Episode 11

full
Published on:

14th Sep 2022

Physical Stress: Eliminate It Now!

Physical strain in the neck and lower back muscles causes the adrenaline cortisol response resulting in inflammation and sore muscles. Keep the neck and back straight. Use the four calming techniques that include belly breaths, a drink of water, a 10-second freezing cold shower, and the 12-minute walk to settle the nerves and quiet the brain.  

Copyright© 2022 by Gary Epler, M.D. All rights reserved. This podcast is for general informational and educational purposes only and it is not a substitute for professional medical advice.


Transcript

Dr. Gary Epler – The new way of life is to know who you are moment by moment and be your true self. We’re going to apply this to eliminating physical stress and learning about the calming reflex.

Joan – What do you mean by physical stress?

It’s the strain on muscles and joints.

Why is physical stress a problem?

Physical stress causes the adrenalin cortisol response resulting in inflammation and harmful health effects. The neck and pelvis are the two areas that need to be in balance for eliminating physical stress.

What’d you mean?

Let’s start with the neck. The head down while doing computer work, walking, or driving causes stress. Try this. Drop your chin and lower your head. What does this feel like? This feels like the back neck muscles are stressed by trying to pull the head up. This is true, but unknown to you, the front neck muscles are trying to push the 15-pound head back straight. This is a lot of work.

So, when your neck is bent forward doing computer work, the back neck muscles are trying to pull the head up and the front neck muscles are trying to push the head up. That’s two muscles working at the same time doing opposite work causing double strain. What happens if you move your head too far back?

It’s the same thing except opposite. Your back neck muscles are trying to push your head forward and your front neck muscles are trying to pull your head forward. Both muscles causing stress.

What’s the solution?

You know the answer. Maintain your head in the balanced position with chin straight and eyes forward. There is no stress because both muscles groups are relaxed. Balance is restored. There is no stress. You feel stronger. Your voice is strong. You look great.

What about the pelvis?

It’s the exact same thing, different muscles. Leaning forward and bending the back while doing computer work or doing yard work means that your abdominal muscles are straining to push you back to a straight upright position and the back muscles are strained trying to pull the body backward. Bending the back sitting or picking something up causes a huge amount of strain in both muscle groups, and as expected, the strain can cause the low back muscles to go into instant spasm causing severe pain. That’s from the muscle spasm pulling on the big spinal nerves. Therefore, maintain a straight back position. Restore the balance so the abdominal muscles and the lower back muscles are in a relaxed position. This feels good. You’re stronger, healthier, and you look good too.

You talked about the calming reflex for relieving stress, what’d you mean?

We have a parasympathetic calming nervous system to neutralize the excitable sympathetic system. Without this calming system, a continual excited state would destroy all organ systems. I have four ways to trigger the calming system.

What are the first two?

Nervous about meeting with the boss or giving a big presentation? Take a couple of belly breaths. Put you hand on your stomach and take a deep breath moving your hand up and out. This triggers the calming reflex. Take two or three of these belly breaths before your meeting or presentation. The second one is easy. You’re in a situation where your brain is stressed. You brain is racing with thoughts one after another. You can’t think straight. Take a drink of water. It’ll kick in the calming reflex. Calming your thinking.

What’s the third one?

This is very dramatic. It’s the ice-cold shower technique. At the end of your morning shower, turn the shower dial up to the 8 or 9 o’clock position for a couple of minutes. This is like a swimming pool, cool but not shocking. Now, turn the dial to 11 o’clock – it’s freezing. It’s a shock, taking your breath away. You only need 10 seconds or less.This is called the ice-cold face reflex that triggers the parasympathetic calming system instantly. You will feel totally different – filled with energy, and although the daily problems are still there, you don’t care.

Sounds dramatic, but effective. What’s the last one?

I call this the 12-minute walk. Any time during the day in the office or at home, get up, open the door, and go outside for a walk in any direction. Not fast, not slow. Just walk for six minutes carrying nothing with you, turn around, and walk back to where you started. Ask yourself, “Do I feel better?” You will. This is also a good way to start your daily one-hour exercise routine, because this is the same feeling you get after exercising, high energy and a clear head.

Joan – Keep your head and back straight for improved health. Use the calming reflexes to relieve stress. Do you have any closing comments?

Dr. Gary Epler – Physical strain in the neck and lower back muscles causes the adrenaline cortisol response resulting in inflammation and sore muscles. Keep the neck and back straight. Use the four calming techniques that include belly breaths, a drink of water, a 10-second freezing cold shower, and the 12-minute walk to settle the nerves and quiet the brain. Be your true self for a healthy and enjoyable life.

Show artwork for Good Thoughts

About the Podcast

Good Thoughts
New brain science, healthy thoughts, Dr. Gary Epler, Harvard Medical
Good Thoughts is about transforming your life into a high energy, creative, and enjoyable way of living.

Some people are stressed and disconnected from the community because they spend too much time being angry or in fear, and too much time having thoughts of self-criticism, self-pity, resentment, and taking from others. People need to know their true selves.

In 2019, Dr. Gary Epler discovered the connection between the new brain science and a new way of life referred to as the Eplerian Philosophy defined by seven words that will change the world. “Know who you are moment by moment.”

You know who you are at any moment because it's the brain region you're thinking from. Learn to transfer out of your anger center and your self-centered brain region for a healthier more productive life.

Learn to know who you are moment by moment to live your best life at home, at work, and in the community. Be exceptional by being your true self. Thrive on your uniqueness.

– Dr. Gary Epler
Support This Show

About your host

Profile picture for Gary Epler

Gary Epler

Dr. Gary Epler is an internationally known Harvard Medical School professor, bestselling author, and opinion leader in health, peak performance, and leadership. He has impacted businesses and the lives of people throughout the world through his speaking, books, teaching and consulting. Dr. Epler is a successful serial entrepreneur as a founder and CEO of three companies. He has developed the "Eplerian Philosophy" a modern-day life philosophy for people to live their best lives at home, at work, and in the community.

Extended Bio: Dr. Gary Epler is an internationally known Harvard Medical School professor and opinion-leader in health, peak productivity and leadership. He is a bestselling author who has impacted the lives of people throughout the world through his speaking engagements, books, teaching and consulting. He has been called upon by individuals from around the globe who have a rare lung disease called BOOP that he discovered. He has developed the "Eplerian Life Philosophy" which is a modern-day life philosophy for people to live their best lives at home, at work and in society. This philosophy is based on brain science defined as “know who you are moment by moment.” This means stay out of your bad brain regions and stay in the good. Dr. Epler is a successful serial entrepreneur as a founder and CEO of three companies including a biotech company, a nutraceutical company, and a health management company. He is an award-winning speaker, addressing audiences about health, nutrition, productivity, and leadership.

Dr. Gary Epler has been recognized yearly since 1994 in The Best Doctors in America. He believes personalized health empowers people. He has written four health books in the critically acclaimed “You’re the Boss” series about people taking charge of their health including Manage Your Disease, BOOP, Asthma, and Food. Dr. Epler’s current book “Alive with Life. A Medical Doctor’s Guide to Live Your Best Life” about how to live an exhilarating life filled with high-energy, creativity, enjoyment, positive experiences and extraordinary people.

Dr. Epler discovered a new lung parasite in South America. He was at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta where he chronicled the nutritional needs of North African children and managed the tuberculosis refugee program in Southeast Asia. He was Chief of Medicine and Board Member at the New England Baptist Hospital for 15 years. He has written more than 110 scientific publications and given more than 500 seminars and workshops around the world. He has more than 30K social media followers including one post with 200K+ views. In addition to conducting clinical and research work, Dr. Epler strives to educate. He became editor-in-chief of an internet-based educational program in critical care and pulmonary medicine offered by the American College of Chest Physicians. Business Week acclaimed him for his development of e-health educational programs that enable patients to manage their health and diseases. Dr. Epler was recognized as one of Boston Magazine’s “Top Doctors in Town.”

Dr. Epler ran several marathons including Boston, New York, and proposed to his wife, Joan at the start of the Paris Marathon; and for their first anniversary, they ran the original Greek marathon together. He delivered the 20th baby from a mother who named the baby after him. He’s been one of the Boston Celtics team doctors. He has taught medicine throughout the world and was fortunate enough to save a dying infant in South America from an overwhelming parasitic infection by using the sap from a fig tree. He is a radio and television personality. He is a Hollywood screenwriter and has written a medical thriller movie, medical drama TV show, and a lifestyle reality TV show. He is active in the community. He coached soccer, basketball, hockey, baseball, and club baseball at Boston College. He lives in the Boston area with his wife, Joan.