Monday, December 5, 2011


When humans suppress feelings of stress, the body may produce symptoms to expel the stress elsewhere.

Though often times I have wondered this, I always denied it could be possible.  To me it just didn't seem possible that stress, stress that we are often even unaware of or deny, could affect the body so directly.  
Now I'm more inclined toward believing that it may actually have a real, direct and substantial effect on the body both mentally and physically.

As I have made my rounds from specialist after specialist seemingly bewildered by what is causing these dizzy spells and vertigo, it has made me reflect and search deeper into events surrounding it's first appearance. 

And clearly it came about during a time of much stress.  Though I didn't believe it at first, those closest to me pointed out they felt over the past few years I've had an overwhelming amount of stress in my life.  Then came to mind the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, the Life Stress Scale and a few others that had been briefly touched upon during my years of studying psychology which I didn't give much consideration to back then.
But this same stress is the stuff that can directly have an impact on our bodies.  Especially if one has a weakness already.  
What I mean by that is, if one has a sensitive stomach then experiences a stressful events 9 times out of 10 their stomach will be set off.   And I had a predisposition to dizziness, to vertigo caused by damage to my ear many, many years ago.  They aren't even sure what exactly caused the damage.  So any stress might really affect my vestibular system.  

It's an intriguing thought, because when all the specialists are at a loss for any kind of diagnosis let alone cure it feels like it has become my responsibility as well to research it and health related information.  Even my family doctor said to research it as much as possible in hopes of finding a specialist or researcher who might be able to provide me with a clearer insight into what has actually caused it and how if at all it can be healed.  One of the ear specialist said if I was open to it she would even suggest looking into alternative healing modalities as well.

So in my research the aspect of stress on the body has been brought to my attention.  And one can't help but wonder if stress has played a role in the dizziness.  Though I do believe the computer dizzy spells were around before the stress came into play the past few years.   But of course that doesn't mean it could not have aggravated it some how.  Studies have found that everything from heart disease to infertility can be aggravated if not caused my too much stress.

Herbert Benson wrote a very compelling and interesting book Timeless Healing which touches on the subject.  It's an interesting read.

For now it's an interesting thought, one that needs further research for sure.  Think about it when one feels stress where does it all go, how is it all released.   Does it not build up if there is not a good form of release. Also I would like to understand how to truly release stress once and for all because I believe it can also become so deep ingrained in our bodies that releasing it can be much harder than it may seem. 

I do know that after two short sessions of learning Tai Chi moves my body feels rather different, oh sure muscles are much sorer than expected but a definite sensation of energy being released was felt as well.   A tension in my back, neck, shoulder, and even chest I could literally feel with each movement.  And very odd a few short hours later I experienced vertigo. Could that possibly be from the movement of the Tai Chi.   I'm just not sure.  

For now I guess you could say I'm on a journey of exploration and research.  And pondering if stress is behind a lot more than we think.   If it is or isn't the fact remains it is not exactly a good thing in our daily lives so the less stress, the more ways we find to release it the more healing and better we will all feel. 

Below an example of the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale.  See what your stress level is you just might be surprised. 

Life Event Value Check if this applies
1 Death of spouse 100
2 Divorce 73
3 Marital separation 65
4 Jail term 63
5 Death of close family member 63
6 Personal injury or illness 53
7 Marriage 50
8 Fired at work 47
9 Marital reconciliation 45
10 Retirement 45
11 Change in health of family member 44
12 Pregnancy 40
13 Sex difficulties 39
14 Gain of new family member 39
15 Business readjustment 39
16 Change in financial state 38
17 Death of close friend 37
18 Change to a different line of work 36
19 Change in number of arguments with spouse 35
20 A large mortgage or loan 31
21 Foreclosure of mortgage or loan 30
22 Change in responsibilities at work 29
23 Son or daughter leaving home 29
24 Trouble with in-laws 29
25 Outstanding personal achievement 28
26 Spouse begins or stops work 26
27 Begin or end school/college 26
28 Change in living conditions 25
29 Revision of personal habits 24
30 Trouble with boss 23
31 Change in work hours or conditions 20
32 Change in residence 20
33 Change in school/college 20
34 Change in recreation 19
35 Change in church activities 19
36 Change in social activities 18
37 A moderate loan or mortgage 17
38 Change in sleeping habits 16
39 Change in number of family get-togethers 15
40 Change in eating habits 15
41 Vacation 13
42 Christmas 12
43 Minor violations of the law 11

Your Total
Note: If you experienced the same event more than once, then to gain a more accurate total, add the score again for each extra occurrence of the event.

Score Interpretation

Score Comment
300+ You have a high or very high risk of becoming ill in the near future.
150-299 You have a moderate to high chance of becoming ill in the near future.
<150 You have only a low to moderate chance of becoming ill in the near future.

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