Stress is the body’s reaction to any change that requires an adjustment or response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses. Stress is a normal part of life. Many events that happen to us and around us – and many things that we do ourselves – put stress on our bodies. We can experience stress from our environment, our bodies, and our thoughts.

Stress becomes negative when a person perceives that “demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize.” Many of our patients are very stressed when they arrive to our programs. Their lives have become unmanageable and they have been forced to seek help. They may be suffering from a fatal medical condition. The fear of suffering or dying causes a lot of intense feelings.

Our strategies consist primarily in helping to alleviate any pent up emotions such as pain, sadness or anger. We then endeavor to help create an understanding of what belief system or set of expectations has lead to this feeling of being overwhelmed.

In your daily medical visits you will learn to identify the key sources of stress in your life. You will learn to recognize your patterns of reaction to perceived stressful situation and learn to undo these reactions and replace them with watchful awareness. The importance of making an effort to reduce stress on a daily basis is emphasized. Continued stress can cause permanent changes in the limbic system in the brain that will lead to other conditions. Creating a daily stress reduction strategy that forms part of a patient’s daily basic needs like sleep, food, sex, shelter is imperative to ensure a long, healthy and happy life.

Stress Reduction Methods

Laughter Therapy

Laughter is a great tool for diffusing and reducing stress. It has tremendous benefits for mental emotional and physical health. Laughter has been said to have effects similar to physical exercise. It is a “stationary jogging” as Fry says. “When you laugh, your chest, thorax and abdominal muscles, as well as your diaphragm, heart lungs and possibly your liver contract. A belly laugh can make your systolic blood pressure soar from an average of 120 to a hypertensive 200, and it can double your pulse rate from 60 to 120 beats per minute. Laughing also pumps extra adrenalin into your blood stream. After a good laugh all systems return to normal or even a little below normal, resulting in less stress, hypertension and muscle tension headaches, as well as an all around good feeling.

Massage Therapy

Massage therapy is the scientific manipulation of the soft tissues of the body for the purpose of normalizing those tissues. It has been used for thousands of years to promote wellness and treat pain. Massage relieves muscle tension, stimulates the nerves, and stretches muscles and connective tissue. It promotes healing by moving blood and lymph and increasing oxygen supply to the cells. Massage may be effective in many conditions: stress-related insomnia and headaches, muscle and joint pain, back pain, depression, anxiety, digestive disorders, sports injuries and cancer pain. Most commonly used is Swedish and Thai massage.


Sleep is a basic physiological need to sustain life. Sleep fulfills important functions: physiological, physical and psychological restoration, hormonal secretion, cell repair, immune functions, memory consolidation and communication with our soul. Quality sleep and good rest is essential in our residential programs. Sleep and rest is an important part of healing. During sleep the body repairs and regenerates. Sleep lowers stress and improves the mood. It has a direct impact on our ability to process and retain information. Good rest is essential for maintaining quality of life and emotional health.

Stress Management

Stress management involves deliberate and conscious attempts to reduce stress when stress is observed or during obviously stressful times. Since stress is very prevalent in modern life, individuals are encouraged to make stress management part of a daily routine. We all need stress management skills and stress reduction has become a basic need like food, shelter and sleep. We educate patients on stress reduction techniques and empower individuals with tools to gain control over stress in daily life.