Chronic stress isn't just a headache or an annoyance. It's a physical change in your body. And some of these changes over time can be life-threatening . . .
- The World Health Organization has called stress "the epidemic of the 21st century"; and
- The American Medical Association says 80-85% of all doctor's visits can be traced back to stress."
People think of stress as something that keeps them up at night or something that makes them yell at their kids," says Dr. Carol Shively, Ph D., a professor and medical researcher at Wake Forest School of Medicine.
As Dr. Shively and other researchers have demonstrated, the physical changes our body goes through in response to stress may be helpful over the short term.
But over the long
Stress' fatal impact isn't just felt in your heart and blood vessels. It works its deadly fingers deep into your very cells, impacting your lifespan at the genetic level.
One landmark study demonstrated this like no other. University of San Francisco researchers tracked 58 mothers aged twenty to fifty. About 40 of these mothers had
The mothers who had enormous caretaking burdens on them due to their child's illness reported much more stress,
The scientists then decided to look at the mother's DNA. What they found was shocking . . .
See, each strand of DNA is protected by little shields called telomeres. Telomeres are kind of like the plastic tip of shoelaces. They prevent the DNA from becoming unraveled.Interestingly enough, the length of your telomeres can tell you how much your body's aged.
And the telomeres of the women who reported being under the most stress were a good 10 years older than the women who were under the least amount of stress. This had nothing to do with the women's actual age.
In other words,
Stress made these women age faster at the genetic level!Several other studies on both adults and children have shown the same thing. [4,5,6]As the lead researcher of the first study, Nobel prize winner and biochemist, Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, Ph. D.
Occasional stress isn't necessarily harmful. Your body can recover from it.
But when you're living under chronic stress, you could be writing yourself an early death sentence.However, there are some powerful ways to shrink this health-
You Can Find Relief From Stress's Destructive Force
You don't have to get stressed out about finding stress relief. You have many simple and natural tools at your disposal to help you contend with its effects:
Exercise raises your body's stress threshold and over time helps your body react to stress less dramatically.Sleep helps your body recover from stress. Simply not getting sufficient sleep can increase your body's production of stress hormones.
Meditation - even as little as 5 minutes - can help shift your body's stress response and help you
Nature has also provided a powerful stress mediator in the form of the herb eleuthero. An adaptogenic herb, eleuthero helps your body adapt to stressors in your life.
While eleuthero can't necessarily dissolve plaque in your arteries or save your telomeres, eleuthero has the amazing ability to:
help your body take on stressful situations better;
help your body normalize from a stress response faster.
Many herbalists consider eleuthero one of nature's most powerful herbs for all-over vitality and wellness. And it's incredibly safe. One of the most extensively researched herbs, eleuthero has no documented side effects.Worried about the day ahead of you? Instead of coffee, reach for eleuthero. Its gentle, stabilizing energy will give you the wherewithal to take on the challenges you face without losing your cool. And to ensure you're only getting eleuthero's clean, invigorating nutritional power, look for organic eleuthero.
About Dr. Matthias K. Maas, D.C.
Dr. Matthias K. Maas earned his degree at Palmer College of Chiropractic. Dr. Maas is a Doctor of Chiropractic who specializes in natural health, proper and practical nutrition, nutritional therapy, Contact Reflex Analysis, and Alternative Health Therapies. He has been practicing Chiropractic since 1990. Dr. Maas is a member of the International Foundation for Nutrition and Health as well as the Foundation of Nutritional Therapy and Advanced Nutritional Therapy.
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 Stress: Portrait of a Killer. National Geographic (2008).
 Shively CA et al. Social Stress, Visceral Obesity, and Coronary Artery Atherosclerosis in Female Primates. Obesity (2009) 17 8, 1513-1520.
 O'Brien J. Study Suggests Link Between Psychological Stress And Cell Aging. UC San Francisco website. 2004.
 Drury, S. S. et al. Telomere length and early severe social deprivation: Linking early adversity and cellular aging. Mol. Psychiatr. advance online publication doi:10.1038/mp.2011.53 (2011).
 Kananen, L. et al. Childhood adversities are associated with
 Tyrka, A. R. et al. Childhood