Herbal Medicine for Stress Relief

Today more and more people are turning to natural remedies.  Why?  Possibly we are not sure if our medicines will be paid for by the national insurance bodies, or possibly we are looking more and more into alternative remedies to help cure our ailments. This is yet one more reason to turn to nature for our health needs.

herbal medine for stress relief

Herbal Medicine is a holistic approach to health using remedies made from plants to treat disorders and maintain good health.  Every culture throughout history has used herbal products to both prevent and treat various diseases.

Herbal medicines are used to support the body’s own healing mechanisms in order to restore a balanced state of health.  They have limited, if any side effects and are becoming a popular way of improving our own quality of life.  Herbal medicine can help all age groups and have been used to treat endless problems.  

Examples where they can be used include stress, anxiety, digestive problems, insomnia, headaches, women’s and men’s health problems, immune problems, allergies, auto-immune conditions, cystisis and urinary problems, recurrent respiratory infections and many more conditions.

herbal medine for stress relief

herbal medine for stress reliefIf you are fortunate to be in an area where there is an abundance of herbs growing naturally you can prepare herbs in a variety of ways.  Well known favourites such as St John’s Wart (Hypericum perforatum), Sage (Salvia officinalis) and Marigold (Calendula arvensis) and Thyme are therapeutically important herbs that can be prepared as infused oils, ointment and creams for external use or as teas and tinctures used internally.

 

How to Make Your Infused Oils for Herbal Medicine

herbal medine for stress relief

Collect the herb of your choice and place in an empty jar.  Pour olive oil in the jar, enough to cover the herb, and place on a window sill in the sun.  Leave for three weeks, shaking the jar each day.  After three weeks, strain through a cheese cloth into a clean jar.  Your infused oil is now ready for use.  Store in a cool dark place. 

 

 

How to Make an Ointment for Natural Remedies

Heat 100ml of infused oil in a double boiler on low heat.  Add 14g of bees wax.  Keep in the boiler until the wax has melted.  Pour into a clean cream pot and allow to cool.  The ointment can then be applied to the skin.  Herbs such as Calendula and St John’s Wart are anti-inflammatory and good for superficial burns.

How to Make a Tincture Using Herbal Medicine

olive tree leaves First collect olive leaves and place in a jar.  Cover with some alcohol and store in a dark place for 3 weeks shaking the contents each day.  After three weeks, strain the solution through a cheese cloth into a clean jar, storing in a dark bottle in a cupboard.  Up to 5ml of this tincture can be taken daily.  This has been known to lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure.  Alternatively, a decoction can be made by boiling the olive leaves in water for 20 minutes.  This however will need to be consumed within 2 days.

 

 

use fresh  herbsWhatever your health, look to nature and try to include more of its healing properties to enrich your life naturally.  

 

Supplements for Panic Attack

healthy diet

If your diet always includes plenty of fresh, organically grown fruits and vegetables, quality protein sources, and heart-healthy fats, you may not benefit from supplements. Unfortunately evidence suggests that most people’s health regime does not follow this path, even when with all good intentions, circumstances make it impossible.  It is for this reason that many of us would benefit from supplementing our diet with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients and herbs, particularly for those dark periods in our lives.

 

 

What is a ‘Supplement”?

dietary supplementsThe word “supplement” means something added. In this case, you are “adding” to a basic healthy diet and lifestyle, or to a prescription medication or therapy to treat a medical condition. It is important to remember, that a vitamin or herbal supplement on its own will not necessarily cure or treat your condition or health problem. Nor does it mean that taking a vitamin can replace an unhealthy diet as nothing can substitute the nutrients you receive from fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. However, a general multivitamin and mineral supplement can be a good safeguard against periodic vitamin deficiencies in your diet.

The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) define a dietary supplement as a product that:

  • supplements the food you eat;
  • contains one or more dietary ingredients (including vitamins; minerals; herbs or other botanicals; amino acids, and other substances);
  • comes in pill, capsule, tablet, or liquid form; and
  • is labelled as a dietary supplement

Vitamin & Mineral Supplements

These supplements contain micronutrients meant to help a healthy body function smoothly. For example, vitamin A helps your vision and bone growth, while vitamin E strengthens the immune system and helps repair DNA. Deficiency in vitamin and minerals can affect the body’s ability to heal.  This in turn will affect your immune system.

Herbal Supplements

dietary supplementsThese are different from vitamin and mineral supplements in that they are considered to have medicinal value and generally support a specific area of the body’s health, such as the liver, heart, mind or bones. Herbs, also known as botanicals, are one of the oldest healing therapies and the basis of many modern medicines.

Can Supplements Be Taken With Medications?

Like any type of natural remedy it is best to check with your doctor if you are taking other medications. Herbal supplements and over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs can combine to cause adverse side effects. Because a herbal supplement is extracted from a “natural” source it does not mean it is less harmful than any chemical. At the same time, remember that not all these vitamins are beneficial, especially when taken in toxic doses or combined with other medications.

When are Supplements Beneficial?

In short, they are a great way to make sure you are getting all the necessary vitamins and micro-nutrients you need to be healthy.  

There is more and more evidence that people are turning to supplements to complement their diets.  Apart from ensuring that the body receives all the necessary vitamins, there are a number of reasons why they are becoming more popular.

  • Modern farming techniques – the increase in the use of industrial agriculture has decreased the nutritional value of many foods in our diet. Replacing organic fertilizers with synthetics, (often containing only nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium), achieves large, fast-growing plants that appeal visually to the consumer, but often lack the main micronutrients required in a healthy diet.
  • Aging. As we grow older, many of us suffer from poor digestion due to insufficient stomach acid or low populations of beneficial microorganisms in our digestive tracts.  Consequently we are not able to achieve the best nutrients from our food sources.
  • Frequent dieting – to achieve weight loss, we reduce our calorie intake which also means restricting good nutrition.  
  • Medications – many prescription medications lower vitamin and/or mineral concentrations in the blood.
  •  Busy lifestyles – it is not so easy to eat a healthy meal at every meal. Vitamins, minerals and herbal remedies can help to fill these gaps

Best Supplements for Panic Attacks?

Information about dietary supplements is often confusing. It’s hard to know which one is safe and achieves what it claims, eg ‘the hormone melatonin helps establish normal sleep patterns’. This is made even more difficult because of government regulations. Unlike drugs, which must be approved by the FDA before they can be marketed, dietary supplements do not require premarket review or approval by the FDA.

While the supplement company is responsible for having evidence that their products are safe and the label claims are truthful and not misleading, we the consumer have to make the best informed choice. However, before selecting a supplement to fight your panic attacks, the very first consideration is to eat a healthy diet. Even the best supplement is no substitute for good nutrition.

 

 

Bach Flower Remedies for Panic Attack

alternative medicine - bach flower remedies

Panic and anxiety disorders are generally treated with medication that is taken regularly. While these medications may be effective, many of them are habit forming and cause withdrawal effects when the sufferer chooses to stop. Consequently many sufferers today prefer taking homeopathic remedies.

Bach Flower Remedies are one of the homeopathic remedies that can be used for panic attack..

What are Bach Flower Remedies?

alternative medicine - bach flower remediesThe original Bach Flower Remedies are a safe and natural method of healing discovered by Dr. Bach more than 80 years ago in England. He came up with 38 remedies which come from the flowering parts of plants, bushes and trees. They are liquid so that you can mix them together, which gives a 293 million possible combination, enough to treat every possible negative mental state.

How Do Bach Remedies Work?

Put simply, Bach Flower Remedies are medicines used to balance negative mental states and emotions. Each remedy treats a specific negative emotional state (eg fear, worry, hatred and indecision) by encouraging the equivalent positive quality that lies dormant within us.  This allows peace and happiness to return to the sufferer so that the body is free to heal itself.

Can You Take Anxiety Medications WithThis Alternative Medicine?

Bach Remedies are designed to be safe and can be used with medications.  However, a word of warning – always check with your medical practitioner before you stop your medication.  At times, you may experience withdrawal symptoms and your panic symptoms may be worse.

Do Bach Flower Remedies have any Side Effects?

The Bach Flower Remedies are 100% safe with no side effects. Unlike many medications, when you feel fine again, you can stop taking the remedies and you will remain fine. Because they work very gently, they slowly unpeel the emotional layers one at a time.

Who ProvidesThese Natural Remedies?
Bach Flower remedies may be used by homeopaths, naturopaths, chiropractors, herbalists, and Bach flower practitioners. Consumers can buy Bach remedies at health food stores and online.

Are There Bach Remedies for Panic Attack?

alternative medicine - bach flower remediesFind a trained Bach Remedy consultant who will need to know which particular emotional state you are trying to treatIn the case of panic or anxiety symptoms, try these Bach Flower Remedies:

  • Mimulus: Fear of anything you can put a name on: Fear of dying, being alone, spiders, losing a job, not be able to pay your bills, fear of flying, fear of a panic attack, fear of small places  etc.
  • Aspen: Fear of the unknown, fear that something bad is going to happen but you cannot put a name on it.
  • Red Chestnut: Fear that something bad is going to happen to your loved ones.
  • Rock Rose: Frozen fear, terror, and the deer in the headlight type of fear.
  • Cherry Plum: Fear that you may lose control on yourself, explosive anger, the feeling you wish to hurt yourself or others.
  • Elm: If you feel overwhelmed, too much to do, not enough time.
  • White Chestnut: If you have repeated unwanted thoughts or worries.

How are Bach Remedies Prepared?

These remedies are made 100% naturally from spring water infused with wild flowers. The recommendation for every day purposes is to take no more than six or seven remedies at the same time.  

You can use one of two basic methods when you want to mix them.

  • For passing moods: select ones you want to take, than in a glass of water add two drops of each remedy. Sip from the glass at intervals until the mood has passed. In an emergency you might take a sip every few seconds and later a couple of sips during the evening.
  • For long term problems: you can use a glass of water method. Make up a fresh glass each morning. Sip from the glass four times a day – in the morning, in the evening and two more times during the day.

You can also make up a treatment bottle. In an empty 30 ml or 1 oz dropper bottle put two drops of each selected remedy, than top the bottle with non-fizzy bottled mineral water. As a preservative, you may choose to add 1 teaspoon of brandy, or for alcohol-free, apple cider vinegar or vegetable glycerine. Shake the contents a little bit. Take four drops directly on the tongue at least four times a day. Four drops are the minimum dose. If you take less it reduces the effectiveness of the remedies. A 30 ml treatment bottle will last up to three weeks.

alternative medicine - bach flower remediesThe best known flower remedy product is the Rescue Remedy combination, which contains an equal amount each of Rock Rose, Impatiens, Clematis, Star of Bethlehem and Cherry Plum remedies. The product is aimed at treating stress, anxiety, and panic attacks especially in emergencies.

While Bach Remedies are safe to use, there is not sufficient evidence to prove their effect.  However, if the act of selecting and taking a remedy as well as litening to a practitioner helps ease your emotional state, then bach remedies cannot do you any harm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tai Chi for Panic Attack Symptoms

Tai Chi is another popular traditional Chinese medicine that can be used for panic attack symptoms.  It uses relaxation techniques that anyone can use, irrespective of their health problems.

What is Tai Chi?

tai chi for healthy living It is sometimes called ‘meditation in motion’ although many of its followers, who have seen its amazing benefits, might call it ‘medication in motion’. Tai Chi, together with Gigong, is a mind-body practice that originated in ancient China as a ‘soft’ martial art. Today it is becoming increasingly popular in the West as a means of stress management, exercise, and healthy living. For this reason it can be used to treat panic attack symptoms.

Tai Chi follows a series of controlled movements or postures, designed to harmonize the circulation of “chi” around the body. “Chi” is a term from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) used to describe an energy flow that pervades the universe and sustains the living beings within it. “Yin” and “yan” are regarded by TCM as the 2 essential forces of the universe.  Both complement each other completely and together form a perfect whole.  “Chi” circulates around the body to maintain the balance of “yin” and “yan”. When the flow of “chi” is disrupted, illness occurs.  By regularly practicing Tai Chi, you can strengthen and improve “chi” for heathy living.

What is Involved?

 tai chi and health and fitnessTai Chi is a safe, low-impact, slow motion, weight-bearing, aerobic exercise, (although relaxing). As you move, you breathe deeply and naturally, focusing your attention through meditation on your bodily sensations. Unlike most exercises, its movements are usually circular and never forced, the muscles are relaxed rather than tense, the joints are not fully extended or bent, and connective tissues are not stretched.  In other words, anyone can practice it, including the elderly, those on wheelchairs, those recovering from surgery and those suffering from depression.

Tai Chi usually starts with a five to 10 minute warm-up of easy motions where you focus on your breathing and body, awakening the flow of “chi”.  You then progress through a series of movements while you focus on your breathing and posture.  These movements will often last 25-30 minutes. Finally you end with a five to 10 minute cool-down using relaxation techniques.

Generally it is practised outdoors to take advantage of the surrounding energy of nature. Because you will be moving your body it is best to choose loose-fitting clothes that don’t restrict your movements.  You can practice barefoot or in comfortable, flexible shoes and you don’t need any fancy equipment.  You can practice standing, sitting or lying down.

Benefits

Although Tai Chi is slow and gentle, and unlike other aerobic exercises, doesn’t leave you breathless, it has a wide range of benefits, including treatment for panic attack.  These include:

  • Improved core strength, conditioning, coordination and flexibility – improvement in both lower-body and upper-body strength
  • Reduced pain and stiffness
  • Better balance and lower risk of falls
  • Better sleep because of its calming and relaxing nature
  • Greater awareness and better wellness – synchronizes the musculoskeletal and nervous systems

Treatment for Panic Attack Symptoms

Because of its calming and relaxation abilities, Tai Chi is useful for conditions caused by stress and anxiety, such as panic attacks.  By ensuring that you primarily focus on performing the body movements with grace and poise, you exercise the body and clear the mind – perfect for treatment for panic attack symptoms.

Special Considerations

tai chi for healthy living

If you have a limiting musculoskeletal problem or medical condition, or take medications that make you dizzy or lightheaded, it is best to check with your doctor before you start.  Chances are that the doctor will encourage you to try it because its gentle nature and safety record make it one of the best relaxation techniques for panic attacks.

 

Where Do I Go to Learn?

It is possible to learn yourself using the books and videos that are available.  However, most practitioners recommend that you join a class and learn from an experienced teacher who is able to guide you accordingly. If you are unsure if it is for you, consider observing a class and talk to the instructor. Ask them for advice on treatment for panic attack.

This is one of the best relaxation techniques available. Its gentle nature makes it easy to practice by anyone, no matter what level of fitness.  Tai chi does not follow the ‘no pain, no gain’ philosophy of many other forms of exercise.  In fact, if it hurts, you are trying too hard.  It is a wonderful form of mental and physical stimulation and great for overall health.  Like yoga, iti is great for stress reduction and relaxation. Enjoy its peaceful movements to promote your own healthy living and for panic attack symptoms.

 

 

 

 

Bowen Therapy and Depression

What is Bowen Therapy?

bowen therapy for stress reliefBowen Therapy is a holistic health technique that works on the soft connective tissue (fascia) of the body.  This holistic treatment is directed at the whole person and aims to treat the cause of the problem rather than the symptoms. It is gentle and relaxing and does not use forceful manipulation, making it safe for people of all ages, infants and the elderly. 

“This method of therapy promotes the body as a self-regulating bioenergetic and biomechanical entity that tends toward self regulation.  As long as the proper neurological and neuromuscular context exists, the body has the innate ability to self-regulate and return to balance.  Neuromuscular imbalances can develop throughout the body causing the manifestation of illness. If these imbalances are resolved, then the body would again regulate itself.” (Tom Bowen) To fulfil this process the Bowen Therapy helps the body’s own healing resources to achieve balance and harmony.   

Is Bowen Therapy Used For Depression?

This therapy is known to cure a number of ailments.  It can result in the rapid and long-lasting removal of pain and discomfort, often where other treatments have not been effective.  It is not uncommon to see results after the first session. Because constant pain can trigger depression, the Bowen Therapy is useful in combating this disorder. 

What Can You Expect from a Visit to a Therapist?

holistic healthThe therapy works on the superficial and deep facia, or soft tissue, the part of the connective tissue that envelops, separates and influences every organ and tissue in the body.  The facia is one of the largest sensory organs in the body and has a huge effect on the body’s physiology and function.

Depending on the severity of the imbalance, treatment can take from one to several 30-35 minute sessions to achieve a desirable and long-lasting result.  The sessions are very gentle and non-invasive, with no forceful manipulation.  The treatment consists of a sequence of specialized ’moves’ which are directed in a specific and systematic manner.  The ‘moves’ are pleasant – therapists using light, cross-fibre gentle manipulation of muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves, using varying pressures, spaced by resting periods that allow the body to reintegrate.  During this resting time, the therapist may leave the room for periods of 2-5 minutes at a time.  This allows time for your body to respond to the treatment and for the necessary changes to occur in your body before commencing the next sequence of moves.

Treatments can be done either through the patient’s clothing or directly on the skin.  Generally the patient is asked to remove heavy or thick clothing. 

Are There Any Side Effects or Conditions After Bowen Therapy?

bowen therapy for stress reliefThe therapist will discuss possible side effects from the treatment that show that the body’s self-healing process is working.  They will emphasise the importance of body hydration (drinking plenty of water) and will recommend any other exercise, environmental or lifestyle changes necessary to maintain your wellbeing.

It is advised that you do not have any other physical therapy or other form of manipulation such as massage, chiropractic, physiotherapy, acupuncture or kinesiology for one week after the treatment.  These things may undo the balance achieved through the Bowen treatment. 

For the first week after treatment, it is advised that you avoid excessive heat or cold to the areas being treated

Avoid sitting for periods longer than 30 minutes on the day of your visit without moving around

Walk as much as possible for 3 days after your visit for at least 15 minutes a day

Drink as much water as is possible to flush toxins from the body

Avoid stimulating substances such as coffee for the first week

You may experience some reactions such as hot and cold flushes, emotional releases, headaches and body aches, however, they are a positive sign that the healing process is working.

How do You Choose a Bowen therapist?

It is best to choose a registered therapist. The Bowen Therapist State Associations and Federation only register members who have adequate training at accredited institutions and hundreds of hours of clinical practice. These therapists must maintain their level of expertise by completing continuous study and workshops each year. Before they can renew their membership with the Association, they must also have current Senior First Aid and professional indemnity insurance.

Is Bowen Therapy Safe?

Speak to your doctor and potential therapist about your complaint.  Ask for advice and ask for testimonials. Some alternative therapies do not have specific evidence to support their claims.If you are looking for an alternative therapy and do not have a life-threatening complaint, this therapy cannot do you any harm.  If you are suffering from a chronic complaint, the best practice  is to seek the advice of your medical practitioner.  Sometimes, traditional medicine and holistic medicine have been known to complement each other.

bowen therapy for stress relief