Summing Up Stress

By Dr. Michael Roth

“Mind is where the action is… body is where the reaction is.”               Frederick Eikerenkoetter (Rev. Ike)

In my holistic chiropractic office in Ventura, I often see clients whose conditions are aggravated or even caused by excess stress. This month’s article is an excerpt from my book, Balancing Your Emotional Health.


Flickr photo credit sandiegopersonalinjuryattorneydotnet

Over the last 50 years, many researchers (psychologists and computer language specialists) have compared the brain/mind relationship to that of a computer and its operating system (program that directs the computer).  When the program is properly written, fully functional, and free from flaws, the computer functions perfectly, giving accurate responses and producing valuable and necessary operations.

The mentally balanced human being functions perfectly when under conditions of no stress to low stress. Under conditions of high stress, the overload causes restriction to the flow of energy, which leads us to disease, illness, exhaustion, system breakdowns, etc.

Your own state of health comes from your most constant, deepest felt, emotionally based, thoughts. Negations, those diseased (dis-eased or lacking ease) thoughts, transmute themselves into sick cells and a sick body.

For example, if you tell yourself, “I can’t stand it when my boss does this or that”; your body simply responds with a “Yes, sir!” as if a soldier was respectfully doing what was ordered by the commander.

The body is the servant of the mind and it will obey the commands you just gave when you said, “I can’t stand…” That’s what your mind heard and therefore, created. It might takes a few months or maybe even several years, but the repeated negative thought will eventually give you a reaction that you don’t really want.

Flickr photo credit Trizoultro

Thus, the mind (or brain/mind) is where the action is, and body is where the reaction is. If you say you can’t stand something, expect back and leg problems.

WATCH YOUR WORDS – whether your thoughts are intentional or spontaneous, they will create some reaction. When the mind is directed by negative or fearful thoughts, the bodily response usually will be disease and/ or functional failure.

Fearful thoughts cause STRESS. The two combined (fear + stress) are as deadly as the most dreaded diseases of our time. Fear, caused by excessive and/or non-rational worrisome thinking, kills people everyday.

Flickr photo credit Nate Steiner

Stress is more deadly than any influence, viral infection, or any disease currently affecting humanity. Stress is responsible for 95% of the disease on the planet. Just as it drives people to smoke, drink, use drugs (legal and not legal) to manage it, if left unmanaged it leads to smoking, drinking, drug use, and life-threatening disease.

People who live in fear of disease are too often those who get ill. They who fear the worst can always discover it in their lives or in the lives of those they know.

When you are fearful, upset, anxious, or nervous, those stressful forces can begin the gradual breakdown of your entire nervous and immunological system and your entire body. Stress, caused by negative thoughts that include fear, guilt, shame, envy, jealousy, and more, will kill you if you don’t control it.

Negative thoughts open the body to physical disease by taking the Triad (the balance of the physical, emotional and chemical components of your body) out of balance by weakening the mental/ emotional side. They also weaken the immune system by blocking  the natural flow of energy within your body. It has been shown, time and time again, that fearful, unbalanced, disharmonious thoughts can lead to the stresses that damage your health.


When your mind is given pleasant and courageous thoughts, a world of wonder, beauty, health and happiness prevails. Positive, strong, pure, and healthy thoughts always bring health and vitality.

Most members of the medical profession have either heard or believe that positive thinking, happiness, and humor can reduce the effects of disease or surgery and aid in the recovery process.

If you possess thoughts that are impure, or if you have thoughts that lack a high vibrational quality, meaning that they are negative in nature and vibrate in opposition to your values and beliefs, you’ll have a body with toxins in your bloodstream, weakened antibodies, and you’ll get sick regularly with illnesses that are very difficult to remedy.

From a clean heart and mind comes a clean body. From an unclean one, comes a diseased and weakened body. Always remember that health or disease and the quality of your experience on Earth is up to you, your attitudes, and your thoughts.

Flickr photo credit Matt Madd

If you would like to make an appointment for an office visit, please call Amber in my Ventura office at 805-644-0461.

If you enjoyed this excerpt and would like to purchase my soft-cover book, Balancing Your Emotional Health, please call the office or click here for more information.


Parasympathetic Nervous System Dominance

By Dr. Michael Roth

In my last post we discussed the Sympathetic Nervous System, and the way it affects the body.  This time, we are going to explore the other part of our nervous system, the Parasympathetic, and discuss the interaction between the two.

Your body is more than blood and bones and muscle.  It is an elegant system that also includes glands and organs and is designed to work with perfect circulation, perfect assimilation and perfect elimination.  Yet, I see patients daily for whom this “perfection” is only a pipe-dream.  Sometimes, the culprit that is responsible for a body that is not functioning properly is the nervous system.

Flickr photo credit Laura Dahl

The parasympathetic nervous system works to nourish, heal and regenerate the body.  It is anabolic, which means it is concerned with rebuilding the body.  Its nerves stimulate digestion, and the immune and eliminative organs.  These organs include the liver, pancreas, stomach and intestines.  The parasympathetic nervous system, when activated by rest, relaxation and happy thoughts, is essential for balanced living and for all healing.

The sympathetic nervous system activates the glands and organs that defend the body against attack.  It is called the fight-or-flight system.  Its nerves direct more blood to the muscles and the brain.

The heart rate and blood pressure increase, while it decreases the blood flow to the digestive and eliminative organs.  It also activates the thyroid and adrenal glands to provide extra energy for fighting or running away.  Nervousness, stress or feelings of panic are what one feels when in a sympathetic state of readiness.  The sympathetic system is catabolic, which means it tears down the body.  Energy is used to prepare for defense, rather than for nourishment or for elimination of wastes.

Flickr photo credit Nate Steiner

Flickr photo credit Nate Steiner


The feeling often associated with the parasympathetic state can be one of lethargy or fatigue, as one is so relaxed.  This is not unhealthy.  Rather, it indicates a state of repair and rebuilding in progress.

Symptoms of parasympathetic nervous system dominance often include feeling depressed and cynical.  An individual may be paralyzed by their fear or anger about their situation.  There may be a decrease in clarity of thought as a part of a numbing process to avoid pain and overwhelming emotions.

When a patient arrives at my office in parasympathetic dominance, I often see a person who tends to be more fatigued and prone to depression and whose adrenal and thyroid glands tend to be underactive. They may experience multiple allergies. Other symptoms include weight gain, dizziness and light headedness, low blood pressure and diarrhea.

Many of my patients have already gone from doctor to doctor looking for a cure before they come to my office.  In my many years as a holistic chiropractor, I have studied and practiced effective procedures and techniques, along with nutritional supplements, that balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.

When the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems are working as they should, the tendency is to rest often and easily. The parasympathetic system reduces the activity of the brain, the muscles, and the adrenal and thyroid glands.  When no situation is pressing, the balanced person can comfortably choose to rest and can sleep deeply. In this restorative sleep, the parasympathetic system renews and heals any damage to the body caused by an over-active sympathetic nervous system.  Balance between the two systems is a key step toward greater health and wellness!

Flickr photo credit der wunderbare mandarin

Sympathetic Nervous System Dominance

If we were in the forest camping, and came upon a grizzly bear and its cub, we would have an instant to decide if we would stay and fight the bear, or run away from it as fast as we could!

Modern man has named that choice to react “fight-or-flight”, a term that is often used when talking about the human stress response. Though we no longer face bears on a regular basis, when we react to a car alarm with the same heightened response we would to a dangerous animal, we are stuck in the fight-or-flight mode!  Over my 25 years as a holistic chiropractor, I have treated many patients stuck in this pattern, and they have successfully released it and re-balanced their nervous system.

The human nervous system has two major divisions, the voluntary and the autonomic systems.  The voluntary system is concerned mainly with movement and sensation.  It consists of motor and sensory nerves, among many others.

The autonomic system mainly controls functions over which we have less conscious control.  These include the digestion of food, blood pressure and heart rate.  Its nerves leave the spine and connect to all the major organs and glands, either inhibiting or stimulating their activity.

The autonomic nervous system maintains a balance by regulating the internal organs, blood vessels, and hormones.  It is divided into the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.  The sympathetic is active, controlling functions that include those associated with fight-or-flight.  The parasympathetic is passive, controlling the functions of rest and repair.

Flickr photo credit der wunderbare mandarin

Flickr photo credit der wunderbare mandarin

When we are in fight-or-flight mode, the sympathetic branch activates the glands and organs that defend the body against attack.   Its nerves direct more blood to the muscles and the brain.  The heart rate and blood pressure increase, while it decreases the blood flow to the digestive and eliminative organs.  It also activates the thyroid and adrenal glands to provide extra energy for fighting or running away.  Nervousness, stress or feelings of panic are what we feel when in a sympathetic state of readiness.

A constantly active sympathetic nervous system results in sympathetic dominance and puts the individual at risk for increased disease and illness. What drives a person into sympathetic dominance?  Chronic stress and overwork are the most common culprits.

The symptoms and illnesses associated with sympathetic nervous system dominance are those of fight-or-flight, and include: excessive worry, the inability to relax, nervous energy, and a strong self-will to “keep going.” Often my patients experience a dry mouth and sensitivity to bright lights and find loud music extremely irritating. Possible illnesses include: hypertension, heart disease, high cholesterol, type 1 diabetes, anxiety, panic attacks and poor sleep.

Flickr photo credit Bottled Void

If you recognize yourself having any of the above symptoms, know that there is a way to remove yourself from the fight-or-flight pattern.  I am experienced in cutting-edge techniques and protocols, and offer nutritional supplements as needed, to relieve your nervous system of the underlying stressors that are hindering it from functioning optimally.

When the sympathetic dominance pattern is broken, and balance is restored between the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems, the body’s innate knowing rushes in to restore the individual to an improved level of health and wellness!

Find out more about how your nervous system affects your health and your weight  here.