Lecture Series Continues with Topic: Stress
Kim Harris and local chiropractor Dr. Tim Murzycki at the Bellingham Public Library
Dr. Tim Murzycki (Dr. Tim to many of us), from Cornerstone Family Chiropractic in Bellingham, spoke recently at the Bellingham Public Library about “Conquering Stress and Empowering Your Health—Tips to a Greater Life.” The small crowd who came were keenly interested in what Dr. Tim had to say. Kim Harris (pictured above with Dr. Tim) offered, “I came tonight because I’m trying to find ways to refocus my thoughts.”
The talk was part of a lecture series sponsored by the Society for Financial Awareness (SOFA; http://www.sofausa.org/), a non-profit organization. Dr. Tim emphasized that the talk was informational. “This is not a sales talk; it’s educational,” he noted. After proudly posting a photo of his family on the screen, he said, “There is my wife, Jocelyn, and my children Cadence and Kai. I love that picture of them. They are the most important aspect of my life.”
Dr. Tim described the positive role stress can play in our lives, a different message than many of us are used to hearing. “Positive stress is short-term, it encourages efficiency, and it motivates us to productivity, while negative stress is chronic,” he said. “It exhausts the body, which affects health and wellness.”
Connecting stress to financial concerns, Dr. Tim quoted the World Health Organization (WHO), which noted that “by 2043, every cent of every tax dollar will be spent treating chronic diseases.” Another statement from WHO was that “lifestyle-related diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and some cancers are the leading causes of death worldwide.”
Dr. Tim noted that, in surveys, over half of Americans say that they are concerned about stress. He then asked the audience, “How many of us pay attention to stress cues?” He pointed out that high blood pressure and an elevated heart rate are all natural bodily responses to stress. He explained, “During extreme stress, your body’s clotting factors increase—this promotes healing in the short term, but if this continues chronically, it can lead to stroke and death.”
Must we simply give up and resign ourselves to living in a stressful society? Dr. Tim would say there are things we can do to manage stress. A first priority is to eat whole, real foods such as fruit, vegetables, clean meats (avoiding meats with hormones and other additives), eggs, nuts, and healthful fats. Avoid processed foods, sugar, unhealthful fats, sodas, sports drinks, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, caffeine, and alcohol.
He then warned about one of the biggest health threats we all face—too much sitting! “Our bodies were meant to move. Get up and exercise, whatever kind you enjoy,” he urged. He also encouraged choosing to have a positive mental attitude. “What you think about is how you feel,” Dr. Tim promised. “Thoughts can create reality.” Adequate sleep and a healthy, well-functioning nervous system are all important.
“Problems with our spines affect our ability to move,” he noted. “Chiropractic is based on the correction of subluxations. When these are adjusted, our body’s stress response is reduced.”
In conclusion, Dr. Tim emphasized that our body’s stress response is not a disease or pathology. “Act now, and listen to what your body is telling you,” he urged. “Strengthen your body in ways that are under your control. Seek help from knowledgeable professionals, not by covering up symptoms, but by increasing your health. And smile. Your body is a temple and is amazing. Love it! Take baby steps, not everything at once.”
Lorraine Rabidou of Bellingham nodded as she listened to Dr. Tim’s talk, and reflected at the end of the program, “This was a good reminder of what I know I should be doing to make myself healthier.”
Marilyn Fuller of Bellingham said,” Apparently I’m doing pretty well. I’m always interested in learning new things. But I know how to recognize what upsets me and how to avoid it.”
Whether we take big steps or small ones, each of us can do something to make a difference in our lives. Recognizing how much it is costing us financially to do nothing is one motivator. It still comes down to the fact that the only person you can change is yourself. But even one change can make a difference—perhaps you’ll make it today.
story & photo by Marjorie Turner Hollman, Bulletin Contributing Writer