NEW YORK – A lecture on Stress Management and the Promotion of Health was held on Nov. 16 at the Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity Chiotes Family Hall on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
The informative presentation on the Pythagorean Self-Awareness Technique for Stress Management (PSAT), Memory Improvement and Well-Being provided an introduction to the method along with the latest findings in the stress field.
Highlighting the often debilitating and devastating effects that stress can have on a person’s health, the presentation also described the highly effective Pythagorean method of reducing stress.
The Pythagorean Self-Awareness method uses ancient wisdom to combat the current stress epidemic affecting people worldwide.
Dr. Christina Darviri –Chairwoman of the program and Professor of Prevention and Health Promotion, Dr. George Chrousos – Chairman of the program and Professor of Endocrinology, and Dr. Liza Varvogli – psychologist/psychotherapist and adjunct professor, are among the team studying stress at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.
Drs. Darviri and Varvogli spoke in person at the event, sharing their insights and research while a video of Dr. Chrousos provided some background and a brief introduction to the project. For ten years, scholars, doctors from various specialties, and psychologists have been working on the stress management project.
Their results are fascinating. Darviri noted the fact that the top four causes of morbidity and mortality are chronic non-communicable diseases that are preventable.
Cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory diseases, and Type-2 diabetes are preventable through lifestyle modification, eating healthy, exercising, and reducing stress levels.
Darviri pointed out that stress is the key since unhealthy lifestyle choices, like eating unhealthy foods, smoking, and drinking excessively, are often used as ways of coping with stress.
As she noted, the technique is being applied by the US Scientific Association of Stress Management and Health Promotion to all age groups from children to the elderly with spectacular results.
The training program monitors a person for a specified time and then applies to the entire life. The technique is a tool for creating health and preventing memory disorders.
PSAT is based on the ancient Pythagorean philosophy and its “bible” the Golden Verses which urge and guide the individual through a daily cognitive process into better self-awareness and self-control.
The individual learns to monitor him/herself on a daily basis and make self-rewarding amendments on various aspects of his/her daily life.
In accordance with the Pythagorean philosophy, memory is the cornerstone of the PSAT and should be invoked in every judicial process that the brain must perform through self-reflection.
The basic method takes about 30-40 minutes a day, though as Darviri and Varvogli both noted with continued practice, the technique will take less time.
It involves introspection, thinking about the day’s events in the evening and then again in the morning, reviewing one’s thoughts and emotions about the events, and then evaluating the events, thoughts, emotions and developing a strategy for improvement.
The questions the individual asks are- What did I do wrong? What did I do well? and Is there something I should have done but didn’t do?
Darviri pointed out that PSAT has already showed its benefits in healthy individuals and patients with multiple sclerosis or suffering from mild cognitive impairment.
The recorded benefits were reduced stress and anxiety levels, memory and cognitive function improvement, better sleep quality, reduction of depressive symptoms, and the adoption of healthy habits including improved nutrition, exercise, self-control, and reduced obesity and hypertension.
Improvements in health and well-being, anger management, self-esteem, self-image, interpersonal relationships, organizational skill, and self-awareness were also among the benefits.
Varvogli led the audience in an exercise demonstrating the power of the brain to think its way to a more relaxed state. She asked that the audience stretch their arms up and take deep breaths and then to close their eyes and imagine themselves in Samos on a beach.
After the exercise, Varvogli asked how many in the audience had actually visualized the place and most had and felt more relaxed as a result.
She pointed out how we had instructed ourselves and to imagine if the technique was used for 60 days the brain could train itself to better health and reduced stress using this highly individualized method.
PSAT allows the individual to describe, accept, then judge actions rationally, helping the person to be the best self they can be.
The brain, Dr. Varvogli observed, has this “use it or lose it” quality. Retraining our brains to think positively, remember, and be more mindful increases self-awareness and energy, and improves the overall quality of life.
Among those present at the event, Dr. George Liakeas- President of the Hellenic Medical Society of New York, welcomed everyone and introduced the speakers.
The event was made possible by the Hellenic Medical Society of New York, US Scientific Association of Stress Management and Health Promotion, Holy Trinity Cathedral, the Archdiocesan Cathedral Philoptochos Society, the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce, HABA-Hellenic-American Association of Professionals in Finance, Hellenic Lawyers Association, Hellenic Professional Women, the Manhattan Chapter of AHEPA Delphi #25, and EMBCA – East Mediterranean Business Cultural Alliance. More information is available online at stresssociety.org.