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Protecting the Environment
Calmtime plants trees to counteract any CO2
emissions from manufacturing CDs

what is stress?

Stress can be defined as any type of change that causes physical, emotional or psychological strain.

Stress causes increased muscle tension which has a direct effect on increasing your pain levels. Therefore, reduction of stress and muscle tension helps to reduce your pain. Stress saps your energy and reduces your ability to cope with the pain and your life.

types of stress

acute stress - a very short-term type of stress that can either be positive (like excitement at preparing for a deadline) or distressing (what we normally think of when we think of 'stress'); this is the type of stress we most often encounter in day-to-day life (e.g. flying, when you have a fear of it or having to make a presentation to colleagues when you are naturally shy.)

chronic stress - the type of stress that seems never-ending and inescapable, like the stress of a bad marriage, being a carer for a terminally ill parent or stress in the workplace, (coping with these types of stress can lead to burnout/ill effects on your health unless there is some stress management.)

health implications of chronic stress
When faced with chronic stress, people begin to have physical symptoms. At first they can be relatively mild, like chronic headaches and frequent colds.

Later, however, more serious health problems may develop. Here are some stress-influenced conditions:

depression
diabetes
hair loss
heart disease
hyperthyroidism
obesity
obsessive-compulsive or anxiety disorder
sexual dysfunction
tooth and gum disease
ulcers

It has been estimated that as many as 90% of doctor's visits are for symptoms that are at least partially stress-related!

'We play Calmtime every day at tea-time and what used to be a chaotic and stressful time is now calm and relaxed. And we enjoy the music.' Cynthia, Bristol

chronic stress: how it affects your body and how you can stay healthier
American and Canadian researchers conducting a huge study on the effects of stress on the immune system recently concluded that it all depended on the type of stress and how individuals responded to it. They examined 293 studies involving 19,000 people.

chronic stress - the most damaging
The most damaging type of stress they found was chronic stress, caused, for example, by unemployment or caring for a relative with mental illness - both situations which have no end in sight. These have damaging effects on the whole immune system. The key to it all, the researchers concluded, was whether the stress was never-ending or short-term. It was discovered that even the extreme stress of losing a partner was nowhere near as bad as chronic stress.

chronic stress doesn't suit us as we get older
Another thing that was discovered, not surprisingly, is that the older we get the more susceptible we are to stress. Lawrence Whalley, Professor of Mental Health at Aberdeen University and author or 'The Ageing Brain' says: 'As we grow older -between about 45 and 55 - our stress responses become more exaggerated.'

He says that it's a fact, being prone to great anxiety in stressful situations increases with age. "All old people (50 plus) find stress very unpleasant: even the kind of stress a young person might find intoxicating."

Professor Stephen Palmer of City University in London and the Centre for Stress Management says: "I would say stress is always bad. A little bit of pressure can get you out of bed in the morning and give you focus. As you grow older there is more likely to be long-term chronic stress (eg. caring for relatives, ill health etc.) - the very type that is bad for you."

'Whenever I feel strung out, like after a really pressurised day at work, I listen to Calmtime and that seems to put me into a much calmer and happier state for the remainder of that day.' David, Bristol

help for stress related problems
"I haven't got time to relax!" the late Richard James

Though it may seem counterproductive to set aside time to relax in the midst of a busy lifestyle, doing so can actually help us to increase our productivity, accomplish more in less time, and feel happier overall.

"Regular elicitation of the relaxation response has been scientifically proven to be an effective treatment for a wide range of stress related disorders." Prof. Herbert Benson MD

relaxation
Research has shown that being too tense and/or living with too much stress has a significant negative impact on our lives. It can lead to physical illnesses such as high blood pressure, ulcers, fatigue and headaches and many phychological issues, including inappropriate or misdirected emotions, confusion, difficulty concentrating and burn out. Relaxation can improve quality of life.

research has indicated that regularly relaxing can have a beneficial effect on a number of stress related health problems. In fact it can help any health problem that is caused or exacerbated by chronic stress.

Here are a few examples of health problems that can be helped by relaxation include conditions:

gastrointestinal
Irritable Bowel Syndrome/Ulcers/Heart Burn

skin
Eczema/Psoriasis/Dermatitis/Urticaria/Acne

respiratory
Asthma/Emphysema/Chronic Obstructive Airways Disease

psychological
Anxiety/Stress/Depression/Panic attacks

immune
Rheumatoid Arthritis/Herpes Simplex/Colds and Flu

neurological
Multiple Sclerosis/Migraine/Epilepsy

reproductive
Infertility/Childbirth/Menopause/Premenstrual Syndrome
Endometriosis/Impotence

cardiovascular
Heart beat irregularities/High Blood Pressure/Heart Disease
Angina Pectoris/Raynaulds

musculoskeletal
Headaches/Arthritis/Back pain/Fibromyalgia

Muscular tension produces aches and pains, particularly in the neck and back.

endocrine
Diabetes Mellitus

general
Insomnia/Chronic Pain

'When I was heavily pregnant I started to play the CD, most days. I'm sure she could tell. It seemed to calm her down straight away. It was a great relief for me.' Sally, Bristol

" I don't really know why, but I've always struggled to get a full night's sleep, it's been a constant part of my adult life and I've kind of learned to get by on a few hours a night. Until this week. I was given a copy of this CD last week and I am delighted to report that I've had 4 straight fabulous nights of calm, uninterrupted sleep.

I've tried so many things (I can't tell you how many lavender bags, herbal tablets, teas and meditation books, rainforest or whale song recordings, that are languishing in various drawers at my place, hundreds of pounds have been spent though) that I'd rather resigned myself to my odd sleep pattern, but I have to say, I feel like a different woman now." Emily, Cornwall

relaxation aids - article on relaxation benefits

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