Marin Team Pioneers Stress Reduction Study Stress Experts Suggest a Simple "7-Step" Process to Naturally Reduce Stress

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Marin County’s longstanding reputation for “mellow” has taken on a new dimension. Local experts in stress reduction, Steve Sisgold and Ernie Hubbard have teamed up to pioneer a new way to “dial it down” in hopes of offering society improved methods to deal with unprecedented levels of stress.

Local Author of the book, Whats Your Body Telling You and Body Centered Therapist Steve Sisgold has been studying stress and related factors for decades. Ernie Hubbard, a cell biologist specializing in stress reduction has been measuring stress levels in patients for years. Sisgold and Hubbard began designing the study at the Preventive Medical Center of Marin, a clinic specializing in Natural Medicine and Family Medicine. The concept behind the study was to combine their approaches in a search for natural and user-friendly approach to stress reduction.

The collaboration involves a combination of Sisgold’s body awareness and conscious breathing techniques coupled with Hubbard’s tracking of changes in the body’s stress levels. Since many patients seen by physicians and other healers at Preventive Medical Center of Marin suffer from stress, the study is able to work with existing patients and their healthcare providers.

Higher unemployment and foreclosure rates have been raising the nation's economic stress, according to a recent Associated Press' monthly analysis. One month after economic stress reached an 18-month low nationally, it rose in three-quarters of the nation's 3,141 counties The Associated Press analyzed, and in 39 states Unemployment and foreclosures edged up in more than two-thirds of the states. Bankruptcies rose in half the states.

The AP index calculates a score from 1 to 100 based on unemployment, foreclosure and bankruptcy rates. A higher score signals more stress. Under a rough rule of thumb, a county is considered stressed when its score exceeds 11. Nearly 40 percent of the nation's counties were deemed stressed in the most recent survey.
In a recent CCN survey, one million people were asked how they felt about what is going on with the economy. The consensus? People are mad! Our economic woes are off the charts-soaring stress levels and angry feelings find many of us walking around like time bombs. The human body can only adapt to so much stress before something blows, and racking your brain to find a solution rarely works. A new way of thinking-one that calls on more than the rational mind-must emerge to manage the chaos.

According to the American Psychological Association 75% of Americans experience symptoms related to stress in a given month, 77% experience physical symptoms, and 73% experience psychological symptoms.
In the latest CNN Survey, about half of Americans (48%) feel that their stress has increased over the past five years and 75% of those surveyed say Money and work are the leading causes of stress.

"Consider this--If your economic life finds you overwhelmed about the future, and your mind keeps replaying one scary scenario after another, how can you possibly think your way out of a tough situation? The truth is: You can't. "

Sisgold has developed an integrated system for dealing with stress, in the form of Seven Whole Body Tips to reduce economic stress or help you with any other challenge you may be facing.
"The process is very straightforward once you understand it," says Sisgold,
"There are seven basic steps:"

"1) Stop Over thinking!
Letting your mind take you through a house of horrors can make you more anxious and push you into blind action that turns scary fiction into fact. For example: You heard someone at the office say your company is downsizing (fact). You "think" you will be fired and never be able to find another job (fiction).
2) Scan your Body.
Detect and release tension in your body from head to toe. Take a few moments throughout the day to check in and notice what your body is telling you. Are you breathing rapidly, tensing your body, or gripping the phone, steering wheel, or computer mouse like there is no tomorrow?

3) Breathe Consciously.
Instantly calm your anxiety and gain focus through conscious breathing. Taking five full deep breaths-in through your nose and out through your mouth-will slow your breathing and instantly reduce anxiety. Deep breathing also helps you disengage from fearful, catastrophic thinking.
4) Move Your Body.
Exercise of any form will circulate energy throughout your whole body and give you a break from obsessive mental activity while releasing built up tension.
5) Communicate.
Tell someone what you are feeling. Get your concerns off your chest and ask for support from friends, family or a professional coach or counselor. Holding your fears inside builds anxiety to proportions that can make you sick, depressed or immobilized. In this case, silence in NOT golden.
6. Get Innovative.
Think out of the box. Make a list of proactive steps you can take to improve your resume, and broaden your skills and services to fit a larger market.
7) Look for Treasure.
Turn a dream, idea or talent that you never pursued into a lucrative business. Golden opportunities often present themselves in the midst of chaos. One client Steve says turned her grandma's peanut brittle recipe into a source of steady cash flow at the farmers market after losing her corporate job."
Sisgold is convinced of the benefits of this program-- "In my work with hundreds of people of the past few years, I have found that simply applying these seven simple steps to your life can greatly reduce stress and empower the body to do what it is designed to do -- heal itself and thrive, even under stressful time".

“I am excited to be working with Steve on this project,” said Hubbard. “Since our focus at PMCM is on Preventive Medicine in the Bay Area and beyond, it is only right that we should be actively researching natural approaches to stress reduction. If our study produces promising results, we intend to make it available to our patients and eventually to the world.”


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Ernie Hubbard
Preventive Medical Center of Marin
(415) 578-3670
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