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Stress & Wellness
Chronic Back Pain



Pat Jones, MS,RN,CS
  Stress and Wellness  

That the mind and the body are interrelated, interactive, or perhaps just different names for the same thing, is by now widely accepted and supposedly understood by most - at least in theory. But in practice there is a strong persisting tendency to split the mind from the body and to devote to each an entirely separate approach and mode of understanding.

Best results for all treatments of every kind of condition or illness, whether of the mind, the body, or of some unspecified mixture of both, follow from the balanced, comprehensive, nuanced attention to the total welfare of the person in his environment.

The so-called holistic or biopsychosocial approach to illness and coping is perhaps still more honored in the breach than in the observance - but it is only common sense that the overall condition and well-being of the individual ought to be kept in mind and enhanced as a fundamental basis for any particular treatment of a specific condition.

The stress of life is unavoidable - but it can usually be managed and shaped to produce the optimum health and happiness for the individual under the existing circumstances. Broadly definable in terms of the classic 'fight or flight reaction,' stressful states in modern man typically arise and are perpetuated in conditions where neither fight nor flight is realistic or acceptable. The result may be a state of chronic and unresolved tension and stress affecting both the physical and emotional well-being of the person. The adverse medical consequences of chronic stress and tension are well-known and amply documented, including an increased incidence of many chronic medical illnesses to a more guarded prognosis in those cases which are compounded by ongoing and unrelieved stressful life conditions. Reduction of inner and outer stress is therefore a fundamental and paramount element of basic self-care which not only lessens the unpleasant subjective consequences of neglected or mishandled stress but also improves the basic tone and physiological health of the human organism.

States of emotional and psychological distress are inherently stressful and thus tend to build on themselves and establish classic 'vicious circles' in which individuals experiencing transient disturbances of coping or functioning may find themselves caught in a downward spiral of progressively ineffective or impaired self-care at the very time they most require their full health and personal resources in order to surmount the problems they are encountering.

A wide variety of proven stress management and reduction techniques exist and constitute a powerful therapeutic armamentarium which can assist the re-establishment of psychological as well as physical health and homeostasis for individuals swept away by the turmoil of their inner and outer lives.

All stress management begins and remains grounded in basic principles of self-care with strong behavioral(action) overtones, e.g. (1) don't do things that are bad for you, and (2) do do things that are good for you. But because the susceptibility of human beings to mental and physical stress is closely related to attitudes and ways of thinking about oneself and life, examination and change of such often unexamined assumptions figures prominently in individualized personal stress management programs provided by skilled stress management consultants.


Biofeedback Information

Emotional Stress and Wellness Links Health and Wellness Center

Medline Plus Wellness and Lifestyle Topics
National Library of Medicine

Seniors Wellness

Stress Management and Emotional Wellness Links

Wellness Information
American Association of Retired Persons(AARP).

Wellness Junction

The Wellness Letter
University of California at Berkeley Wellness Web