In January, you might have been full of good intention to start a health regime. And now, in February, you’d be forgiven if you wished you’d got another week off work, or some more time to relax…
Today’s modern lifestyle takes its toll on us all from time to time. Don’t start the spring feeling zapped of your strength! Get into gear with natural remedies and therapies that make you feel great.
Do you need to revitalise? To be ‘recharged’ and invigorated’?… who wouldn’t! Compared to fifty years ago, life passes us by at a rapid pace. Technology has heralded an age where everything is accessed super-quick, and our lifestyles have followed suit. Just think of how we eat. Most of us use quick-fix food products which cut down on prep time.
Whilst the body, and the mind has adapted to some degree, statistics show us that unless we take proactive steps to calming our busy lives down, we could end up stressed out, burnt out and feeling down. We need to revitalise!
Do you feel like you’re lacking in energy? From a nutritional perspective, B vitamins are often chosen, as these nutrients are paramount for production of energy in the body. Choose a high potency B complex for at least three months. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) is the active coenzyme form of vitamin B3. It plays an essential role in the energy production of every human cell. It has been well researched in people with Chronic Fatigue System, and supplements are available (see a therapist to see what level you should take).
Coenzyme Q10 is found naturally occurring in the body, and, as we age, levels decline. This interesting health substance is involved in the final stages of energy production, and research has shown that it can help to maintain stamina and endurance in those whose body levels are declining (such as people with hectic lifestyles, those who are physically active and those in older age). Researched levels are around 60mg to 120mg daily.
We cannot talk about re-vitalising without talk about the Ginsengs (Korean and Siberian). Korean ginseng (Panax Ginseng) has traditionally been taken to improve mental and physical vitality. It is an adaptogenic herb, which helps the body to realign the ‘pituitary-adrenal axis’ (in other words, restore balance to the hormonal systems of the body).
Anyone who has suffered prolonged stress knows how much this leaves you feeling drained, depressed and worn out. It’s important to catch stress in the early stages, taking proactive steps to halt it and regain strength and emotional wellbeing.
Studies have shown that people with busy lifestyles, or those who are feeling a bit down, quite often don’t eat a healthy diet, and therefore, levels of B vitamins (found in wholefoods and fresh produce) can go down in the blood (why not take a supplement?). As well as this, changes in diet and stress can cause upset to the digestive system, so choose a probiotic formulation to increase your gut levels of friendly bacteria.
If you are stressed, look at the information about how to revitalise, and in addition to this, you might like to try flower remedies, which inherently work on your character and emotional type – your ‘constitution’.
Are you unable to weigh things up and are finding it hard to focus? Then take Scleranthus to gain inner balance and a decisive character.
Full of apprehension? For relief from uneasy feelings, take aspen. Vine creates a positive state with great leadership qualities.
If you’ve got stressful situations coming up (such as exams or a visit to the dentist), take impatiens, star of Bethlehem or cherry plum, whilst rock rose if often used by people who have a fear of losing control, to give calmness and peace.
Relax and Rest
It’s easy to see why people get so het up. It seems like there’s hardly time to take 5 minutes rest and relaxation, but it’s important to create somewhere, and some time to back away from the cares and worries of each day. Rather than this being the odd day here and there as a luxury (is it hardly surprising that spas do so well?), creating a rest and relaxation routine is vital. To do this, remove or block out harsh noise and light, create a peaceful space with different textures and restful sensations (use aromatherapy products such as diffusers and scented/heated wheat bags, lava lamps, and meditative CDs). You’d be amazed at how even simple steps can leave you feeling calmer.
Herbal remedies are wonderful for all kinds of stress-related problems, and are easily recognised in store. Various sleep remedies are available, and these could also be used for general relaxation (ask a herbal practitioner for more information about intakes that are specific to you). Broadly speaking, they are all calminative, bringing a relaxed state to the body. Look for: hops (Humulus lupulus), Passiflora (sometimes called Purple Coneflower) – used for nervous restlessness) or Scullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) used for insomnia or nervous tension.
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is probably the most well known herb for relaxation and, more specifically, for good sleep and has been used since the 18th century. Its sedative action works on the central nervous system, affecting brain receptors, and inducing a calming effect. Typically, 300mg to 500mg root extract is taken (the equivalents of standardised extract are also available). If you’re unsure about which supplement to take, ask in store or contact a herbal practitioner.
Another popular remedy is 5-HTP, derived from the seeds of Griffonia simplifoconia. 5-HTP is used by the body to make serotonin, which plays a role in sleep, mood and pain control.
Natural Lifestyle © February 2006