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April 8, 2009     The Issaquah Press
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April 8, 2009

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THE ISSAQUAH PRESS WEDNESDAY, APRIL S, 2009 B5 Learn the fi00e deadly myths about stress BY MORTON C. ORMAN ach year, millions of Americans die of stress- related illnesses. Heart disease, strokes and even some forms of can- cer may be caused by stress in certain individuals. If we include the considerable damage done by smoking, overeating, alcohol and drugs -- all commonly used to cope with stress -- we can see that we are in the midst of a major epidemic with serious, often fatal, conse- quences. Many of these deaths could be averted. The No. 1 cause of stress today is not overcrowding, grid- lock, stressful work conditions or the economy --it is misinforma- tion. We have many myths and misconceptions about stress that are widespread in our society. Un- fortunately, these myths and mis- conceptions are shared by most stress experts and health profes- sionals as well. Thus, a major problem we all face today is that much of what we've been taught about stress is- n't really true! Myth No. 1: Stress is inevitable - there's little we can do to prevent or eliminate It. Fact: Stress is not an inevitable part of life. Millions of people lead relatively stress-free lives. When exposed to identical situations, some people experience high de- grees of stress while others expe- rience little or none. More impor- tantly, many people have success- fully changed themselves from "high-stress" to "low-stress" indi- viduals. Myth No. 2: Stress Is something we can cope th or deal with directly. Fact: Stress is not something you, I or anyone else can cope with directly. Contrary to popular belief, stress is not some "thing" that exists or afflicts us like a dis- ease. "Stress" is merely a word that we use to stand for hundreds of specific problems and conflicts we experience from time to time. Some of these problems exist outside our bodies, such as rela- tionship conflicts, work-related pressures, and other external obli- gations or demands. Others occur inside our bodies, such as feeling tense, angry, worried or de- pressed. This means we have all been trained to think about stress in- correctly. Instead of asking, "What can I do to cope with my stress?" ,y,0u should be asking yourself, 'What specific problems or con- flicts are troubling me, and how can I deal with each of these prob- lems effectively?" Myth No. 3: Some degree of stress is geod or healthy for us. , Fact: There is nosuch thing as good or healthy stress. Also, there is no truth to the rumor that some degree of stress is neces- sary for us to be happy, successful or maximally productive in our jobs. These myths arise from failing to appreciate that stress is just a word. While many experiences in life can excite us, such as movies, plays and athletic events, these experiences have nothing at all to do with stress (i.e. problems and conflicts that are painful or trou- bling to us). Instead of encouraging people to believe this myth, we should teach our children that much of the pain and suffering people en- dure in the name of "good stress" is unnecessary. The truth is most of this stress could be eliminated WARNING Before changing or abandoning any stress-reducing practice, dis- cuss your plans with a physician, therapist or other health care provider. Hopefully, the informa- tion contained in this article will cause you to question some of the coping strategies you are presently using. But if you aban- don these strategies prematurely, that is before you have mastered ones of equal or greater value, you could cause yourself harm. without any adverse effects on our health, happiness or productivity. Myth No. 4: The best way to deal with stress is to manage It - i.e. make It go away with physical exercise, medi- tation, blofeedbeck or other relax- atlon techniques, Fact: The most damaging belief we have today is that the best way to deal with our stress is to manage it. Most people have al- ready discovered, however, that stress management techniques are'often ineffective. They are poor strategies for dealing with certain types oi problems, such as the death of a loved one or the los of y n" job. But tin biggest drawback to managing stress is that it only deals with the symptoms of our problems. It rarely helps us to clarify or deal with the underly- ing causes of our difficulties: Since we never correct the root causes of our problems, they will continue to occur, over and over again. Myth No. 5: Our mind plays a role In much of the stress we expedence. Fact: While you probably be- lieve that your mind plays a role in much of the stress you experi- ence, this is also a myth. If you'v.e ever wondered, ",,Why do I keep feeling bad? or Why do I act the same way over and over again even though I know bet- ter?" you probably believe the answer has something to do ,with your mind. In addition, if you ve ever tried to change any habitual thought, feeling or behavior pat- tern, you've probably tried to do so by using some type of mind- control or mental-change tech- nique. Biolinguistics shows that our bodies, not our minds, are re- sponsible for much of the stress we experience. As we grow and develop, certain stress-producing conversations, such as "I'm no good" or "There's nothing I can STRESS FALLS 75 percent of the general popula- tion experiences at least =some stress" every two weeks, according to a National Health interview sur- vey. Half of those experience moder- ate or high levels of stress during the same two-week period, Millions of Americans suffer from unhealthy levels of stress at work. (h study several years ago estimated the number to be 11 million -given events since that time, this number has certainly more than tripled. Studies in Sweden, Canada and other Westernized countries show similar trends.) Worker's compensation claims for "mental stress" in California rose 200 percent to 700 percent in the 1980s, whereas all other causes remained stable or declined. Stress contributes to heart dis- ease, high blood pressure, strokes and other illnesses in many individu- als. Stress also affects the immune system, which protects us from many serious diseases. Tranquilizers, antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications account for one-fourth of all prescriptions written in the U.S. each year. Stress also contributes to the development of alcoholism, obesity, suicide, drug addiction, cigarette addiction and other harmful behav- iors. do about my problems," and stress-producing action patterns, such as "failing to ask for help" or "failing to admit you may be wrong," become programmed into our bodies. Dr. Morton C. Orman is the author of'The 14-Day Stress Cure." Learn more at www.stresscure, com. SOLID ROCK COUNSELING CENTER Compassionate, Convenient, Competent Christian Counseling that WORKS! Counseling available for all emotional and mental health needs, for all ages. In-office, telephone, and internet sessions available. REBECCA TURNER, L.P.C. "Rebecca literally saved my life! In a very short amount of time, she 425.454. accomplishedwhatothercounselorscouldnotdoafter20+yearsoftherapy..." 00oeryone 00eeds a 00ittle @'elp aed qhen... Stress Patty Groves, M.A. Depression Issaquah Creek Counseling Center Life Transitions 545 Rainier Blvd. N., Issaquah Loss and Grief www.issaquahcreekcounseling.com Relationship Problems 425 898-1700 THOMAS R. QUICKSTAD, DDS FAMILY DENTISTRY ON THE PLATEAU SINCE 1989 .... : ................ : i'i i: [: SERVICES AVAILABLE: Preventive Cleanings Digital X-ray (75% less radiation) Cosmetic Veneers Sealants Crowns Dentures Teeth Bleaching Bridges Extractions Fillings Implants 425-391-1331 3707 Providence Point. Dr. SE NEW PATIENTS WELCOME Issaquah, WA 98029 Issaquah Women's Clinic Dr. Holmes Board Certified in Obstetrics & Gynecology NOW OPP_::N Services include - Obstetrics Gynecology Infertility Menopause Urinary Incontinence Natural Supplements In office uterine ablation for heavyperiods In office Essureforpermanent birth control Call to schedule your appointment 425.651.4338 Mon - Fri 10am-6pm 22500 SE 64th PI., Suite 120 Issaquah, WA 98027 Surprise your friends with a happyad Happy Birthday! Happy Anniversary! Congratulations! 1"x4" AD $39.00 ISSAQUAH PRESS 425-392-6434 Celebrating with you since 1900! specializing in the following: , Family Medicine Gastrointestinal Issues Chronic Disease Women's Health Many other conditions www.absolutewellnessclinic.com 465 Rainier Blvd N Suite A - Issaquah 425.392.5321 Swedish to host annual brain cancer walk May 30 May is National Brain Tumor Awareness month and as a re- sult, Swedish Hospital is gearing up for its second annual Seattle Brain Cancer Walk on May 30. The event is dedicated to pro- viding hope and creating com- munity for the 1,500 patients in the Pacific Northwest who face the deadliest form of cancer -- brain cancer. With most patients given a survival rate of one to two years, the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk is an important tribute to the fight for time, hope and new treatment op- tions. Benefitting the Center for Ad- vanced Brain Tumor Treatment at Swedish's Neuroscience Insti- tute, the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk raises funds to support ground-breaking research and dedicated patient care in our community. Last year, 22,000 Americans were diagnosed with brain can- cer. 0nly two. treatments for brain cancer have been ap- proved by the Federal Drug Ad- ministration in the past 25 years. Last year, the Seattle Brain Cancer Walk brought out 500 participants and raised more than $100,000 to support re- search for new treatments. The walk will be at the Mercer Island High School track, 9100 S.E. 42nd St., Mercer Island. Cost is $25 per person through May 26, and $30 per person the day of the event. All registrations include a T-shirt. Learn more at www.brain- cancerwalk.org. Lake Smmmish Physical Therapy Athletic Rehabilitation SPECIALIZING IN... - Neck and Back tnjuries Sports Injuries PostSurgicat Rehabifation Pool Therapy Rebecca Duda, PT, OCS Board Certified Clinical Specialist Orthopedic Physical Therapy 425.391.5504 6520 226th PI, SE Suite 201, ssaquah Serving tssaquah since 1988 Meadow Creek Professional Center April is Stress Awareness Month  What are you reduce stress? RISER u MEDICAL/DENTAL DIRECTORY OF ISSAQUAH CHIROPRACTORS Klahanie Chiropractic Dr Ken Lichtenwalter, BA, D.C. Dr. Benjamin Britton, D.C., C.C.S.P. Located in the Klahanie Village Shopping Ctr. (425) 391-5050 COUNSELING ; M00.NT00 River Valley Psychological Services 5837 221st PI. S.E. Issaquah, WA 98027 (425) 391-0887 Sharon Pellegrini, Patient Care Coordinator Kevin Connolly, Ph.D. David Forrest, Ph.D Marisol Henley, Ph.D Mary Hendrickson, Ph.D. Elizabeth Irwin, Ph.D Beatrice Joe, LMFT Maria Elena Lara, Ph.D. Thinagara Jayakumar, M.D. Heidi Summers, M.D. John Sutton-Gamache, Ph.D Launi Treeee, Ph.D. Janyee Vick, LMFT DENTISTS Barry Feder, D.D.S., P.S. Mark Germack, D.D.S. Family Dentistry 450 NW Gilman Blvd., Suite 103 Issaquah, (425) 392-7541 Jonathan A. Levey, D.D.S. Pine Lake Dental/Medical Center 22725 SE 29th Street, #B Sammamish, (425) 391-5511 OPTHAMOLOGISTS Eye Clinic of Issaquah 450 NW Gilman Blvd., Suite 202 Issaquah, (425) 391-8602 www. eyeclinicofbellevue.com James L. Stroh, M.D. Stephanie T. Phan, M.D. Michael Rizen, M.D. Ph.D OPTOMETRISTS Dr. Walter V. Cassidy Dr. Stephan L. Cassidy Issaquah Vision Clinic 450 NW Gilman Blvd., Suite 104 Issaquah, (425) 392-8756, (425) 747-8283 NewVision EyeCare Kerry J. Moscovitz, O.D. Pine Lake Dental-Medical Center 22741 SE 29th Street Sammamish, (425) 392-2196 www.newvision-eyeeare, tom PW00SICIANS Mark F. Bressler, M.D. Issaquah Dermatology Issaquah Professional Center 85 NWAlder PI., Suite A Issaquah, (425) 391-5533 VIRGINIA MASON ISSAQUAH 100 NE Gilman Blvd. (425) 557-8000 Primary_ Care Family Practice Internal Medicine Pediatrics Special Care Audiology/Hearing Aid Services Gastroenterology General Surgery Ophthalmology Cataract Surgery Laser Refractive Surgery Corneal Transplants Optometry Contacts & Glasses Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose, & Throat) Occupational Therapy Podiatry Urology