We live in a culture where stress is a common denominator. Work, money, relationships, family obligations and caregiving dominate too many of our lives. The need to fulfill all of these roles makes us feel overwhelmed with the anxiety of being unable to meet all of these needs. A little stress can be a good motivator while too much stress can be detrimental to our health. The physiological changes that occur in our bodies when stressed can help us to stay alert and help us to complete the task at hand, but when we are chronically in that state, it can work against us. The continuous activation of the nervous system starts to wear us down. The physical manifestations of chronic stress can be headaches, heart problems, and weight issues just to name a few. And women, according to the Cleveland Clinic, are the most susceptible.
When we are overwhelmed by the abundance of our obligations, self-care goes out the window. This compounds the problem of the “fight or flight” response keeping us constantly revved up. How can we wind down? One way is with an Access Bars session. Stacy Cicola, an Access Bars practitioner and energy worker at STANDwellness in Water Mill describes it as “a way to release the emotional center of the brain through touch.” Cicola says Access Bars is like “a reboot for the brain – similar to deleting old files off of a computer hard-drive”. Developed by Gary Douglas, the Bars are 32 points on the head that, according to Douglas, when lightly touched and held, help to dissipate the electromagnetic charge of all the stored thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and attitudes that we have accumulated over time. Cicola reports that her clients experience greater mental clarity, awareness and focus, a heightened sense of self, improved sleep, relief of aches and pains, deep relaxation and calmness, more joy and happiness, and a decrease in anxious, depressive, and addictive behaviors. According to Dr. Jeffrey Fannin, a neuroscientist who studied the brain before and after a Bars session, the brainwaves slowed down to a theta state and the spherical structure of the cells improved.
Intrigued, but doubtful I thought I would give it a try. I am a woman in the sandwich generation who juggles work, children and aging parents. As a result, I experience a lot of stress. I meditate, but only 5 to 10 minutes a day so, although I feel calmed by it, I don’t go deep. On this particular day I tried Bars, my mind was like a whirling dervish. As she lightly touched different areas of my head, I noticed that my thoughts settled. Answers to the decisions I had been contemplating became clear. By the end of the hour-long session I felt very calm and with a sense of control that I had not come in with. I expressed this to Cicola. Her response to this was every session is unique. Some people have a big emotional release where others feel tension relief or, like me, a new sense of mental order.
There are many ways to help your body to cope with stress. Meditation, exercise, journaling, laughter, massage therapy and deep breathing are my favorites. I can now add Access Bars to that list.
Do you need some stress relief? Stacy Cicola is available for appointments. Please call 631-500-9021 to book.
By Tapp Francke Ingolia
as seen in The Purist