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Zenlatitudes Newsletter n°2

The newsletter for good news

Hello to all!
This is the second edition of the "Zen latitudes" newsletter"

Stress and managing emotions

While it has become a commonplace to say that the world has been changing at a very fast pace over the last quarter century, it is interesting to note that the definition of the word stress is "change"! Positive change or negative change are both exactly the same physiologically: the body's response to prepare itself to react should there be a change in its immediate surroundings. On a calibrated stress scale, a wedding and a funeral both cause the same levels of stress in physiological terms (acceleration of heart rate, modification of the variability of cardiac frequency, increase in blood pressure, changes in breathing, the interruption of digestion to irrigate the muscles and brain, the release of hormonal substances like adrenaline, etc.)

This preparation for action, or rather, reaction, is positive when it is constructive. However, it becomes harmful if the person under stress cannot manage the wonderful energy nature has provided us with. When this happens, a whole range of disorders appears sooner or later, including sleeping problems, pre-depression symptoms, backache, uncomfortable gastric secretions, spastic colon, etc. Even psoriasis and certain types of headache are thought to be indications of poorly managed stress...

How can stress be relieved? Sport is, of course, a wonderful way known to all but it has to be done on a regular basis (so that it doesn't become stressful in itself) and for a minimum amount of time. Experts say three times a week minimum, for 30 to 40 minutes or, according to sports doctors, there will probably be local microtrauma and eventually inflammation, sport's famous tendinitis.

Relaxation is another effective way to complement sport to rebalance the tension accumulated in the body and, particularly, in the autonomic nervous system, our automatic pilot.

A new technology appeared about fifteen years ago: cardiac coherence biofeedback. What is it? PC software and a pulse captor on the ear or finger  enables you to visualize the appearance of heart rate variability which is directly correlated with breathing. When you breath in, your heart naturally accelerates and when your breath out, it slows down. When it is balanced you see a real-time curve showing this gradual acceleration and deceleration. This means that the nervous system is well-adjusted. If, instead of a curve that is more or less sinusoidal in shape, you see a broken and chaotic line, this means that the time intervals between each heartbeat are not coherent: your nervous system is in chaos.

Incoherent cardiac rhythm Coherent cardiac rhythm

Thanks to this software and a few breathing and mental exercises, you can easily learn to manage your emotions and get rid of excess stress.

It should be pointed out that people who do sports on a regular basis generally have good cardiac coherence, an indication of regular exercise with thousands of repetitions of muscle tensing and relaxing. These provide a kind of automatic regulation of the nervous system. Cardiac coherence biofeedback should be viewed as an inidicator of the overall equilibrium of the automatic pilot and not as a cardiac measurement tool. The two nervous branches which make up the autonomic nervous system innerve not only the heart, but also all of the organs. This means that when the heart is balanced it's easy to conclude that the same equilibrium is also found throughout the body.

As Dr Servan Schreiber points out in his latest book called "Anticancer", there is an anticancer mental attitude. The immune system is under the direct influence of the emotional nervous system. In the event of extended stress, immune defenses begin to flag and we become more open to bacterial and viral attack. But Dr Servan Schreiber goes further and draws our attention to the cancerous cells which he believes develop all the time but are naturally eliminated when we are emotionally healthy.
Managing emotions is therefore important both for preventing the development of  known functional diseases which account for 80% of all visits to the family doctor (...) but also for limiting insofar as possible the potential development of cancer... A very good reason to take a close look at our emotional management...

I highly recommend that you read this book which can be read in one sitting. It is well written and, I believe, very well documented. After reading it, you won't look at the world the same way and it will, without a doubt, lead you to think about the quality of your emotional life...

For more information:

PS: note that a new BIO-BALANCE Home Version of the cardiac coherence software will soon be online for 295 USD (including all taxes) + shipping costs.