Stressful stimuli may elicit a physiological reaction of the sympathetic nervous system which is intended to help one survive perceived threat. Public health professionals hypothesized it might be possible to harness the power of this response to change health risk behaviors such that, if people fear certain disease outcomes, they may change behavior to avoid them. Thus, models based on perceived threat and fear appeals developed. However, people perceive threat differently. Some may not perceive themselves vulnerable, while others lack coping skills and resiliency to process against threatening stimuli. If the perceived threat is persistent, then a negative psychological response may result in distress, often known as perceived stress. Chronic perceived stress may negatively influence mental, emotional, and physical health.
Perceived stress among college students is a prevalent health issue. The severity of stress and mental health issues, and the demand for college counseling services have increased among students during the last decade. Therefore, it is very important to consider effective methods and innovative approaches other than counseling to address the significant increase in stress-related health issues, and service demands among students. Tamarkoz® is a method to concentrate on any task and obtain optimal results. One component of it includes a heart-focused meditation, such that a practitioner clears the mind of thoughts and focuses on the heartbeat. The method has shown to significantly reduce perceived stress and heart rate, and significantly increase positive emotions and daily spiritual experiences in university students. Thus, the method may possibly serve as an effective technique to develop resiliency and coping skills.
Speaker Biography - Nasim Bahadorani
Dr Nasim Bahadorani has her terminal degree in public health from Loma Linda University, School of Public Health, and teaches public health courses in the Health Sciences Department at California State University, Northridge. She holds a master’s degree in biomedical science from Midwestern University, College of Health Sciences in Phoenix, Arizona. For her master’s thesis, she conducted clinical research at the Barrow’s Neurological Institute where she studied the molecular biology of a rare brain tumor in children called hypothalamic hamartomas. Her strong background in biomedical sciences, coupled with her education and experience in public health provides a unique expertise in understanding pathways of disease, and knowing the strategic models and systems to prevent them. She is a certified health education specialist and a certified health and wellness coach providing consultation for corporate wellness programs and use of biotechnology that evaluates health outcomes. Her work in public health is focused on bridging the gap between orthodox healthcare within organizational systems and lifestyle medicine with integrative approaches to disease prevention and health promotion.
Her research interests include studying how meditation and contemplative practices dynamically effect the biochemical and biophysics pathways that induce sustainable changes that improve wellbeing, increase compassion and ultimately result in healthy functioning. She is currently writing manuscripts for publication on the results of her research, which determined the effect of a Sufi method of concentration called Tamarkoz® on perceived stress, positive emotions, spirituality, heart rate, blood pressure, and salivary immunoglobulin A.
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