Archive for the ‘Stress’ Category

Stress – The “Modern Disease”

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Stress and anxiety have become the modern form of “disease”. Studies show that 80 percent of Americans have chronic stress – and chronic stress causes chronic diseases and early death. Stress also effects the whole body. That’s why some people have pain in different areas. What is not so well known is that stress also effects cortisol levels and can restrict blood flow and other functions.

One of the natural combatants to stress is lemon balm which reduces stress and anxiety. Lemon balm is a common garden herb related to mint. Not only does it work as a mild sedative but is well known for its memory-enhancing properties.

Another natural combatant is L-theanine, a non-protein amino acid found only in green tea. That’s why you are reading so much about drinking green tea today. Many studies say that 2 or 3 cups of green tea a day will help significantly in lowering stress.

Both lemon balm and L-theanine demonstrate neuroprotective characteristics through mechanisms related to the calming effects on brain cells.

For more information go to Life Extension, January 2012

Breathing

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

Whenever I start with a new client I talk about four basic principles. First is breathing, second is meditation, third is nutrition and fourth is exercise, and not necessarily in that order.

As I read Chunyi Lin, who has a master’s degree in holistic healing and a certified International Qigong Master, he is saying that these four principles are the four basic elements to qigong.

Chunyi Lin says breathing is the most important and following the proper breathing technique helps to restore health and vitality.

Most people breathe at a resting rate of 12 to 20 breaths a minute. Dr. Greg Plotnikoff told me the ideal is eight breaths a minute for a resting rate. Shallow breathing only fills about 60 percent of your lung capacity. Taking just 15 minutes a day (longer is better) you begin to improve your health. Practicing slow, deep breathing everyday will help your body relax more and relieve your body’s negative reactions to stress.

Are you stressed out at times? Take slow deep breaths that fill your lungs for 15 minutes a day and see how it improves your life.

 

Stress & Breathing

Monday, April 6th, 2009

Some studies say that 90 percent of our illnesses are stress related. Breathing deeply can melt that stress away. There is scientific evidence that deep breathing from the diaphragm chemically changes a person’s physiology, which is a person’s mechanical, physical and biochemical function. We can quickly change a stressful situation into a calm, even flowing, life response. How we breathe regulates our physical bodies as well as our emotional and mental states. The key is knowing how to change our breath before anxiety arises. The normal “flight or fight” response is the stressor in this situation. Sometimes we need this “flight or fight” response, but in today’s society we don’t normally have a tiger chasing us so we don’t need this response most of the time.

As we practice breathing from our belly we fill our lungs all the way to the bottom. Remember when you go to the doctor’s they ask you to breathe deeply so they can tell if there is any congestion in your lungs.

You can do this sitting or lying down. I do it both ways. Sometimes when I awake in the middle of the night I’ll place my hands on my belly and breathe in and out making sure I breathe deeply. Other times when I’m in the sauna I will meditate and practice my breathing. Either way it will keep you from stress.