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MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information

For "Informational Use Only".
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  • Body Balance Description
  • Causes of Imbalance

  • Helping The Body Cope With Stress


    We all experience times when we feel sick, and generally we recover, though sometimes it is clear that our body's resilience has been worn down by life events, inner conflict, or poor diet. However, the specific pressures and stresses that led to the breakdown of our defenses are not always so obvious.

    "Homeostasis" is the process of achieving mental and physical harmony and well-being. To maintain it requires caring for both mind and body.


    The body consists of three interdependent realms, the biochemical, the structural, and the psychological, which work together to maintain "homeostasis" - the stable internal environment that sustains life. When faced with a physical or mental challenge, the body adapts to this stress by drawing on its resources in each realm. Generally, the body adapts well to infrequent bouts of stress, but adaptation to persistent stress requires so much energy that it steadily depletes the ability to maintain homeostasis. Long-term adaptation and strain can cause health problems in any of the three realms. For example, a biochemical disorder such as nutritional deficiency or food intolerance may lead to a psychological effect such as depression. A psychological problem could cause loss of appetite and nutritional problems, while a structural problem might cause physical pain that leads to relationship difficulties. In the 1950's, researchers of stress described three stages of adaptation as the body copes with stress over a sustained period of time.


    The body consists of three interdependent realms; biochemical, structural, and psychological. An imbalance in one realm can cause health problems and affect the working of the other two realms.


    How cells, organs, and body systems, such as respiration, digestions, and the lymphatic system, work to keep the body's processes balanced. If biochemical processes such as diet or elimination of toxins, are poor, psychological problems like fatigue and depression can follow. Biochemical processes can be adversely affected by poor diet; for example, high fat intake can harden the arteries.


    How thoughts, feelings, actions, or relationships can help or hinder the body's ability to cope with life. Psychological strain, such as anger or fear, can lead to muscular tension and poor posture, inhibiting structural function. Psychological problems such as depression can cause loss of appetite and impair biochemical processes.


    How structural elements, such as muscles, bones, nerves, and blood vessels, support body systems such as circulation and digestion. Structural upper body tension can increase anxiety and psychological strain. Structurally narrow arteries can restrict oxygen supply to tissues and impair cell biochemistry.


    It is evident that the body has some ability to heal itself: wound repair and the renewal of cells are examples of the continued process of breakdown and buildup in the body. For complementary practitioners, all recovery and cure is self-healing - treatment simply mobilizes the body's own resources. A complimentary practitioner will treat the realm she believes to be the most important in order to sustain the body's capability to cope. However, more research is needed into the self-healing process to determine whether and how complimentary therapies can increase the body's adaptive energy and prevent the breakdown of well-being.

    Holistic medical systems, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, share similarities with this view of how we become exhausted. Through centuries of observation, these systems have recorded the changes that occur as the body and mind struggle to adapt to prolonged stress. These insights can help practitioners determine which physical and psychological processes are undermined and need to be supported to restore health. In Eastern systems of medicine, especially Chinese and Indian, these theories and treatments are highly developed; in Western systems, such as herbalism or naturopathy, they are less complex but are based on similar principles.

    The most common method of conventional medicine is to target specific drugs at the biochemical aspects of a disease once the damage has been done, rather than to build up the ailing person's ability to adapt and maintain well-being. But a new approach may be possible as mainstream medicine learns more about how to trigger the restoration of good health or how to build up resilience and resistance. It is worth noting that the sort of advice health care providers now give, about coping with stress and the importance of diet and exercise, closely resembles the approach naturopaths were promoting at the turn of the century.


    Small, moderate and big challenges affect the coping capacity of the three realms of the body in different ways.





    Small: May be within the body's ability to adapt, but still accumulate to affect its capacity to cope.
    Job Stress
    Air Pollution
    Minor Injury

    Moderate: May accumulate beyond the body's capacity to cope and impair the body's functioning.
    Poor Diet

    Large: Can be too great for the body's capacity to cope and may even cause death.
    Severe Injury

    1. The body's first reaction to a challenge, shock, or stress is the alarm or "fight-or flight" response. Stress hormones such as epinephrine are produced, tension builds around the head, neck, lower back, chest, and abdomen, thoughts focus on escape or attack. If the stress is removed, the body returns to normal functioning.

    2. If the stress continues, the body copes by maintaining resistance or "adapting." Although the body begins to feel normal again, and may have adapted to deal with the stress, the process drains energy from the structural, biochemical, and psychological realms of the body. Over time, this will affect the body's ability to function efficiently.

    3. If stress is long-term, the body becomes exhausted. Reserves needed to keep adapting to ongoing stress are depleted, and one or more of the body realms breaks down. The body becomes run down and fatigued, with recurring minor illnesses and psychological burnout. Symptoms may worsen and disease may develop, depending on the organs or symptoms affected. Eventually, even if the stress is withdrawn, the body may be irreversibly damaged.

    MoonDragon's Womens Health Index

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    Health & Wellness Index


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  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Amino Acids Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Enzymes Information
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Herbs Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Homeopathics Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Hydrosols Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Minerals Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Mineral Introduction
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary & Cosmetic Supplements Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary Supplements Introduction
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Specialty Supplements
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Introduction


  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: 4 Basic Nutrients
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Foods That Contain Additives & Artificial Ingredients
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Is Aspartame A Safe Sugar Substitute?
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Guidelines For Selecting & Preparing Foods
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Destroy
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Heal
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: The Micronutrients: Vitamins & Minerals
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Overcooking Your Foods
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Phytochemicals
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Increase Your Consumption of Raw Produce
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Limit Your Use of Salt
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Use Proper Cooking Utensils
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Choosing The Best Water & Types of Water


  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Information Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Therapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Analysis Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Diet Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutritional Recipe Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Therapy: Preparing Produce for Juicing
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Additives Index
  • MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Safety Links
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Articles
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Back Pain
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Labor & Birth
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Blending Chart
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Essential Oil Details
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Links
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Miscarriage
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Post Partum
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Childbearing
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Problems in Pregnancy & Birthing
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #1
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #2
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Tips
  • MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Uses
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Index
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information Overview
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Touch & Movement Therapies Index
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy: Touch & Movement: Aromatherapy
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Touch & Movement - Massage Therapy
  • MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Therapeutic Massage
  • MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 1
  • MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 2
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics Index
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy Index
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Massage Therapy
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hydrotherapy
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Pain Control Therapy
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Relaxation Therapy
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Steam Inhalation Therapy
  • MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy - Herbal Oils Index

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