Tips to Fight Stress Presented by Physical Therapist

March 4, 2009




Stress. It’s like a violin string. A talented musician like Joshua Bell creates some tension on that


string with his bow and makes beautiful music. But should he apply too much stress, the string will


break. That can apply to the stressful affects of today’s very uncertain world.


Its how people deal with stress that makes or breaks them. Problems brought about by unabated


stress can include pain, ulcers, headaches and even high blood pressure and heart conditions.


Michele Rozansky, director of Orlanu Therapies in Mequon, a group of physical, occupational and


massage professionals, says when it comes to stress, “You can’t separate mind from body..” She


observes stress affecting many of her therapy clinic patients. “When they come to us, we try to help


them identify what their stressors are and see what helps them handle the stress and what doesn’t.


People often aren’t even aware of what’s bothering them. That, in itself is part of the problem,” she


explains. “If we’re brought up to hide our emotions, our response to what’s happening externally is


hidden and sometimes literally unfelt. Because of stress, changes in body chemicals occur, and if we’re


unaware, we’re unable to restabilize or recalibrate. The tension level builds inside, even though we’ve


learned how to repress it and go about our daily lives.


“We teach our patients different ways they can respond to the stressors that we have discovered


in their lives,” she adds.


Rozansky says that stressed individuals come to Orlanu because they usually are in some kind of


pain or they complain of fatigue, depression, lack of energy. “We initially determine where we can start


therapy. It might be something as simple as giving ourselves ten minutes of our day to practice easy


breathing to quiet ourselves. Or it might be an exercise program based on Pilates or Yoga because these


methods are about slow, sustained breathing and postural exercises. The spiritual aspect might be


brought into those types of exercises, too.”


According to Rozansky, Pilates and Yoga help people build their own potential, their strength from


the inside out. “This overflows into their mental and emotional health.


“Good nutrition is also important,” she says. “If people eat packaged, processed, and/or fast foods,


they’re not getting the right nutrition and are asking their bodies to work harder to digest these foods,


creating another physiological stress. This can affect a person’s well-intentioned exercise program.


Rozansky offers some tips to better handle stress.


* Take up to a half hour each day just to walk outside and enjoy nature. Or practice


gentle and easy breathing or do yoga or to write a journal about your feelings.


* Take time to have a quiet breakfast or lunch ritual to help your digestion. Shut off your phones


and computers.


* Eat healthful foods.


* Exercise regularly--learning what exercise your individual body likes.


* Have a creative outlet. Write. Draw. Play a musical instrument. Go to a concert.


“It’s important,” she says, “for stressed-out individuals to access their inner being to enhance their


self growth, self care, self worth and self esteem. Bringing beliefs of self esteem to life and enhancing


their ability to make choices can help prevent or live healthier with stress.”


For more information, contact Orlanu Therapies at 262-241-7887 or go to





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