We live in a world where stress comes at us from all directions. Dr. Jason Gordon, a back specialist with a long-standing practice around the corner from New York City’s Carnegie Hall, shares his take on three types of stress and the havoc they can wreak.
“There are three types of stress — physical, chemical and emotional or psychological. Physical stress is caused by an action — slips and falls, sports injuries, going up and down stairs, sitting all day at a desk, sleeping on a lousy mattress, things of that nature. Chemical stress can be caused by polluted air, preservatives in food, fluorescent lights, smoking, caffeine, alcohol, drugs, the list is long. Then there’s emotional stress, which I put at the top because it causes additional physical stress and can even create psychosomatic illness.”
What happens when stress gets us off balance?
“Imagine a bicycle wheel. If one spoke breaks the wheel starts to wobble. Now you’re putting stress and strain on the other spokes. Eventually, another spoke breaks and you begin to spin out of control. If you look at your life as a wheel and think of physical, chemical and emotional stress as spokes, then you can see if any of these snap due to overload, then your life gets out of balance and you start to break down.”
Is stress control even possible?
“Absolutely. I teach my patients how to control their stress by identifying its source, then taking preventative measures. With patience and practice, they regain their natural alignment — both physically and metaphysically. Witnessing the transformation is like watching onion layers peeling off — you start to see that individual the way they’re meant to be. They shed their pain. They’re eating better. They’re exercising. And they go from being unhappy and pessimistic to upbeat and optimistic. It’s pretty amazing.”