Tag Archives: stress

Listening to this recording regularly can help you to cultivate a state of relaxation, let go of your thoughts and allow your body to rest so that your sleep might become more and more effortless.

The recording of Dr. Babbel’s CD’s started upon the request of her clients who found her voice soothing and comforting. As she continued to create guided meditations for her clients she was encouraged to make them public so that others might benefit from them as well. The intention of the CD is not only to create restful sleep but also to reach a sense of calmness, tranquility, and peacefulness.

Dr. Babbel is a certified client-centered hypnotherapist, licensed psychotherapist with a private proactive in San Francisco, and many articles related to trauma for Psychology Today Blog.

This CD is intended to enhance your sleep and to help you relax. It is NOT intended to be a substitute for any medical or psychological care. If you have any kind of mental, emotional, physical or neurological condition, we suggest you consult with a physician or therapist and use this CD under their supervision. Those with a history of seizure, epilepsy, or clinical depression should consult a physician before using this product. Do not use the CD while driving, operating any machinery, or when you need to be alert. Only listen to it when you can safely relax or sleep. Using the CD is at your own risk and Dr. Babbel does not assume any responsibility for any improper use of this CD. 

 

Hello Barbara,

By observing my clients, I have found that most health problems are related to psychological stress and may not go away until the right solution has been found. As I explained in the article “Physiology of Trauma”, during a traumatic event the body excretes hormones to help the body not only to prepare a person to fight, fight, or flee a situation but also to block out pain. Often, even though ones traumatic experience happened a long time ago, their nervous system still produces stress hormones and acts as if they are in the same situation. As a result, one might not only experience psychological symptoms such as depression and anxiety but also might experience physical symptoms such depleted adrenal glands, constipation, numbness, headaches, and memory loss. In my practice, I help people to restore a balanced nervous system by addressing their psychological issues. What nutritional advice could you give people to boost their body after a long stretch of stress on their body?

Barbara Clark:

I have seen good results with what I call the” Low Stress Diet”. The objectives are to minimize metabolic stress, support detoxification, and enhance overall health.

General Rules:

·  Eat whole foods as provided by nature; vegetables are especially beneficial, organic whenever available.

·  Eat raw foods with every meal. The best raw foods are salads. (The enzymes in raw foods help digest your food)

·  Eat small meals, but eat as often as you are hungry. (To keep your blood sugar balanced) Many people overeat at one particular meal and overload their digestion! The same amount of food eaten in smaller quantities, several times per day, would not impose a burden.

·  Best between-meal-snack: vegetables. Best dessert: fruit.

·  To improve a poor appetite, normalize excessive appetite or lose weight, eliminate sugar and starches.

·   Drink lots of pure water (free of chlorine and fluorides)-1/2 your body weight in oz. every day, example: 150 lbs:2=75 oz of water, which is about 2 quarts or roughly 9 glasses.

·  The less sugar, refined carbohydrates and processed foods you eat, the healthier you will become.

Important! Eliminate foods that contain:

· Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats

· Preservatives

· Artificial sweeteners

· High fructose corn syrup

I suggest this diet as a first step to regenerate physical health. Lifestyle, appropriate exercise and a healthy sleeping patterns are just as important. I may suggest testing for food intolerances or biochemical imbalances such as neurotransmitters or hormones. I also may suggest certain high quality nutritional supplements which will be tailored to the individual needs. However, a good basic plan will include a multivitamin, B vitamins and fish oil. Digestive enzymes and herbs for adrenal support are often also part of the protocol.

Dr. Babbel:

Could you explain why it is called a low stress diet and why does this diet might help someone who is depressed?

Barbara Clark:

We live in a junk food epidemic, and most everybody is undernourished on a cellular level as never before. We often can’t limit our consumption of stressful sweets, high fructose sodas, caffeine and other fast foods, and often we don’t eat at all. But the more stress we are under the better we have to eat to keep our strength. Most fast food is low in nutrients and high in system shocking sugar, rancid fats and chemicals, so it actually adds to our stress load instead of subtracting from it.

Keeping your blood sugar steady is very important for optimal functioning of serotonin and Beta Endorphins.
-Eating whole, unrefined foods is important for our physical body and brain to get the benefit of all necessary protein, vitamins and minerals for optimal function.
-Proteins are building blocks to amino acids which are necessary for proper neurotransmitter functioning.
-Fruits and vegetables supply the necessary vitamin and minerals.
-Good fats (such as olive oil, flaxseed oil, coconut oil, limited amount of organic butter, fish oil, avocados, nuts and seeds) are also necessary to feed our brain properly which consists of approx. 70% fat. Sugar and simple carbohydrates are mostly devoid of any kind of good and necessary nutrients.

I hope that the above suggestions will be helpful to your readers. For more information I offer your readers to visit my website www.marinnutrition.com where they can find my contact information.

Trauma leaves memories not only in the mind but also in the body. Sapolsky explains that PTSD is a physiological reaction to overwhelming and ongoing stress and is a fight or flight response. As a result, specific hormones are released that alter such things as skin sensitivity, alertness, heart rate, digestion, and learning skills. Additionally, hormones such as cortisol are excreted to expand pain tolerance. Cortisol can also cause hypervigilance, preparing the traumatized person to act at a moment’s notice.

Other physiological reactions include an adrenaline rush which can raise heart rate, cause heart palpitations, produce pupil dilation (increasing visual changes), and stop digestive physiology. Due to a disbursement of glucocorticoids, the body may react with constipation, diarrhea, headaches, and sleep disturbances. Epinephrine and norepinephrine slow down the blood flow to the digestive system and extremities. These hormones can even inhibit learning skills and cause attention deficit or confusion.

Studies have found that sexually abused women and veterans show a decrease in the size of the hippocampus, causing learning and memory loss.

PTSD affects parts of the brain that are associated with language, visual, and motor responses. During flashbacks, the Broca areas of the brain (responsible for verbal functions) slow down which may cause an inhibition of verbal expression of feelings while sensorimotor memories including visual images, tastes, sounds, smells, anxieties, fears, and pressures can still be recalled.

All non-verbal messages (such as those perceived by our senses) are collected in the implicit memory (subconsciously) whereas verbal messages are processed by the linear language centers of the brain and are stored in explicit memory (consciously) for easy access. Rothschild explains, “When PTSD splits mind and body, implicitly remembered images, emotions, somatic sensations, and behaviors become disengaged from explicitly stored facts and meanings about the traumatic event(s), whether they are consciously remembered or not.” van der Kolk emphasizes that contemporary research on the biology of PTSD affirms that stress hormones and memory processing are altered by traumatic events. It is now thought that people hold an implicit memory of trauma in their brains and bodies.

Candace Pert, author of Molecules of Emotions: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine, suggests that not only does the brain carry memories but that cells and proteins (referred to as neuropeptides) hold and transport them throughout the entire body. Levine points out that memories are not literal recordings of events but rather a complex of images that are influenced by arousal, emotional context, and prior experience. Memories may even transform over time as new experiences add layers of meaning to the images.

Levine asserts that psychological wounds are reversible and that healing comes when physical and mental releases occur.

In order to understand and recognize trauma responses one needs to be familiar with the concept of trauma and its symptoms. Originally trauma was associated with someone who was directly exposed to a traumatic event. However, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV) broadened the definition of trauma to include people who were not directly involved in the traumatic event but who learned about a traumatic event experienced by another. The DSM IV defines trauma as experiencing an event outside the range of usual human experience that would be markedly distressing to almost anyone; a serious threat to his or her life or physical integrity; serious threat or harm to his children, spouse, or other close relatives or friends; sudden destruction of his home or community; or seeing another person seriously injured or killed in an accident or by physical violence.

Trauma symptoms can be expressed days, months, or even years after the traumatic event. Symptoms may suddenly arrive through a trigger in the environment and might appear as emotional, cognitive, or physical symptoms. Sometimes the mind is not able to make sense of the internal signals, especially when the person has experienced an overwhelming event or stressful situation. The mind might continue to communicate to the nervous system the necessity to prepare to flee, fight, or freeze. Adrenaline is disbursed and the cycle might perpetually continue until the body-mind perceives that it is safe and resourced again and recognizes it can rest. We do not choose the emotions we feel, but we have choices about what we do with them. Bessel van der Kolk  explains that one important aspect of trauma treatment is to stay in the present without feeling or behaving according to irrelevant demands belonging to the past. Psychologically, this means that traumatic experiences need to be located in time and place and distinguished from current reality.

One tool that somatic psychotherapists employ is the tool of body awareness. This enhances our ability to stay in the here and now. There are many more tools and each theory has its own techniques. More than three out of four Americans can expect to be exposed to a traumatic event at least once in their lives. One third of those exposed to trauma develop chronic or at least transient symptoms of PTSD [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder]. Sapolsky explains that PTSD is a physiological reaction to overwhelming and ongoing stress and is a fight or flight response. As a result, specific hormones are released that alter such things as skin sensitivity, alertness, heart rate, digestion, and learning skills. Additionally, hormones such as cortisol are excreted to expand pain tolerance. Cortisol can also cause hypervigilance, preparing the traumatized person to act at a moment’s notice. Other physiological reactions include an adrenaline rush which can raise heart rate, cause heart palpitations, produce pupil dilation (increasing visual changes), and stop digestive physiology. Due to a disbursement of glucocorticoids, the body may react with constipation, diarrhea, headaches, and sleep disturbances. Epinephrine and norepinephrine slow down the blood flow to the digestive system and extremities. These hormones can even inhibit learning skills and cause attention deficit or confusion.

Studies have found that sexually abused women and veterans show a decrease in the size of the hippocampus, causing learning and memory loss. PTSD affects parts of the brain that are associated with language, visual, and motor responses. During flashbacks, the Broca areas of the brain (responsible for verbal functions) slow down which may cause an inhibition of verbal expression of feelings while sensorimotor memories including visual images, tastes, sounds, smells, anxieties, fears, and pressures can still be recalled.

Trauma leaves memories not only in the mind but also in the body. All non-verbal messages (such as those perceived by our senses) are collected in the implicit memory (subconsciously)whereas verbal messages are processed by the linear language centers of the brain and are stored in explicit memory (consciously) for easy access. Rothschild explains, “When PTSD splits mind and body, implicitly remembered images, emotions, somatic sensations, and behaviors become disengaged from explicitly stored facts and meanings about the traumatic event(s), whether they are consciously remembered or not”. Van der Kolk emphasizes that contemporary research on the biology of PTSD affirms that stress hormones and memory processing are altered by traumatic events. It is now thought that people hold an implicit memory of trauma in their brains and bodies.

Candace Pert, author of Molecules of Emotions: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine, suggests that not only does the brain carry memories but that cells and proteins (referred to as neuropeptides) hold and transport them throughout the entire body. Levine points out that memories are not literal recordings of events but rather a complex of images that are influenced by arousal, emotional context, and prior experience. Memories may even transform over time as new experiences add layers of meaning to the images. Levine asserts that psychological wounds are reversible and that healing comes when physical and mental releases occur. According to Levine somatic psychology offers tools to effect these releases by raising body awareness and first locating feelings in the body.