Stressed out
(© Charlesknox | Stock Free Images )

Q. I work in newspapers, and everyone I interact with is always stressed. Is all stress bad? How can I manage it?
--J.S., Atlanta, Georgia

A. When we feel stress, a chemical reaction occurs, and the adrenal glands release hormones. Normally you will feel a boost of energy but later will feel really tired.

God placed this mechanism in us for our survival. He gave it so we'd have that extra burst of strength and speed we'd need in demanding situations.

In this sense, stress is not bad. The problem lies with high levels of stress that go unmanaged for a long time. This can be very dangerous to your health.

Stress can be physical or emotional. Physical stress might include exposure to an extreme temperature. Emotional stress could be realizing you haven't enough money to pay your rent.

Most prolonged stress is emotional. Primarily it stems from a traumatic experience the person is unable to cope with. Stress like this can keep a person in a continual state of "fight or flight," and over a long period of time this provokes pathologies, including heart disease and cancer.

More than 80 percent of my patients experienced a traumatic event within three years of their cancer being diagnosed. A job layoff, divorce and death of a child top the list.

I am not a big fan of managing stress with prescription drugs. Most of these medications address the symptoms but not the causes. They can be addictive and cause long-term damage to the immune system and organs. Instead, I prescribe exercise, a healthful diet and vitamin supplementation.

Yet most important of all is your spirituality. I encourage you to pray.

This may sound like something your pastor says, but I want you to consider the role prayer plays in relieving stress. Prayer can be therapeutic on both natural and supernatural levels.

In the natural sense it is documented that prayer causes the whole body to relax (haven't you ever dozed off while praying)? Prayer also works just because people believe it will (scientists call this a "placebo effect," but I refer to it as a "faith effect").

In the supernatural sense prayer can be empowering if it's done in the name of Jesus. Each day, set aside a specific time for prayer therapy. Get in a quiet place for about 10 minutes and talk to Jesus about your daily activities.

List the stressful things in your life and turn them over to God one by one. Keep a journal of how Jesus helps you have victory in each of them. And don't forget to visit your doctor regularly!

Q. I have arthritis. Is it safe for me to take a prescribed, steroid-based medication for this?
--M.G., Dallas, Texas

A. As a doctor, I wouldn't be very popular if I said pharmaceuticals are not safe. What's being prescribed to you is the standard treatment.

However, I do have suggestions for some natural alternatives that you may want to consider. Why not ask if your doctor will oversee your use of natural supplements? The goal would be to lower your dosage of prescription drugs.

A good friend of mine, Dr. Sheldon S. Hendler, is the author of the Physicians' Desk Reference for Nutritional Supplements. This is the book physicians refer to for indications that will help them determine the use of vitamins and natural substances in treating illnesses.

It states that both shark cartilage and glucosamine combined with chondroitin sulfate may have some anti-inflammatory qualities, though there is not enough scientific evidence to verify if either have pain-relief or anti-arthritic mechanisms.

My personal experience with shark cartilage and glucosamine is that many of my patients have been able to completely substitute steroids with them. That's good because prolonged use of steroids can be devastating to your health.

If you decide to seek natural alternatives, the use of them must be administered under medical supervision. Vitamin and herbal remedies can be as powerful as pharmaceuticals and can overload your liver and kidneys. But, in my experience, they can be less damaging long term than medications, if used correctly.

Draw closer to God. Experience the presence of the Holy Spirit every month as you read Charisma magazine. Sign up now to get Charisma for as low as $1 per issue.

Get to know the Holy Spirit and how to interact with Him on a daily basis. Learn to enter God's presence and hear His voice clearly for yourself! Go deeper in your faith with Life in the Spirit and change your life and destiny. Are you ready to start your journey?

Did you enjoy this health article? Click here to receive new health articles by email.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
  • Hillary Clinton

    What if Hillary Clinton Wins the White House?

    Polls have Mrs. Clinton leading by 11 points. The church must be prepared.

  • Holy Spirit prophetic

    7 Ways to Cultivate Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit

    Too many of God's people are led by fear, doubt, man-pleasing, presumption, assumption, idols ...

  • Jezebel puppets

    10 Ways to Spot Jezebel's Spiritually Slick Undercover Con Artists

    It's time to stop tolerating Jezebel in all its many manifestations.

  • Highway exit signs

    Prophetic Word: Watch for the Exit Signs to Light Up This Season

    Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty in the harvest fields. The "barnyard anointing" ...

  • Finger pointing

    The Accuser vs. Donald Trump—and Us All

    This isn't a political persuasion piece, but a current-event case study in the strategies of ...

  • Lance Wallnau

    Lance Wallnau Is on Fire and on Target With His Insights on the Culture and This Election

    I'm sickened by the self-righteous, weak-kneed "evangelicals" who want to be liked by ...

  • Daily scripture reading, meditation and prayer can seem elusive with your busy schedule.

    10 Small Steps to Deeper Intimacy With Holy Spirit in Your Quiet Times

    If deep quiet times seem just out of your reach with your busy schedule, try one of these ...

  • In October, many things will be realigned in your life, including your vision.

    5 Prophetic Revelations About God's October Surprise

    "The winds of apostolic change are blowing across the land and realigning you."

  • Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Continue Your Journey with the Holy Spirit

    Follow God on the most fulfilling journey of your life with Encounter the Holy Spirit! Break away from past hurts and press into the One who wants a personal encounter with you.

  • Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Dream the Unimaginable In His Presence

    Reach your full potential and be led by His Spirit. In His Presence takes you to a deeper understanding of who God is and how he communicates with us.

  • Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Set Your Spirit on Fire

    Receive the power and gifts that come through the Holy Spirit Baptism. Don’t go empty-handed; accept all that He has for you! His power is available to those who ask.

  • Put on the Full Armor of God

    Put on the Full Armor of God

    Break every stronghold with the power of the Holy Spirit. Use the power of your tongue to declare and decree the Word of God. Witness heaven move on your behalf.

Use Desktop Layout
Charisma Magazine — Empowering believers for life in the Spirit