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Why doctors need to talk to women about stress
by Linda Egenes
Transcendental Meditation for Women - Blog Translate This Article
4 April 2014
As women take on more responsibility in the workplace while continuing as the primary caregiver for their children and in many cases, their aging parents as well, stress levels in women are on the rise. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association (APA), almost half of all women (49 percent) surveyed said their stress has increased over the past five years, compared to four in 10 (39 percent) men.
And even though stress is linked with chronic disease, most Americans feel that healthcare providers are not taking enough time to address stress issues during office visits. According to the 2012 APA survey ''Stress in America: Missing the Healthcare Connection,'' 32 percent of the 2020 Americans surveyed felt that it was extremely important to talk with their health care providers about stress management. Yet 53 percent said that these conversations never happened.
There are exceptions, of course. Nancy Lonsdorf, M.D., who is the author of The Ageless Woman: How to Navigate the Transition Naturally, for a Long Life of Vibrant Health and Radiant Beauty and has a private practice in women's integrative and holistic medicine in Fairfield, Iowa, USA, routinely discusses stress management with her patients. ''When women go home from work at the end of the day, they face another set of responsibilities and stressors at home,'' she says. ''At times the stress can be overwhelming, and that can result in fatigue, chronic health problems, and burnout. And many of these stressors are not going away tomorrow. They're not within your control, and the best that you can do is learn how to deal with them more effectively.''
Dr. Lonsdorf recommends the Transcendental Meditation technique to alleviate stress, because the research is solid and she has seen it work with her patients. ''The TM technique offers something unique in stress management programs. It actually changes the way your nervous system processes stress. As shown in scientific research, with just four months of practice of the Transcendental Meditation program, baseline cortisol levels, meaning the amount of cortisol in the blood day-by-day, drops significantly, by one-third when compared to a control group that simply was instructed about health education or how to manage stress better.''
Global Good News will feature part two of this article in the coming days.
Linda Egenes writes about green and healthy living and is the author of six books, including Super Healthy Kids: A Parent's Guide to Maharishi Ayurveda, co-authored with Kumuda Reddy, M.D.
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