The author’s Taoist teacher loved to say, “Health is the utmost importance; everything else is secondary.”
This means that focusing on your health and well-being will in the end take care of everything else in your life. Being healthy, being alive, being content, being “naturally just so”: the concept is so simple that it is easily overlooked.
It is from these Taoist ideals that the author has formed the basis for this work for the elimination of stress. Here are his three paths for eliminating stress:
THE FIRST PATH: Releasing Stress
Acquire a mind-set that allows for the release of your self-trained responses to stressful situations. As you begin to pay attention to releasing stress, it should become clear that responses to stress are often habitual.
THE SECOND PATH: Massaging Stress Away
Learn how to pay attention to yourself in a positive manner rather than a negative manner in which you focus on only the negative effects of your experience of being stressed. This process is very simple, as it is accomplished by massaging and pressing certain areas of the body to alleviate the negative physical effects of stress.
THE THIRD PATH: Breathing Stress Away
Learn how to breathe stress away. Breathing is the most important bodily function we have; it directly affects the circulation of the blood and our central nervous system. In Taoist spiritual cultivation nothing plays a bigger role than the discipline and practice of breathing methods.