Dr. Paul Eck: Energy, Stress and Burnout
Updated: Feb 9, 2022
Everything in your life is dependent on energy. Energy is the source of your physical and mental power. It is not a coincidence that the people at the top in any field are generally the ones with the most physical and mental energy. Energy maintains your body, because all repair processes require energy. Even the conversion of food into energy requires energy. The less energy you have, the less you can produce. Energy is the basis for all talents. Energy creates talents. It creates enthusiasm. (Children have more enthusiasm because they have more energy.) Energy gives people confidence. (Haven’t you noticed how much more confidence you have when your energy levels are up, compared to when they are down?) Energy causes people to feel inspired. Energy causes people to become aware of their own potential. Energy is the electricity of the human body. Without sufficient energy, people can’t express their feelings. Often, they are not even aware of what their feelings really are. Without sufficient energy, dreams remain dreams. It is the high energy people who blurt out what they think and feel. It is the low energy people who keep things to themselves. High energy people are assertive, low energy people are defensive. High energy people accomplish things, low energy people just talk about them. Understanding how energy affects your life. A decline in energy reduces our ability to express ourselves. It reduces our ability and willingness to accept new ideas, to try new things. What is called the “conservatism” of old age is often just the inevitable consequence of a lack of energy. Energy is youthfulness. What is the main difference between a young person and an older person? Energy. The young person has it. The older person lacks it. People will say, “If only I had the energy of a child, how much more I could get done.” It is true. Children do have more energy, because they have a faster metabolism. What is not known is that it is possible to retain a fast metabolism as you grow older – if you can maintain the proper mineral balances in your body. There are a few individuals who retain a fast metabolism all of their lives. They retain the charm and enthusiasm of childhood. They retain the dynamic quality of a child, as opposed to the “ordinariness” of many adults. They have the skin of a younger person, and many of them die in their nineties with scarcely a wrinkle in their faces and with arteries as clean as a teenager’s. These few individuals show us what is possible. And even their health could be improved by more energy. It is difficult to get many people to admit that they need more energy. People assume that just because they work so many hours a week and carry on normal activities, it means they have energy. Yes, they have some energy, but not the energy they could have. Those who lack energy often are tragically unaware of how much they are already pushing themselves. Lack of energy reduces awareness of the true depth of the fatigue. A person who is forever stimulating himself – whether by coffee, tea, new projects, new friends, new stresses, etc., never allows himself to experience how energy-deficient he really is. Most people who appear to be too energetic are just worked-up and keyed-up. They are actually in a state of mild to severe “biological hysteria.” Their body creates this state in order to induce – by artificial means – the temporary production of more energy. As time progresses, these people may become more “mellow,” i.e., more burned out. Thus some of the most productive people are most in need of the Science of Human Energy. These are the people who help to advance civilization, and to preserve it. There is no need for them to collapse into great stretches of unfulfilling exhaustion. Lack of energy affects us all in the same way. We all know how unproductive we can be when our energy levels are low. We can do mechanical work, but the mental inspiration is gone. Lack of energy reduces our ability to direct our own lives. Think back and recall how many bad decisions you have made during periods of low energy. And recall how much more insight you had during moments of exhilaration and vitality. Energy gives you the power to express yourself. It gives you that invisible something that attracts other people, and attracts success. Mineral-Nutritional Balancing gives you the roadmap toward higher energy levels. Once you read understand this, you will no longer accept constant fatigue as a normal part of life. Fatigue is not something you have to learn to live with. Increasing your energy does not have to be a hit-or-miss proposition. There is no need for you to be satisfied with mere temporary boosts in energy such as those provided by coffee, tea, cigarettes, and other substances. What you need is a basic and long-lasting increase in energy. This report will show you how this is possible. The Science of Human Energy can help you get much more out of your life. It will show you how to get the energy you need to turn your human potential into actual accomplishment. The Science of Human Energy. What it is and what it can do for you. The Science of Human Energy is a new science. Until now, there has been no systematic and fundamental approach toward increasing energy in the human body. There have been scientific observations on how various nutrients increase energy, or how exercise affects energy. But a thousand isolated facts do not equal the healing power of a single cohesive scientific philosophy. The Science of Human Energy is the study of how the human body produces energy. It is a new science, born out of the marriage of existing sciences – just as biochemistry was born out of the union of biology and chemistry. The Science of Human Energy is a fusion of the relevant findings and scientific principles of biology, nutrition, chemistry, veterinary research, agronomy, and psychology. The Science of Human Energy is much more than the study of nutritional imbalances. There are many causes of low energy. Some of them include emotional conflicts, wrong choice of career, family problems, lack of purpose in life, no one to love, wrong marital or business partners, and so on. All of these situations can destroy your energy far more than any physical stress. The Science of Human Energy will become a fundamental branch of scientific investigation. It will affect and improve everyone’s life, because everyone would like to have more energy. There are always so many things to do, but not enough energy to get them all done. This new science is not just for people who are overworked, tired, or exhausted. Even people with high energy need to know precisely how to keep that energy – how to maintain it so that they do not lose it. High personal energy is essential to human happiness. Now, because of this new science, the exhilarating power of human energy is not limited to a few dynamic individuals. It can be acquired by everyone. Have you ever gone through a period in your life that was so devastating that you were never the same again? Have you ever gone through a major disappointment, or the death of a loved one, or a period of grueling physical and emotional stress that was so exhausting that you never recovered the energy you had before it all started? Go back as far as necessary; five years, ten years, even twenty-five years ago. Do you remember any stressful period that permanently reduced some or most of your original vitality? Do you remember any period that proved to be the dividing line between two different times in your life – and two different ‘you’s’? If so, then you have probably experienced human burnout. Burnout occurs when you undergo a major drop in your energy levels due to a stress overload. The stress could have been physical, such as sheer overwork. It could also have been emotional, such as a turbulent marriage or divorce. Burnout is nothing to be ashamed of. It happens to people in all occupations – at all ages. It is even possible for young children under the age of five to burn out due to excessive physical or emotional stress. It can take years, not months, to fully recover from its devastating effects. The tragedy is that most people never recover from burnout. In most cases, the person makes only a limited and partial comeback. Burnout causes emotional and physical devastation that cripples the person’s personality and human potential – for the rest of his life. Burnout cannot normally be cured by additional rest. Extra sleep, the typical haven for a tired soul, may instead exhaust the burnout victim even further. Deprived of energy, the person lacks a fulfilling present and has only memories of the past to satisfy him. Burnout causes more frustration, and guilt, and loss of self-esteem than any other human phenomenon. The person whose life has been gutted by stress-damage usually does not know what hit him – and usually has no idea what is really wrong with him. Lacking a proper physical explanation, the person often turns inward and blames himself. This creates a problem of low self-image that no amount of psychological analysis can ever correct. The only solution to this emotional dead-end is to restore the energy-producing systems of the human body. Burnout is not the same as simple fatigue. Burnout is absolute, utter exhaustion. Anyone who believes that people in burnout are merely overtired has no understanding of the anguish and torment that are caused by a long-term catastrophic reduction in human energy. When people’s mineral levels become imbalanced they gradually start to lose their sense of awareness. The most tragic thing about this is that when a person does become ill, he cannot tell that his level of awareness has diminished. People who are ill and fatigued often see a distorted view of the world. In most cases, the more distorted their mineral patterns are, the more distorted is their level of awareness. In many ways, individuals who are severely lacking in energy suffer from the same perceptive imbalances as women who suffer from anorexia. Women who have anorexia nervosa see themselves as being fat, when in reality they are grossly underweight. An anorexia patient can be down to bare bones, yet she will see herself as being overweight. Fatigue makes it impossible for people to see themselves as they really are. Many fatigued men and women suffer from the same kind of unawareness. Because of various mineral distortions, they often see themselves as being sweet and loving, yet in reality, they are not that loving at all. Having distorted mineral levels is like trying to look at the heavens through a cloudy telescope. You can never see the true picture. When an individual’s minerals become balanced it will help him to see the world as it really is, instead of the way he wants to see it. When an individual’s minerals become balanced, he will be able to laugh at his own misfortune, instead of constantly trying to blame everyone else for his problems. A balanced and energetic person can accept reality, without anger. A balanced person can see himself for what he really is. This is the first step to true happiness. How stress affects your energy levels. Stress is an inescapable part of life. To the extent that it is controlled and suitably channeled, it serves a very useful purpose indeed by making us more productive and creative individuals. Uncontrolled stress, on the other hand, robs the body of mineral reserves. If unreplenished, these deficiencies cause major chemical imbalances ultimately leading to physical breakdown. To counteract stress, the body mobilizes all of its available energy. If adequate levels of energy can be mobilized, health and well- being are restored. Uncontrolled stress causes fatigue and accelerates aging. However, if sufficient energy is unavailable, the body attempts to adapt to the stress. The process of adaptation also requires energy which must be mobilized from the body’s already diminished reserves. This “general adaptation syndrome” consists of three distinct phases.1
The three phases of stress. Phase 1 is called the alarm reaction* The body reacts to acute stress by causing an out- pouring of adrenal hormones. These hormones mobilize the body’s energy to meet the stress. When stress is serious enough, the body’s alarm reaction takes the form of an inflammatory process. If this reaction is successful in overcoming the injury and removing the stress, the body quiets down and returns to its natural homeostatic condition.
_______________________ * This would be indicated by a sodium to potassium ratio above 2.5 to 1 on a tissue mineral analysis. 1. See The Stress of Life by Hans Selye.
Phase 1. The alarm reaction (as seen on a tissue mineral analysis). (Editor’s Note: Other minerals have been omitted in this example for the sake of clarity.)
If the stress is not contained, Phase 2, the stage of adaptation, begins. This process of adaptation, however, causes a mobilization of the body’s energy reserves. Phase 2 can thus be likened to a cold war, when the body tries to adapt itself to the stressful influence which it has no ability to eliminate. In this phase, the body attempts to adapt to the stress by releasing adrenal cortical- steroid hormones to act as anti-inflammatory agents. This would be indicated by potassium levels rising, bringing the sodium to potassium ratio to a normal range of 2.5 to 1.
Phase 2. The stage of adaptation (as seen on a tissue mineral analysis). (Editor’s Note: Other minerals have been omitted in this example for the sake of clarity.)
The stage of adaptation can go on for a long period of time. Eventually the body weakens, as it is no longer able to produce the necessary energy to limit the stress and avoid “exhaustion.” Ultimate breakdown is the inevitable result. Adequate energy reserves ensure our ability to deal with stress.
Phase 3 is called the stage of exhaustion.* At this stage, the body has exhausted its energy reserves in an attempt to contain the stress and begins to break down. The most common manifestation of this condition is chronic fatigue which is probably the most universal complaint in our society.
_____________________________ * This would be indicated by sodium levels dropping relative to potassium, resulting in a
sodium to potassium inversion – a sodium to potassium ratio less than 2.5 to 1.
Phase 3. The stage of exhaustion (as seen on a tissue mineral analysis). (Editor’s Note: Other minerals have been omitted in this example for the sake of clarity.)
Stress affects both physical and mental health. Dr. Hans Selye has found that even the slightest strain on the body, mentally or physically, will cause it to use vitamins and minerals in excess of its normal needs. A sudden scare, an argument, a slight cut or bruise…any one of these happenings will call on special reserves in the body. People who live under constant stress brought about by unending financial worries, business pressures, miserable family life, broken homes, etc., are using excessive amounts of nutritional reserves every day. Stress, whether it be physiological, psychological (emotional), or nutritional, is known to deplete the body tissues of various minerals and vitamins. The four principal minerals lost from body tissues as a result of stress are magnesium, calcium, zinc and copper. Stress affects minerals perhaps even more than other nutrients. During the “acute stage” of stress, zinc and magnesium are lost from the body’s tissue reservoirs. During the “resistance stage” of stress, the minerals calcium and copper are lost. The “exhaustion stage” of stress is associated with a continued depletion first of sodium and later potassium. Stress results in a depletion of essential trace minerals and essential vitamins. If these vital minerals and vitamins are not replaced or compensated for, then stress becomes continuous and unrelenting. Stress causes nutritional deficiencies and the nutritional deficiencies cause stress. A vicious cycle begins and, if uninterrupted, eventually results in exhaustion. The secret of coping with stress is simply to have sufficient energy to meet it. This is only possible if one’s body chemistry is in relatively normal balance. How much stress do you need? Assessing your individual requirements. People have become over-anxious about stress. They have become overconcerned about trying to avoid it. What is rarely mentioned is that stress can be good for you. Stress can be strengthening, not merely weakening. Stress can improve your health, it doesn’t have to deplete you. The right kinds of stress can energize you. Stress allows you to test yourself and increases your will to live. It gives you a purpose. For all the complaining we hear about stress, if most people didn’t have it they would fall apart. In our travels, we have seen so many lazy people; people who did not want to hurt themselves; people who didn’t want to work too hard; people who would never commit themselves to anything or anyone because it would be too much work, too much stress. The immature avoidance of stress and challenge is debilitating. A person who neurotically avoids stress will never develop his capabilities, mentally or physically. He or she will never realize their potential. Excess stress can cause premature aging, but lack of stress will cause the same thing. How much stress is enough? If the stress increases your productivity and improves your sense of mental vigor, and if you are accomplishing something without endangering yourself, then the stress is good for you. But if the stress is such that you cannot cope anymore and if you find yourself unable to make decisions or to concentrate, or to get work done, then you are under excess stress and must reduce it. The beauty of the science of human energy is that it gives you an independent tool to regulate stress. Once you understand metabolism, and the various mineral ratios presented later in this report, you will acquire the unique ability to make stress work for you – and not against you. If, for example, you have a fast metabolism and after a period of intense stress you have collapsed into a period of slow metabolism, you need to reduce your stress and restore your body’s energy reserves. If you have a slow metabolism and have been under a period of stress and you notice an improvement in your energy ratio and blood-sugar ratio then the stress was good for you. from Energy: How it affects your emotions, your level of achievement, and your entire personal well-being. An interview with Dr. Paul Eck by Colin and Loren Chatsworth. Reprinted by permission.