Q: How do we define stress?
Dr. Marcantel: Stress is your body’s response to certain circumstances, and those circumstances can be anything from external to internal.
For instance, if your job is stressful, if there’s stress in the family, if there’s personal stress, if there’s internal stress such as illnesses–this is all considered stress.
Stress first affects the nervous system, then if affects the endocrine system, and when I refer to the endocrine system I mean all of the glands that release hormones. And then the hormones affect the organ systems, and then the organ systems tell us that we are having stress through signs and symptoms such as “wired and tired.”
The “wired” part of that is the adrenal glands releasing a lot of cortisol. Irritability comes with that. And the tired part of that is you feel tired all the time, it’s hard to concentrate, so the adrenal glands are releasing a lot of cortisol but then they get tired and they go into an adrenal fatigue state.
Q: We know you deal with the whole person and you gave us some examples of how the body is affected by stress. What about stress and the emotions and the mind and the spirit? Are there any connections between those?
When I talk with my patients, I always say, “A healthy soul equals a healthy body.” Just as we nurture ourselves with the right kinds of food, with nutrition, we need to nurture ourselves with love and compassion and understanding.
A lot of times we’re very hard on ourselves. Sometimes we over expend our energy. We volunteer too much, we can’t say no. We’re afraid we’ll feel guilty if we say no…we want to be liked! So we don’t say no, so what we do is overextend ourselves and then we get tired. So we have to look at the whole person here.
I tell people that come into my office that we want to get to the root cause of your problem and why are we having adrenal fatigue? So we look at their lifestyle and what’s going on and we look at how they’re treating themselves and all the circumstances around them.
I always tell people to look at energy as money. When we have money in our checking account we’re very aware of where we put our money and who we give our money to and why. And so I tell people to come into more of an awareness and a consciousness of thinking of your energy as valuable, as more valuable–as money.
And so in other words you become more aware where you give out your energy. And then you make a conscious decision where you want to give out your energy and then you ask yourself, “Why? Am I giving this energy out because I’m in fear about something? About somebody not liking me or I’m going to feel guilty?” Or whatever. So you also look at your intentions, as well, because your intentions are just as important when you give out your energy.
Of course, we want to serve others but we have to serve ourselves first. We have to learn to love and nurture ourselves. And this will bring healing to the body as well as the adrenal glands.
For a complete list of our videos and articles, see our Articles and Videos Index.