Is Stress A Choice?


By: Laura Norman Special to the Boca and Delray newspapers

Health is the tapestry through which all the threads of our lives are intimately woven. Pull one loose and you risk unraveling or weakening the whole.

Stress plays a key role in our health and how we experience life. It is the internal response we experience to external changes and challenges, whether real or imagined – a deadline at work, an upcoming dinner with the in-laws, relationship issues or just our imagination running wild.

We experience stress when we lose faith in our ability to cope.

Our stress response–the classic fight-or-flight reaction–is not just in our heads. It is an automatic response that reverberates throughout our entire body. Adrenaline is released, our heart rate quickens, breathing becomes shallower, blood vessels on the skin surface contract, blood pressure rises, digestion and intestinal processes shut down, muscles tense up, the stomach tightens.

None of these conditions are meant to persist for very long. The body couldn’t stand it. They are short-term responses to immediate dangers. Yet we live in a society that is constantly presenting us with stressful situations.

Unless we take conscious action, our stress response can stay permanently turned on, even at low levels. Such extreme mobilization can only be maintained for so long before our minds and bodies show signs of exhaustion.

What’s the antidote?

Relaxation. Only a mind and body that is relaxed and in balance can thrive.

The remarkable thing about knowing how to relax is that it gives you more control over your life. You gain tremendous confidence knowing you can handle stressful situations. Instead of reacting, you find yourself responding to people and situations from a place of calm and centeredness. Things that used to bother you lose their power.

I have practiced and taught Reflexology, a non-invasive, natural method for activating the healing powers of the mind and body through profound relaxation, for over forty years.

My clients and graduates tell me that Reflexology is a both a method for helping you feel better now, and for enhancing your everyday life by keeping you centered, at the peak of your energies and creativity. Reflexology helps ward off illness and fatigue and maintain an optimal state of health and well-being. Whatever you do, you’ll do it with more enthusiasm, joy, focus and energy.

The true nature of stress is that it starts within each of us. And since it does, we can do something about it. Choose to start taking charge of your life right now. Make reflexology a part of your action plan this year. Experience a natural, powerful way to enhance the quality of your relationships, your health and your life.

Laura Norman, M.S., LMT, world-renowned Holistic Reflexologist and author of the best-selling book, Feet First: A Guide to Foot Reflexology, offers private Reflexology and Life Wellness Coaching sessions in Delray Beach and Holistic Reflexology Certification Training Programs in Boynton Beach starting February 17. Laura has created Aromatherapy products and step-by-step Foot, Hand and Face Reflexology  Home Study DVDs, and offers beautiful gift certificates for all • 561-272-1220