Emotions and that Term called Stress

by Armand Crolli

stressEveryone is talking about stress.  People often use various phrases like: 

  • I am stressed out.
  • I have too much stress.
  • I am stressed all the time.

What do these statements really mean?  Stress is a general term that is used to describe many states of being that have not been fully examined.  It is similar to saying “I am tired.”  That can have many interpretations, depending on the situation.  

Stress is basically unmanaged emotions or emotional reactions such as: anxiety, fear, frustration, anger, lack of control, etc. that have not been allowed to be fully expressed or acknowledged.  

This is important to realize because emotions are the primary drivers for many of the physiological processes in our bodies, such as the reactions of the nervous system or our hormonal responses.  For example, many people have a blood pressure increase in response to seeing a doctor.  They have a feeling of dread that something bad will be found and this creates the stress response.  

What many people don’t realize is that sustained responses from stress hormones connect to binge eating, insulin resistance, coronary artery disease and to the many so called modern day maladies.  The mind and body are connected.  Many of us participate in an endless game of looking for this nutrient, that spiritual practice technique, this treatment, or that magic herb to keep us in balance.  The search itself is not wrong; however,  if it is functioning as a substitution for work on the belief/mental/emotional realm, the search is of no use.

If someone can learn to self-regulate their emotional response patterns, their state of being translates into a more coherent, focused state of being rather than a chaotic state of being.  This is what people refer to as being centered, balanced, having a sense of well-being, etc.  People having the tools to manage these reactions can directly effect the outcomes of many health challenges that the general population succumbs to.  How many times have you experienced or witnessed someone that has gone through a large amount of stress and then shortly after the stress subsides they come down with a cold?

Being able to see the emotional and stress correlation leads to greater health and vitality.  How will you choose to navigate this road?


So, Why Are You Working On My Feet When It Is My Neck That Hurts?


rolfingNine years ago I was diagnosed with a herniation at C5/6 in my neck. I was told I would need surgery after the physical therapists could not help. I had done my research and surgery was not going to be an option. I found a well known yoga instructor who did work with back issues and the first thing he said was “I can’t help you. You need to go get Rolfed (R)!” Even though I never had heard of Rolfing, I managed to find someone who did and my journey began.

During the second session, the Rolfer was working on my feet in a way that was not very soothing! I finally had to ask her what she was doing down there when the problem was in my neck. She responded by telling me that the problem was in my feet, that I had no foundation and it was showing itself up through my spine, all the way to my head!

I have related this story to many of the people who have come to see me for various issues since I became a Rolfer. Dr. Ida Rolf, the originator of Structural Integration, best known as Rolfing, developed a way of working through the body in a systematic way. We refer to this system as the Ten Series. What can happen in other modalities is that you feel pain in some area and you have a therapist work on that area and it feels better…. for a while. Then the pain comes back and off you go for another adjustment. With the Ten Series, we don’t chase pain. We work with principles that guide us. First we start with better breath, then we work on grounding, and so on; constantly keeping in mind why you came to our office in the first place.

What really sets what I do apart from other area therapists is once things are opened up and balanced, I work with you to change your movement patterns so you don’t continue to do the things that started the pain in the first place. You don’t come to get Rolfed so that I can give that “Magic Pill”. You come so that you can change patterns that were at one time helpful, but now are tearing you down. To find BALANCE!

I have come to understand why my body revolted years ago. Every step I took caused my spine to move ever so slightly in an unnatural way. Eventually, the result was pain and then nerve damage. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been very rewarding to find balance and help others to do the same.  

Jeff Castle, Rolfer 

Jeff’s website is www.castlerolfing.com