but that's about as far as we take it.  We don't fully understand and comprehend what that means.  We are disconnected from what it means, in many ways.  However, I keep attempting to write about this so others can begin to understand it more.  I realize it is a complex subject that tends to sail right by, but it is important.

I speak from my own experience and that of what I have learned from Dr. Paul Canali of Evolutionary Healing Institute.  He understands this far better than I do , but I have experienced it firsthand in many ways.

Trauma can be simple everyday stuff...

In the video from part 1, Dr. Bosch talks about the set point and how the further we veer out of allostatic load, the further this set point gets moved.  It does not have to be trauma or child abuse or war or other means to cause this set point to shift.  It can be as simple as office work stress, caring for others, or just dealing with life when you were not taught great skills in adapting to stress that comes along.

We all like to think that we've got life by the horns and we are in control.  We all like to think that if we have a beer or a glass of wine that we've relaxed and the stress has all vanished.  We all like to think that if we manage to squeeze in a day off here and there or maybe a few days for a vacation once every couple of years that we're in charge of the stress in our life.  "We're handling it" is what we tell ourselves.

Daily buildup of stress is as harmful...

However, this could not be further from the truth.  The daily build up of stress is just as harmful as if we encountered some traumatic event in our life.  If we don't discharge that, it finds a home in our mind and body.  It moves the set point just a little further away from homeostasis.  Our body ends up staying in that constant state of alertness ready to handle what is bombarding us in life.  We have ended up pushing our allostatic load to the point where it is getting so far into the danger zone that turning back gets more difficult with each passing moment.

It happens before you know it.  It takes place in the blink of an eye.  It is not like you wake up one day and go, wow - I've pushed my set point way too far.  Okay, it can happen that way but more often than not, it goes unnoticed.  It goes undetected until something in our life happens that tries to wake us up.

In the meantime, we maybe experience things like headaches and muscle pains.  Sometimes we find out in a routine doctor visit that our blood pressure is high or our pulse rate stays at a constant high rate instead of dropping down into rest and repair mode.


We may experience fatigue, sleeplessness and nervous stomachs, acid reflux or other conditions.  Chronic health issues may set in and begin to become more pronounced.  We may encounter all kinds of health conditions as issues progress.

In worst case situations, we may go into Conversion Disorder like I did or experience health situations that are life and death.  It varies by person and it depends upon so many factors.  I'm not trying to say that there are not other underlying factors in the exhibition of illness and pain, but I am saying that allostatic load is the cart pushing the horse over the cliff.

Make sure you check out the next part in this 5 part series.  

 Part 3 is "Disconnected From Allostatic Load & Stress"


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