By Jim Notto
The third class of triggers I identified was that of states. By state I mean what many people call the mental/emotional state. I prefer to think of these as psycho-physiological states, since it is the mind-body connection that matters here. The most common psycho-physiological trigger state for me, and for many other people, is stress/tension. Stress/tension is actually an umbrella term which can describe any state in which the emotions are undesirable and the body becomes tense as a result.
When we talk about stress, pressure, tension, etc. on a mental/emotional level, we are usually describing this state. It may also include the emotions we call anger, humiliation, fear, jealousy, nervousness, apprehension, anxiety, and a whole host of others.
The common effect each of the emotions identified with the stress/tension state have on us is that our breathing becomes more shallow, sometimes faster, and muscles in the face, jaw, neck, shoulders and back become tighter, more tense. Unfortunately, muscles in the abdomen also become tense and the strain puts pressure on the stomach which can result in acid reflux. I think chronic stress/tension may be the single biggest influence on the prevalence of GERD in modern society. It certainly was a major trigger for me.
Once I had identified the three classes of triggers I set out on finding ways to eliminate or neutralize the triggers in each class. At this point I knew I could never give up all the different foods I had identified as triggers, and even if I could, doing so would have violated my criteria for a solution. Fortunately for me, I soon had another revelation…