Stress as a Specific Diagnosis
Stress provokes a very exact physiological response by the body. Unfortunately, the term "stress" is so commonly used, it seems to have lost significance as a specific diagnosis. Everyone in our modern, fast-paced society seems to be "uptight" because life is so stressful. But, as clinicians, we should never lose sight of the fact that the body responds to all types of stress in a very specific manner. In this article, I will outline the exact physiological cascade found in the body’s response to stress and how you can determine what is producing the symptoms that bring patients to your office. This examination is physiologically and neurologically sound and can be completed in less than five minutes.
When can we diagnose stress?
Stress can result from a structural, nutritional, or emotional source. However, regardless of the source, the body will react in a physiologically identical manner. That being true, it behooves us to know what the response should be, since failure to respond appropriately will result in symptoms. Determining the cause of symptoms should be the goal of all clinicians. Most disease processes begin with the same vague and undistinguished symptoms. Only after they became full-blown disease processes can they be identified and precise medical treatment protocols initiated.
This is the point: Medicine must wait for the identification of a specific disease entity to be certain of treatment. Any other attempts at treatment are subject to guesswork and certain to fail, with the added possibility of side effects. Knowledgeable chiropractors, because of their education and ability to palpate and examine, can recognize the deleterious effects of stress and determine exactly where, in its physiological response, the body is failing to meet the increased demands being placed on it.
Once this is determined, the solution becomes obvious and treatment is specific. Results are quite predictable and improvement easy to track. Imagine a practice based on the following paradigm:
• Treat one condition (stress), recognize its cause and make recommendations to reduce or eliminate it entirely.
• Take whatever therapeutic steps are necessary to relieve symptoms and restore normal function,
• Make nutritional recommendations so the body can heal itself.
It is a plan that you can make work repeatedly. It will not only be quite effective for your patients, but it will also reward you, both professionally and personally.
Recognizing Stress Factors
As living, breathing human beings, we do not go directly from health to disease. There is a large gray area between the two extremes. Health is also much more than the absence of symptoms. Our goal should not be to treat disease but to prevent it. To accomplish this, you must know what is "normal" and be able to see, not just deviations from normal, but also to recognize what stresses are challenging the body to remain within normal limits. Only if you can recognize and reduce—or even eliminate—the major stresses on a specific body can you say you truly specialize in preventing disease.
Howard F. Loomis, Jr., DC, President of Enzyme Formulations®, Inc., has an extensive background in enzymes and enzyme supplementation. As president for fifteen years of 21st Century Nutrition® (now the Loomis Institute® of Enzyme Nutrition), he has forged a remarkable career as an educator, having conducted over 400 seminars to date, in the United States and internationally, on the diagnosis and treatment of food enzyme deficiency syndromes. Call 800-662-2630 for more information and a free video.