PROMOTING HEALTH AND VITALITY THROUGH FOOD
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Keeping our blood alkalized and our blood sugar levels stable by eating an unrefined carbohydrate, low-fat and low-protein diet will do much to promote a vibrant state of health and well being. Take note of what you eat and how it makes you feel, as food can effect your moods. Keep a journal for a while to see how your eating habits are correlated to your emotions and how what you are eating effects your mood and physical health.
There are examples included on this page you may find interesting. For instance, bananas and whole grain foods favor the uptake of tryptophan in the brain. Tryptophan is the precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin is important for relaxation and sleep. Foods with soy protein and eggs in them lead to alertness. They contain lecithin which is a precursor to acetylcholine which is a stimulating neurotransmitter. Meat is low in serotonin and high in tyrosine which triggers catecholamine brain hormones. These hormones are associated with energetic states as well.
Twenty (20) minutes of increasing our heart beat and deepening and increasing the breath will lead to a fat burning mode that can last for hours and reduce the appetite. It is better to have our biggest meal in the early part of the day so it can nourish our body and we can utilize these burned calories as we go about our day. This prevents their depositing as fat. At night we do not need to burn calories and late-night eating can contribute to restlessness and insomnia.
We evolved eating whole foods. These foods are higher in water than processed packaged foods. Our bodies were more hydrated when we ate this way. Sometimes we eat when infact we are really thirsty. You can read more about the body's need for water by
It is important to avoid chemicals that are disruptive to the flow of information that our cells are receiving. This includes preservatives, additives, colors and legal or illegal drugs. If you must take them, use the smallest dose possible. Remember sugar is a drug too and eaten in excess can lead to fat storage. Fructose will less readily cause the release of insulin, so it is a better choice. Look to Stevia as another healthy way to sweeten up your life. You can read more about Stevia by
Increased fat consumption has also had an impact on our overall health.There has been a marked increase in the use of Omega 6 oils with the advent of seed extraction technology. Oils such as sunflower, safflower, peanut and corn are high in Omega 6 fatty acids and virtually devoid of the more beneficial Omega 3 fatty acids. Drastic changes in the American diet over the last 100 years show a 1,000-fold increase in consumption of omega-6 fatty acids. This has serious implications for brain, heart and overall health. It is beneficial to have a 2:1 ratio of Omega 6 fatty acids to Omega 3 fatty acids, with a minimum of 3: or 4:1. I have read reports stating a ratio of more like 20:1 in the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.).
This flood of omega-6 could actually be blocking omega-3s from entering brain cells, since the two fats are so chemically similar. Realizing that the brain itself is nearly 60 percent fat, in 1984 it dawned on researcher Joseph R. Hibbeln, chief of the outpatient clinic at the Laboratory of Membrane Biochemistry and Biophysics at the National Institute of Alcoholism (NIAAA), that omega-3 fatty acids could help remedy neurological disorders. Hibbeln states,"Since we have literally changed the composition of people's bodies and their brains, a very interesting question is brought up. What degree has dietary change had in changing overall behavior in our society?"
There are many profound neurological disorders that are known to be caused by lipid (fat) problems, according to Hibbeln. It is known, for instance, that multiple sclerosis damages the fatty myelin sheaths of nerve cells and that Gaucher's disease, another neurological disorder, is caused by buildup of damaging fatty substances in cells. Essential fatty acids, like omega-3 and omega-6, are a necessity to maintain good health and are key in healthy brain and eye development.
Through various studies, Hibbeln has set out to answer that question. Comparing worldwide rates of depression with rates of fish consumption (rich in omega-3), Hibbeln found that nation's with the highest rates of fish consumption had the lowest rates of depression, and vice versa. The researcher uncovered similar patterns when looking at rates of homicide, suicide, postpartum depression. According to Hibbeln, rates of postpartum depression are 50 times higher in countries where women don't eat fish.
Other studies have shown that depressed people have lower levels of DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, and that increasing omega-3 consumption has helped conditions such as manic depression, postpartum depression, and even antisocial behavior in prisoners.
We can see what we eat can have an important impact on our emotional health. This also refers to what we feed our minds, meaning our
attitude. Attitude is so important, so let's have a look at some guidelines that may be helpful.
GUIDELINES FOR MAINTAINING A HEALTHY OUTLOOK
Remember a stress reducing and health maintenance plan needs to be one you will keep up with.
Do not take on too much. If it is a chore to follow your plan then it is counterproductive because you will not do it.
Learn to take responsibility for your own health. In this way, you can help your body do the job it wants to do for you by providing it with what it needs. Read and learn more about how your body works. To see a list of resources
click here .
Consciously envision a wonderful day each morning and go to bed with loving and relaxing thoughts each night.
Read a book, practice deep breathing, meditate and forget the evening news. You can read more about the benefits and practice of deep breathing by
clicking here and proceeding to "The Breath of Life" section.
Create a personal space in your home where you can go. This builds self-identity and self-confidence. Make it cheery and just how you want it.
Remember, health is more than the absence of illness--it is a state of joy and well being, a connection to yourself and all that is around you. Learn to live in an unselfish way by creating a feeling of connection to others and the earth.
Be kind and lovingly acknowledge your family and friends each day.
Practice forgiveness to heal past experiences and open your heart.
Learn to love.
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TEN INNER TIPS TO REDUCE STRESS
These ten inner tips drawn from the books and recordings of Joel and Michelle Levey provide specific ways you can manage your responses to stressful events, and thus lower your overall levels of stress and anxiety. More information about these stress reduction tips and others are available at http://www.self-guided.com/. Here you can find resources for guided imagery relaxation recordings and books.
Please feel free to pass on these tips to anyone who you think might benefit from them.
1. Take short relaxation breaks to let go of tension.
This is easy when you remember to use your breath as your guide. Whenever you notice you are getting stressed or anxious, just (1) stop and pause for a moment, (2) take in a deep breath, and (3) slowly exhale, releasing any tension you may be carrying.
Use spare moments throughout the day to breathe away tension or to recall pleasant images and memories that will help soothe you. You can also practice relaxation guided imagery to calm your mind and body. By reducing your overall anxiety level in these ways, you will be better able to deal with stressful information and world events.
2. Engage in a mind-body practice to relieve stress.
We all know that exercise is healthy. In addition, there are many practices and techniques that specifically enhance the mind-body connection and help relieve stress. These include such activities as tai chi, yoga, walking meditation, ecstatic dance, walking a labyrinth, playing a musical instrument, as well as focused sports performance. The most effective techniques will get you in touch with a "felt sense" of your aliveness in your body. Performing these and other mind-body activities in a natural setting gives an added soothing and balancing benefit.
3. Take time to care for yourself to restore balance in your life.
Providing good self-care is not selfish. If you are totally stressed out, you won't have much left over to give to yourself or to others. It's important to take the time to do something you love to do�something just for you�at least once a day. Go for a leisurely walk, get a massage, listen to some favorite music, take a long hot bath, get a manicure, take a nap, or do any other healthy activity that gives you energy. This will increase the balance in your life, thus helping you to better deal with anxiety and stress.
4. Explore the healing power of mindfulness to reduce anxiety.
Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to whatever you are experiencing in the moment. The method is to simply notice the ever-changing flow of your mental, emotional, and physical experiences as you go about your daily life. Although deceptively simple, the practice of mindfulness is a crucial tool for discovering and sustaining balance in your life. By helping you learn to recognize the subtle "whispers" of tension, worry, or stress before they can turn into "screams," the practice of mindfulness offers many health benefits, including the ability to reduce your stress and calm your anxiety.
5. Express gratitude as a powerful antidote to fear.
When you give thanks, it is difficult to feel fear at the same time. A heartfelt sense of appreciation that connects you with what is good and right in your life will help restore harmony and balance in both your mind and your body. Remember to be thankful for the many blessings already present in your life.
6. Recognize when you tell yourself "stories that don't need to happen."
The stress of life can easily lead the mind to imagine all sorts of unpleasant outcomes, which in turn leads to more worry and anxiety. To interrupt this unproductive mental feedback loop, simply recognize and then release such thoughts by saying to yourself, "This is a story that doesn't need to happen." The trick is not to suppress negative thoughts or deny them, but to simply honor them and then let them go. And when a desirable story arises in your inner dialogue, recognize it and then release it by saying to yourself, "Yes, this is a healing story."
7. Develop a sense of compassion to increase your resilience.
If you can open and expand your heart�even just a little�to the true humanness of others, it can transform your attitude toward yourself as well. Cultivating a sense of compassion will expand your horizons and connect you to a larger concept of yourself. This in turn will ease your own stress and anxiety, and allow you to have a greater range of choices in how you respond to any situation.
8. Choose relaxing activities before bedtime to get better sleep.
Our curious minds naturally want to know the latest news and how it might affect us. It's a basic survival instinct. But it's also important to get a good night's rest, and watching TV news at night before bedtime can be detrimental to the quality of your sleep. A better survival strategy is to catch up on the news during the day, and in the evening focus on relaxing or mentally uplifting activities. Instead of watching TV news at night, try listening to music, reading a book, or watching a non-violent movie. You are likely to sleep better, have more pleasant dreams, and awaken more refreshed�and thus be better able to cope with daily stress.
9. Look beyond the immediate to find the deeper meaning.
This tip is really about finding your faith and trusting it. Call upon any higher powers that have significance for you and ask for guidance to be able to see the deeper meaning of events in your own life and in the world at large. Imagine looking down at the Earth from outer space and being able to sense the unseen forces constantly at work for the greatest good of all creation. Applying a "big picture" perspective to your thoughts and actions helps you gain a sense of inner peace.
10. Activate your mental powers to envision peace.
Your thoughts have power over your own body. Consider that your thoughts also may have a positive effect on other things as well. The healing power of prayer is widely acknowledged in all cultures and is gaining greater acceptance in medical and scientific circles. We all want peace. Use your mental powers to radiate your own love out into the world to envision and create peace.
I have another dear friend in the UK, John Crawford , who is a Hypnotherapist. He has a wealth of knowledge on his web pages in regard to
mental health. You can check http://www.hypnotherapyforlife.co.uk and
his sister site http://:www.anxietyspecialist.co.uk to learn about
simple and practical ways to deal with emotional stressors.
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STRESS REDUCING HERBS
Here is a short list of stress-reducing herbs:
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Roman Chamomile: Relieves anxiety, insomnia headache and digestive upset. A cooled tea bag can be used for tired and itchy eyes.
Thyme: Relieves headache and nervous exhaustion.
Lavender: Helps to induce sleep and relieves headache. It is used for depression and nervous tension. A cooled tea can be applied to the skin for stress-related skin rashes.
Lemon Balm: Relieves anxiety, depression and nervous tension.
Calendula: Is good for gastric ulcers and a cooled tea can be applied to the skin for rashes.
Marjoram: Relieves tension and headaches.
Peppermint: Used for flatulence, indigestion, travel sickness, headache, anxiety and nausea.
Rosemary: Used for flatulence, indigestion, headache, depression and nervous exhaustion.
St. John's Wort: This is a relatively inexpensive herb that has been used successfuly in Europe for depression. Hypericum, which is its botanical name, has had a few clinical trials which show it to be 2.67 times more effective than a placebo in treating mild to moderately severe depression. It has been shown to be as effective as standard anti-depressant drugs.
A dose of 300 mg. three times a day with a standardized concentration of 0.3% Hypericin (its primary active ingredient) is usually recommended. It is available as a tincture, capsule, homeopathic preparation or medicated oil. A possible side effect is photosensitivity. This means that prolonged exposure to the sun should be avoided as Hypericum may lead to increased sensitivity to the sun's UV light.
When you think of how the plant looks and where and how it grows, you can get the feeling that this bright, sunny, yellow flower could
warm, energize and uplift the spirit of someone suffering from depression.
FLOWER REMEDIES FOR EMOTIONAL RELEASE
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For people who do not want to take drugs, or who cannot afford the time or money for counseling, Flower Essences can be a simple, inexpensive method to help restore emotional equilibrium, while relieving anxiety and stress. Flower Essences help restore balance to emotions, thoughts and even attitudes. They have been proven effective by licensed health care professionals for over seventy years. Adults and children of all ages can benefit from their use, as well as pets.
Flower Essence remedies do not mask the reality of our feelings as prescription drugs can. They connect us to our strength, thereby allowing us to move through and thus deal with these feelings. They are helpful to use when weaning oneself from addictive drugs, antidepressants and tranquilizers. They are non-addictive and non-harmful. They enhance other natural treatments and release cellular fear and tension. Each remedy emanates the energy pattern or blue print of the original plant matter, yet there is no molecular substance of that plant remaining. They have been shown to be effective with biofeedback imaging. Flower Essences heal from the auric field to the physical field. Most herbs and supplements heal from the physical because of their pharmacological properties.
For more information about frequency and auric fields, visit my
Some brands of Flower Essence liquid drops are taken orally, some are rubbed topically on pulse points (e.g. inside of the wrists or elbows, temples, behind the ears) and others are evaporated into the aura, as is the case with Petaltones. Petaltones are a unique and exciting form of Flower Essences. They work via evaporation into the auric field and are capable of multi-level healing. They can also be used in healing animals, interactions with crystals and changing the energy in buildings. These essences are created from English wildflowers grown in powerful natural energy centers.
All of these modes of application seem to have equal results. The more times the essences are taken or applied within a day, the quicker it seems to work. The essences should be taken no less than four times a day, in order to get results. Sometimes feelings will deepen when using flower rememdies. This is a good sign that you have found the right remedy. This is usually temporary (1st week of use) and lasts for only a short time. There is no harm if you take the wrong essence, you will simply not improve.
Essences can offer a powerful way to find relief from emotions like trauma, grief, loss, fear, anger, hopelessness, helplessness and almost any state of emotional or mental imbalance.
Below are listed some emotional states typically challenging to our emotional well being and the suggested Flower Essences you can use.
Holly for anger, suspicion or revenge.
White Chestnut for constant worries and unwanted repetitive thoughts, which can cause sleeplessness.
Mimulus for fears of known things (slight to moderate intensity).
Rock Rose for fears of known things (when intense).
Elm for feelings of being overwhelmed.
Walnut when you are feeling unprotected from outside negativity and transitions are difficult.
Willow when feeling resentment and bitterness.
Vervain for feelings of injustice.
Star of Bethlehem for shock and trauma.
Cherry Plum when you feel like you're losing control of your mind; fear of letting go.
Sweet Chestnut for feelings of helplessness, depression and pessimism.
Gorse for hopelessness.
Olive when feeling completely exhausted, physically and/or mentally. Used for exhaustion after a long illness.
Crab Apple if feeling unclean and contaminated.
Gentian if depressed and/or discouraged.
Hornbeam to renew interest in life.
For general stress or the stress of accidents or emergencies, Rescue Remedy (a Bach Flower Essence combination formula of five single Flower Essences) is widely used.
How to Take A Single Flower Essence
When only one Flower Essence seems indicated, the essence liquid can be taken several different ways with the same results, straight from the concentrate bottle, or diluted.
To take a single Flower Essence straight from the concentrate bottle, use 2 drops each time on or under the tongue at least 4 times a day. To address a passing mood, dilute a single Flower Essence by putting 2 drops into a small glass of water. Sip frequently, making additional glasses if needed. Do this until you feel better and are satisfied with your improvement. Each glass equals a full dose, just as if you took 2 drops straight from the concentrate bottle. Minimum daily dose is 4 glasses.
For long-term use, put 2 drops of a single Flower Essence into a clean one-ounce amber glass dropper bottle. Fill the bottle to the shoulder with spring water. Add one teaspoon of a preservative (brandy, apple cider vinegar or vegetable glycerin). Take 4 drops from this "dilution bottle" on or under the tongue. Do this at least 4 times a day. Each 4-drop dose from the dilution bottle is equal to a 2-drop dose from the original concentrate bottle.
If you are experiencing more than one of the mood states listed above, you may wish to combine as many as seven essences into a one-ounce glass amber mixing bottle filled with bottled spring water for a multidimensional healing effect. To combine a personal formula, start with a clean, empty one-ounce dropper bottle. Fill to the shoulder with bottled spring water. Add two drops of each indicated Flower Essence (as many as seven) from the stock bottles. Add 1 teaspoon of brandy as a preservative (you can also use apple cider vinegar or vegetable glycerin). Take 4 drops of this formula 4 times a day or more, internally by mouth or externally on pulse points.
Attention to the correct dosage will assure results. You cannot overdose, even if you take a remedy every three minutes until you