Why I Don't Sell Shell Necklaces On The Beach

Stress is the number one reason why I don't sell shell necklaces on the beach.  

It is the number one reason for all the plethora of people who visit my office for relief.  It is the number one reason for hormone dysfunction, for autoimmune diseases, chronic illness, and digestive issues.  Just to name a few.  

I will repeat… Stress is the number one reason that I am in business and not selling shell necklaces on the beach. 

While I like having a booming functional medicine practice, I would gladly find another job stringing shell necklaces on a beach if it meant the end of chronic stress and illness.  Sadly, I don’t see that in my future any time soon. 

We all feel it, but do we truly understand the effects of stress and where it comes from?  Stress is a state of tension or pressure.  Stress can be emotional and mental, but it can also be physical.  It can come from external places like relationships and from internal spaces like infection or organ dysfunction.  No matter where the stress comes from it produces the same reaction.

THE STRESS RESPONSE (for people who would rather be selling necklaces on the beach)

First, the brain receives information that there is something around that could be harmful.  This could be a horrible boss, a food allergy, an infection or even negative self talk.  Simply put, anything that is dangerous to self or threatening will cause a physiologic stress response.  

Next, when the brain receives this threatening signal it applies the gas to ignite our fight or flight systems or better known as the Sympathetic Nervous System.  This system is to preserve life and is an ancient system.  When the body is in fight or flight you can forget about procreation or wanting to procreate, you can forget about satisfying digestion, feelings of peace and wellbeing. Historically, we needed this fight or flight system to flee lions, fight for our lives or get over a very nasty infection.  In our modern culture the threats are different, and they just don’t seem to stop.  We continue to perceive danger even if it is not directly physically threatening.  This is a problem because the fight or flight system is only designed to be active for short periods of time.  

Finally, as time passes the brain and body initiate a hormone called CORTISOL. The effects of unchecked and over stimulated cortisol are vast.  Elevated cortisol causes problems with blood sugar, immune regulation, hormone imbalance and metabolic dysfunction.

Translation: too much stress = too much cortisol =

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Infertility
  • Chronic Pain
  • IBS
  • Anxiety and Depression 

According to the American Institute of Stress... it is effecting us more that ever. 

Stress is responsible for....

  • 60% of all human disease or illness 
  • 3 out of 4 doctor's visits 
  • 40% of all heart disease 
  • Lowered Brain Volumes
  • Memory Problems
  • Andrea not selling shell necklaces on the beach

Symptoms of stress include heart palpitations, insomnia depression, brain fog, increased inflammation and pain, insomnia, stomach upset, headaches.

Hidden Stressors

  • Incomplete digestion and food allergies
  • Chemicals
  • Your own thoughts
  • Personal Care Products
  • News and Media 
  • Social Media and iPhones (blue light)
  • Yeast and Microbial infections 
  • De-conditioned Body
  • Sitting too long

Remember that stress comes in many forms and is not just subject to our typical definitions of stress like traffic, bills, work and kids.


HERBS: Adaptogenic herbs like Ashwaganda, Rehmania, Rhodiola, Kava and Passion Flower can keep your body and mind more resilient to stress.  Adaptogenic herbs can actually help repair your stress response and support cellular health. I use an herbal blend called Adrenal Phytosynergist and its action is often times miraculous.

VITAMINS: Magnesium and B Vitamins are in higher demand by the body during times of stress.  Consider Epsom salt baths or foods rich in B vitamins such as Sardines, Eggs, Wild Salmon or Nutritional Yeast.  Vitamin C is also a very important nutrient for the adrenal glands.  When faced with a stressor the adrenals rapidly use up vitamin C.  Bell pepper, kiwi, guava, strawberries, oranges and broccoli are all high in vitamin C. 

YOGA: Hatha style yoga is consistently shown in studies to decrease cortisol and perceived stress. Yoga is also a great way to retrain the way the mind and body react to stressors.  There is nothing better than an after yoga glow.  On days when the world seems to be crumbling… There’s yoga.

ACUPUNCTURE: An ancient therapy proven to immediately reduce the stress response through modulating chi.  Acupuncture’s immediate ability to stop and also correct the reason for stress in the body is quite amazing.  A new and really cool way to get acupuncture is in the community setting.  Many wellness clinics are now offering “community acupuncture” as a way to make acupuncture more accessible by time and money.  This allows for regular treatments as price is usually 1/3 of a private session.

NUTRITION:  Blood sugar control is essential for managing the stress response.  Be sure to eat something with fat and protein every 3 hours to keep your cortisol levels stable and to help avoid over consumption of sweets.  Focus on fats to avoid stress related blood sugar swings.  Also, make sure to get a nutrient rich diet as nutrient deficiencies occur under stress and can alternatively cause a physiologic stress response.  One way to make sure this is happening is to make sure at least 1/2 your plate looks like the rainbow (no, not skittles) and has some form of high quality fat.

Selling Shell Necklaces

Just like our ancient ancestors we can not avoid stress.  Stress believe it or not can also be a good thing and we would not want to avoid it all together, but our current state of existence has our fight or flight systems at Sear's Point about to run out of gas.  This super information age has us believing that just because we can do something...we should.  Please slow down by taking time in nature, eating well and giving yourself regular digital breaks.  Cut down on exposure to information that you do not need and when stress levels hit over drive consider good nutrition, yoga, adaptogens and therapies that can help buffer and heal the stress response.  Signs of a dysfunctional stress response include chronic fatigue, chronic inflammation, hormonal imbalances, digestive upset and anxiety.  If you feel you have reached critical mass and that your stress response might either be burned out or stuck on please feel free to give us a call at The Remedy.  We would love to help you recover a healthy stress response and get you (and me) on that beach sooner!