Stress Awareness: The First Step Towards Mind/Body Health

Hans Selye M.D. Ph.D. is the author of 20 or more books. Two of them are “The Stress of Life” and “Stress in Health and Disease.” He is the father of and has written textbooks on the medical science of Endocrinology. He is recognized by the scientific community as the first medical scientist in the 20th century to understand the disease process. In his monumental paper entitled the “General Adaptation Syndrome,” Dr. Selye defined stress as the non-specific response of the body to any mental or physical demand. These responses cause certain positive or negative changes in the structures and chemical compositions of the body. Dr. Selye defined these stages of physical changes in the disease process as: 1) the alarm reaction stage, 2) the resistance or adaptation stage, and 3) the stage of exhaustion when irreversible bodily tissue damage occurs. An example of the first stage of disease can be easily seen when a teenager takes their introductory puff from a burning cigarette. Upon inhaling their first lungful drag of smoky air, the teenager’s body rejects it violently with an evolutionary and genetic reflex that’s a physical reaction. The teenager will cough repetitively during this physical rejection of the heated gaseous matter till their face turns red. This teenager may even get queasy and vomit their stomach’s contents because of this toxic breathing savvy. This is Dr. Selye’s “alarm reaction stage,” which is the body’s genetic evolutionary reflex to an environmental stress. This physical reaction is the first stage in the disease process.

Because this teenager had colleagues making fun of her or his childish violent reaction to smoking for the first time. Or perhaps this teenager has some mental images, coming from the subliminal tricks of special interest. Financial interests that need to influence a teenager to smoke. Whatever the reason, the teenager will try to smoke again. The teenager’s next attempt to the smoking experience is different. perhaps because the teenager undertakes smoking with a little more caution and doesn’t inhale much of the cigarette’s smoke. Or perhaps she or he doesn’t intake the smoke too deeply into their lungs. Now the teenager’s body is experiencing this poisonous heated carcinogenic vapor for the second time. So what should this teenager’s body do? The smoke is still a poison to the body. With this repeated experience, the body’s immune systems from this second exposure starts to combat these poisons with all its natural powers, producing more antibodies. Antibodies are proteins generated by all the immune system’s cells in reaction to these foreign noxious substances found in this smoky clouded air. The brain and the immune system recognize the heated smoke from before. They still know it is not healthy for the body’s living tissues and processes. This is Dr. Selye’s “resistance or adaptation stage” where the intelligence of the body recognizes a life threatening substance for a second time. The body now needs to further arm itself and its immune system for more future appointments with these antigens to be sure to remain functioning and physically chemically balanced to remain healthy. An “antigen” is another word for an “allergen” and when the immune system is overworked from too many stress producing foreign bodies in the blood stream, we call the condition an allergy.

For a teenager or any person lacking enough energy and nutrients, the main chemical in the leaves of the tobacco plant that is smoked is nicotine, which is pharmacologically classified as a stimulant. This nicotine chemical can give a person a false feeling of alertness or energy similar to the chemical caffeine that is roasted, pressed and filtered from the beans of the coffee plant. Nicotine and caffeine belong to the same chemical family and are vasoconstrictors, which means when consumed the body’s blood vessels contract to a smaller diameter and size. This vasoconstriction of the vascular blood system by these chemicals causes the heart to work harder to get the same amount of blood to the body’s tissues and cells for consuming energy and nutrients and for eliminating the cell’s waste. The nicotine, if it wasn’t present in the blood would not constrict the vessels and the heart would not have to work harder. This effect of repeated stimulation from smoking over time could make a mental and physical dependence. Some need this stimulation upon waking in the morning and during the day because they lack physical energy and mental clarity. Lacking physical energy and mental clarity daily are the truths and consequences of an unhealthy lifestyle.

For anyone, if their smoking experiment continues and becomes a subconscious mind and body dependent habit, she or he will find it very hard to function daily without a certain number of cigarettes. The number of cigarettes will depend upon the different moment-to-moment needs of every individual for energy and clarity. In order for the body to survive these exposures with this repeated stress, the immune system’s “resistance phase” will need extra energy and nutrients for the production of extra antibodies. The higher levels of antibodies in the blood attempts to control the chemical nicotine and the array of other carcinogenic foreign bodies that come into the body with the nicotine infused smoke. The body will also need and use more energy and nutrients to complete elimination of these substances from the body’s blood and tissues because they are non-nutritive and life inhibiting. This “resistance phase” will eventually evolve to the “adaptation phase” in the “resistance or adaptation stage” of Dr. Selye’s disease process. The body is evolutionarily programmed to adapt to any mental or physical condition in the world, positive or negative, to make absolutely certain to continue its living processes at all costs. This is why animals can live long periods of time, including the human animal, in the most unlivable conditions and still remain alive and functioning to some limited capacity. The body will tolerate all sorts of stress to its immune system, coping with exceptional mental and physical abilities because of the millions of years of finding out that keeps evolving its genetically control adaptation mechanisms.

As long as the mind and body operates within the parameters of the “resistance or adaptation stage” according to Dr. Selye, it will survive and stay alive. it is a daily operation for the lungs and for the body to breathe air but it’s an impaired function, mentally and/or physically, breathing polluted air because this is not your healthy condition. The body, when adapting to this stress in cigarette smoking, will cope and coexist with them and even acumen satisfaction from the habit over time. The mind and body will get used to their presence in the blood stream in the process of adaptation. When a certain concentration of these tolerated substances and their effects gets low in the circulatory system, the brain or the mind’s interpretation of the feelings of the brain will say, have another cigarette to bring back the effects of nicotine’s stimulation. it is called a craving and its satisfaction is not a very good feeling because it is still a poison, yet there’s a perverted mental sense of gratification that the individual gets in repeated fixes of nicotine smoke. The important thing to know is an addicted smoker could be diagnosed, then be convinced to stop. Within five to seven years the lungs could have again the appearance and function of a non-smoker’s lungs because of the self-healing changes in the lung’s environment of cells and tissues over time. The body will heal itself given the appropriate mind/body healing conditions along with the discontinuance of the immunity’s stress. This is what’s so miraculous about life and how our mind/body experiences ride Nature’s dynamic pendulum. This pendulum, swinging back and forth between our daily consumptions and eliminations, maintains our living balance and their joyous effects of health. Even with a disease, Nature has programmed the body to heal itself and all we must do is cooperate with Nature and stop smoking.

Dr. Selye’s “exhaustion stage” is the third and final stage in the disease process. Just from the name alone, it’s not a very pretty picture. This “exhaustion stage” represents irreversible tissue and cell damage that will not heal because the cells and their instructing programs of DNA are finally dead. This doesn’t mean the remaining parts of the body will not benefit by the elimination of the smoking habit if the person stops in this stage. It just means cells have been lost and no longer live so tissues like the lungs now have a decreased number of cells to now struggle to function. The lungs from a chronic smoking habit in this “exhaustion stage” will have fewer cells to absorb oxygen from the air and fewer cells to expel carbon dioxide from the blood. Carbon dioxide is a body waste product produced from every working cell in the body. The lung cells are styled to eliminate and dispose carbon dioxide outside of our bodies and into the air. A chronic smoker suffocates their own fire of life by inhibiting consumption and decreasing their own oxygen supply and by inhibiting elimination and increasing their own blood concentration of carbon dioxide. When the concentration of carbon dioxide in the blood increases due to incomplete respiratory elimination, it will stress the body’s physiological pH chemistry and cause acidosis. This acidosis is an entire body acumen, occurring over all the tissues supplied by the circulatory system. it’s a supersaturated acid condition of carbon dioxide. it’s not a healthy experience because the body’s chemistry normally wants to be alkaline on the average of 7.4 on the pH acid/base chemistry scale whose measurements are 0-14, where 7 is neutral.

These three stages of the “General Adaptation Syndrome” apply to any of the many non-nutritive foreign body pollutants that enter our mind/body experience through the protective skin barriers of the body, which are the respiratory tract, the gastrointestinal tract and the integument, the outer skin. These non-nutritive foreign bodies include our thoughts as well because there are studies featuring how negative emotions like anger and positive emotions like laughter affect our immunity and our normal physiological pH alkaline biochemistry. The immune systems will be the first to be “alarmed” by these disturbing substances in our internal environment, then the body’s evolutionary programmed balancing mechanisms will “adapt” for a long period of time to any recurrent environmental stressful condition, until the point of physical “exhaustion” when it losses its ability to cope within these tissues affected by the stress. Not being able to cope for a lot of mind/body reasons, the tissues die from suffocation, which is inherently due to deficiencies and excesses. Deficiencies in energy and nutrients and excesses in cell waste and other pollutants. These chronic abuses of licit and illicit immune reactive substances are not nutritive and they need to be removed from the body continuously. They include different types of ingested and bodily manifested gases, liquids and solid materials, some of them we even call food in the modern senses of the word. These external materials are indigestible and not from Nature or they have been altered from the natural source. Even the chronic use of allopathic prescription drugs stress our immune systems and the body doesn’t like being whipped by them.

The nervous system, which is the brain with its hundreds of billions of nerve and other cells and its thousand trillion synaptic connections with its spinal cord, along with the peripheral nerves, keep a constant mindful watch over the entire body. The brain’s language communicates with each peripheral nerve everywhere in the body and the peripheral nerve endings, in everyplace in the body, monitor homeostasis. These nerve endings literally monitor the entire body’s aqueous environments, the environments that surround every cell, evaluating their chemical composition that’s in a pH balance. These nerve endings send constant status reports back to the brain for examination and consideration. The brain then orchestrates all of the commanding responses to keep all of the trillions of different functioning body cells happy. Commands to direct their food supply to their interstitial fluid, the aqueous fluid ocean that the cells live in, and commands to direct cleaning by moving their cell waste away to be eliminated. Our breathing, drinking, eating, sunning, moving, resting and our minding, our mental activity, all have their affects. they’re positive or negative on our feeling states of consciousness, which have an effect also on our chemical homeostatic balance. The individual cells of all the tissues are the main players or citizens of the body and every cell has a say concerning its happiness, which they communicate to the brain through the nervous systems. The cells will communicate to the brain by reacting and responding to their aqueous environments. Because of this vast network of nerves that communicate information, the brain knows all and can direct appropriate actions when there’s any need of the cells and cellular activity anywhere in the body. Needs, which may arise for a cell or for a group of cells, for extra food and for extra cleansing of their environment; so they are free to do their job efficiently on demand to remain vital and stay healthy. Healthy cells will keep the physical brain and its metaphysical mind in a state of happiness. Isn’t that what we all want?

Healthy cells in our bodies need to be exceptionally nourished. Healthy cells in our bodies need to perform the job they were evolutionarily designed to perform for the body because their fellow citizen cells of the body depend on it. Healthy cells want their cell waste from the work they do to be removed and eliminated, so their environment is kept clean. The body’s cells are in a constant process of adaptation to their demanding environments and as long as all the cells are able to do the body’s work all together, health is experienced and disease is prevented. For cells collectively, life is superb when balance is maintained in their environments of consumption and elimination. This all depends upon the brain being a good provider by making sure all the cells get their evolutionarily designed supply of energy and nutrients, their food, and provided the cell’s environment is kept clean. Kept clean by picking up the garbage around the cells and taking it away to the tissues of elimination, which are the kidneys, the large intestines and to the skin. The brain does all this on energy and nutrients because it is made up of cells. Of all the tissues of the body, the brain uses the most amounts of energy and nutrients, more than any other tissue in the entire body. This is the providing work of the brain whose physical observations of its body have to be funneled through the mental interpretations of the mind to create cravings for air, water, food, sunshine, movement and our nightly cleansing rest. All we must do to be healthy is know what is “real” for the mind/body acumen, evolutionarily speaking, and know what is not real. This is the 64 million dollar question these days for everyone living in any of these modern societies in our time.

A healthy mouth is a good example of Nature’s evolutionary balancing act. To understand this process that’s acting between ease and die-ease, which occurs moment to moment in everyday of any animal’s life. Know it will always be about consumption and elimination. The mouth is one little niche of an act in balance that’s part of a greater dynamic process, which is the same in the rest of life’s many alternative environments of Nature. Wild animals don’t need dentists and as you look into their mouths, you will find them free of tooth decay and free of gum disease, no matter what their age. Animals need teeth to eat in order to live because Nature intends them to live and healthy mouths have occurred all throughout evolutionary time, which for mammals is somewhere around 65 million years. Mammals and their natural mouths from the time of the dinosaurs didn’t ever use toothbrushes, toothpastes, toothpicks, dental floss or even mouthwashes. These natural mouths didn’t even flinch with any concerns that there are microorganisms, like bacteria, present in their mouths. All these animal mouths throughout time experienced what’s known to many as “wholeness.”

There are three individual parts participating in this balanced healthy wholeness to consider when understanding this disease free oral environment of wild animals in the past and living today. First, it’s the tissues, which are the teeth with their boney supports, the periodontal gums that are around each tooth, the hinging jaw joints for voicing and chewing movements caused by the opening and closing muscles, the tongue muscle with its taste buds and the salivary glands with their aqueous alkaline fluids. Second, it is the multitudes of microorganisms in the mouth, which constantly labor in the role of keepers of the tranquility in Nature because they process all the dead and decaying biological matter of plants and animals after their life that remains everywhere, including in an animal’s mouth. If microorganisms didn’t process this biological dead and decaying matter of plants and animals, it would all be still piling up around us everyday. It has been said that there are a hundred thousand microorganisms to every square inch of surface and if it is not clean, you will see a mold forming on the organic debris allowing the multiplying microorganisms to grow into multiples of trillions. Third to think about and understand are the foods that animals consume everyday while experiencing this wholeness balance of living, which is probably the most enjoyable part. Food, even the thought of it, can stimulate many responses administered by the brain to many parts of the animal body. The sight, sound, touch, smell and taste of food sends nerve impulses to the brain. The brain’s responses to the nerves signal the bodily juices to initialize flowing to process, assimilate, package and store the energy and nutrients from the foods consumed for present or for later use.

The mouth starts to masticate the food bitten while the taste buds evaluate it and communicate to the brain important data. The salivary gland juices start to digest the food while the brain continually coordinates the movements of the muscles and the tongue to keep putting the food between the closing together of the teeth. The salivary juices also neutralize any acidic matter to protect the body and its oral tissues. The continual presence of the immune system within the salivary juices also protects the body against any intruder that may enter and disturb the peace and harmony of this dynamic system, which includes after swallowing as the food travels down and through the gastrointestinal tract. Once the meal is completed, the microorganisms in the mouth are there to finish the job of eating and to clean the oral environment. Uncooked plant food, produced by Mother Nature, has lots of fibers in it and naturally will brush clean the surfaces of the teeth while chewing. After a meal is complete the tongue will swipe and wipe the tooth surfaces clean, helping to recreate a clean oral environment. Food debris, left after chewing a meal and found mostly between the teeth and just under and along the gum line, are then processed by the microorganisms that are always present in the mouth. The microorganisms act like rubbish collectors and eat the remaining food where the tongue can’t reach to digest it and to further process it for assimilation by the body. This microbial process continues throughout the entire gastrointestinal tact. in fact, our fecal matter is by weight 50% microorganisms of all kinds. Our bodies benefit from these microorganisms in so many ways, including producing nutrients, which microorganisms are sensible for while processing different parts of our consumed meals.

Microorganisms belong with us but their presence in the mouth is not fully stress free. Like all of animal life, microorganisms have an acid excremental habit too. A problem if unchecked, can accumulate in the mouth, and a problem that’s directly proportional to the population of microorganisms in the mouth. This acidic microbial excrement needs to be controlled. in fact, a healthy mouth cultivates its microorganisms like a farmer does with their crops. When it is time to harvest they’re there, both happy and ready for the challenging work. All work will produce waste products and in the mouth this microbial activity and its production of acid waste products is continually checked and neutralized by the alkaline mineral rich salivary fluids. Alkaline salivary fluids, produced by the salivary glands while chewing foods or at rest when not eating, protect the tissues of the mouth from any acidic insult so that any animal can eat with their teeth for life. Microorganisms play an important role in the consumption, digestion, nutrition, assimilation and elimination of the foods consumed by any animal’s body. Without microorganisms, life on this planet could not exist because their job of processing wasting organic debris completes the circle of rolling organic life into inorganic matter so it can be recycled back again into organic life.

Most of the animals on our planet experienced dental health because of this physical natural balancing act, this balancing act existing between their masticating tissues and the always present microorganisms, which process together the foods of Nature’s evolving seasons that are presented to them. The benefits animals receive from this evolutionary adaptive balancing act are healthy oral tissues that last a lifetime. This balancing activity has occurred throughout the evolutionary past, all of the way up to this present day. This physical balancing act, this tranquility between consumption and elimination, exists continually and is ongoing. This natural wholeness in balance appears today, it appeared in the past and it appears, based upon the evolutionary timelines of billions of years, that it will last in the future for billions of years to come. What about the animal specie known as humankind? What about this human animal that’s living today? Is this human animal, one of many animals on this planet, getting identical advantages as the rest of the animal kingdom? Are these human animal experiencing healthy teeth and gums like the rest of Nature’s creatures, today or from the past? The balancing act, even for the human planetary organisms of today, still continues as always but there are some new kinds of stress that pose interesting challenges for today’s civilized surviving human animals. All this stress is unseen in 99.999999% of the evolutionary past.

One example of a modern stress only seen in the human animal today as compared to the wild animals of the past and the present is the cooking of the foods. Wild herbivores and carnivores of the past and present consume their foods unprocessed and straight from the source in a fresh or in the near fresh state. The cooking of plant matter changes the properties of the food and the fiber, for example, no longer acts like a brush to clean the surfaces of the teeth and massage the gums along with the rest of the gastrointestinal tract. The microorganisms in the mouth will grow at an accelerated rate on the cooked food debris left between the teeth and along and just under the gum line because the cooking has accelerated the decaying process of the plant matter. This accelerated growth of microorganisms composts bigger quantities of their acidic cell waste and taxes the ability of the salivary glands to produce enough alkaline fluids to control and neutralize it. These increases in rapid population explosions and their cell wastes become an excremental problem for the mouth’s tissues. The control mechanisms, which have been evolutionarily and genetically determined over millions of years and programmed by Nature’s wholeness, are now being stressed. This uncontrolled and unchecked microbial acidic waste demineralizes the tooth surfaces, locally in and around a tooth’s gum line where the cooked food debris is left and cannot be reached by the tongue.

Microorganisms, now growing and molding to bigger and bigger unnatural numbers, irritate the gums by building cities to live in called plaque that stick to the teeth. This irritation to the gums communicates and stimulates the brain to initiate directive commands for the gums to bleed by increasing the blood pressure there. Bleeding is another line of defense to counter the imbalanced numbers of bacteria, created by the cooked food debris left in the gum line. Bleeding, which also carries the immune cells, combat the microbial infestation as well, while the increased flow of blood helps to wash the irritated areas clean. Bleeding is a balancing corrective directive response by the brain to reverse, control and prevent tissue damage to the gums. If this is a one-time occurrence, an alarm to a non-evolutionary stress, the tissues won’t be harmed but a chronic habit will cause the mind/body to adapt. This is possibly why humans have become aware of oral hygiene over time and have seen the need to help and assist in the body’s balancing process of cleaning the mouth and its oral tissues.

Cooking the foods we eat, evolutionarily speaking, affects the energy and the nutrients that are place in the uncooked food prior to the heating. Deficiencies of energy and nutrients from cooking causes cellular deficiencies of energy and nutrients to the entire body, which will alter normal cellular functions that depend on the energy and nutrients to power their work. Decreased energy and nutrients also affect the brain and the body’s capability to keep all its many tissues and their environments clean, which affect body chemistry going towards the acidic and away from the physiological norm of being alkaline. When we suppress our evolutionary experiences and deviate from the way, Nature’s Way, we cause the body to experience Dr. Selye’s alarm reaction. The heart rate will increase, the blood flow will increase, the immune cells will increase in numbers and if it is a major stress to your life, you might vomit, savvy diarrhea, or have some other symptoms like fever. The allopaths will blame these symptoms on some “so-called” unhealthy microorganism; they made these problems and will treat these symptoms with some anti-life drug. Would it not be better to remove the immune stress and give the immune paradigm a break by giving it more energy and nutrients so it can do its job with less stress? In the midst of today’s challenges, we need to nourish our bodies and minds with the best materials available. We need to recognize stress so we can change our behaviors. Accept our planetary destiny by accepting Nature. Adapt and live the lifestyle the planet intended. A healthier body and mind is more adaptive and resistant to the diseases of imbalances and to these modern challenges that have never been seen in evolutionary time. Your vehicle, your mind/body, and the experiences of it were meant to last a lifetime. We cut our lives short with diseases when we exhaust the body’s natural capacities. These capacities to live that have been adapting to this natural world all through time. To live healthy, like all the wild life with their bodies intact for an entire lifetime.

Remember, your automobile gets its energy from unburned gasoline, no ones burns the gasoline before they put it into their automobile’s tank. identical is true for the mind/body vehicle and how it runs. The mind/body does its work of living on raw energy and nutrients for fuel. Maintaining a quiet and peaceful mind will also conserve energy and generate more harmony in your tissues. With less mental contraction thinking to manifest bodily physical alarm reactions, you will guarantee an easier time of balancing in your tissues. The blood will flow unrestricted to the tissues for better consumption and elimination by the cells and its experienced effect of health and balance. Create this for yourself. understand that having a perfect physical condition and a healthy mind means what the word “healthy” implies, “heal-thy body” and “heal-thy mind.” Healthy is a predicate word in the English language, a verb, which is an action word. it’s a choice, which is an intended action. it is your choice, your action and all you must do is choose it. choose to be healthy like the rest of the wild animals on the planet. If the dinosaurs can have healthy mouths and bodies one hundred million years ago, trust that the same laws of Nature still apply today, which means you can do it too. It just takes some real energy and some real nutrients for this challenging mind/body work. Everything you require to learn and unlearn about health comes from the experiences of your senses and they originate from right there inside of your mind/body life. Your mental and physical senses evolutionarily, genetically and environmentally know what’s real. Take them for a ride down memory lane, Nature’s memory lane. it is your own inner journey; explore that path. You’ll never know what you will discover on that journey until you choose to go there.

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