Archive | June, 2012

Relieve Your Headaches With Ayurveda

19 Jun

Along with Stress, headaches seem to be one of the most common wellness challenges that most people face in today’s society. In fact, I would say that headache and stress go hand in hand. Most people that are stressed definitely experience some type of headache. When a headache strikes, most people will reach for either a Tylenol, Advil (Ibuprofen), Aspirin or an Aleve (Naprosyn). While over the counter pain relievers offer temporary relief, they do not address the root cause of the headache and often the headache will return. Ayurveda is the science of how to create optimal health. It is the traditional medicine of India, is holistic and approaches health and wellness from a natural point of view. Within Ayurveda, herbs are used to bring natural relief with the goal of correcting internal imbalances. Because Ayurveda is a holistic in nature it covers the mind, body and spirit and assesses a person’s lifestyle and how factors within the lifestyle may be the primary factor causing the headaches.

Headaches fall into three major categories, Cluster headaches, Migraine headaches and Tension headaches.

Cluster headaches can be very intense. They have the tendency to last from a few minutes to a few hours and will often come and go throughout the day. These headaches tend to be “pulsing” type of headaches in the temporal area and may be accompanied by tearing or redness of the eye, sweating or constriction of one pupil.

Migraine headaches are extremely intense in nature often inhibiting the individual’s daily function. These types of headaches cause great distress and often have the signs and symptoms of nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, noise and smells. These headaches can last from hours to days.

Tension headaches are the most common type of headaches experienced by individuals. These headaches are intense but are the mildest of the three major types. This type of headache can last from a few minutes to hours.

The cause of Cluster and Migraine headaches are not fully understood although significant strides have been made in the management of Migraine headaches. Tension headaches tend to be highly related to stress, anxiety, poor sleep quality and toxins. Ayurveda views the common cause for the three major types of headaches is that the individual is out of balance.

In Ayurveda, the goal is always to restore balance and optimal health with the individual. This is accomplished through proper diet, herbs, exercise, and stress reduction. Stress reduction may include meditation, yoga and the creation of a harmonious lifestyle.

It is the creation of a harmonious lifestyle that is the most challenging for people. With the challenges faced in today’s society many people are just keeping their head above water or are caught up in the challenge of crisis management and struggling to survive. The busier we become the more difficult our lifestyle, the more our lifestyle suffers, and the more difficult it is to take proper care of ourselves. It is no wonder so many people suffer from stress related illnesses. If a plant is ignored it will wilt and eventually die. If a car is ignored, it will eventually begin to develop problems and if it is still ignored, it will break down. If a human is ignored and not properly cared for, it will eventually begin to develop problems that lead to suffering, illness and disease.

Take this moment and think about one that you can do to decrease the stress in your life. It can be something small like taking 3-5 mindful breaths before you eat your meals to doing 15-20 minutes of a mindful breathing meditation. Whatever you choose to do, just know that you will be doing something very beneficial for your mind, body and spirit, reducing your stress and decreasing the frequency of your headaches.

Namaste,

Rochele Lawson, RN,AHP,CMS

How To Stop Stress From Zapping Your Energy

5 Jun

Stress sabotages us all the time, and with it comes a personal drain on our energy levels. Everything from being overworked or a fear of losing our job to facing a personal tragedy or simply the everyday commitments of life can cause stress. Some people even crave the high they get from stress. However like with any high there is always a low. When the crash hits the person feels completely depleted and can become susceptible for health issues. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, high blood pressure, cardiovascular issues, acid reflux, poor eating habits and insomnia are just to name a few. Even if stress does not make you sick, it can zap your energy.

Here are some ways to stop stress from zapping your energy:

Breathe – Fill your lungs by taking a few deep breaths allowing your abdomen to expand and slowly contract. Allow the expansion of your abdomen to be at least five seconds and allow the expiration or the contraction of your abdomen to take five seconds. This will calm your fight or flight system and bring mindfulness to your body.

Be Contagious – Goodness and happiness are contagious and send out positive energy. Following the law of attraction, you get back what you give out so if you want more positivity in your life, you must be a positive person and share your positive energy. Surround yourself with supportive, happy people. Even if you are stressed and you just want to be alone and hibernate, surround yourself with your friends, this will lighten your mood and bring uplifted and positive energy to your surroundings.

Giggle – Many of us take ourselves too seriously. Learn to laugh off what you can’t control. Of course I don’t mean laugh at an inappropriate situation like a bad meeting with your boss or if someone falls but laugh when stumble along during your day feeling sorry for yourself. When faced with a stressful moment in your day, sometimes its best to step outside of it and just laugh. This will decrease your stress and relax your mind. You simply can’t be stressed while laughing. It doesn’t work the stress leaves immediately when you began to laugh. I call it “My Laugh Therapy.”

Get Moving – Exercise is one of the best ways to alleviate stress and anxiety. It gets your endorphins pumping which are those feel good chemicals that are released when you ride your bide, hop on the treadmill or do a yoga session. If you can’t muster up an hour a day, start with a 10-15 minute walk or yoga asana session. Once you are in the habit of feeling those “good feeling” endorphins, increase your exercise session to 30-45 minutes at least 3 times per week.

Get it Out – Sometimes, it all makes better sense on paper than in our heads. Get a journal and write in it. Journaling is an excellent way to blow off steam without affecting anyone else, except for you. Journal can help you gain insight on what’s happening in your life and how you can possibly change it for the better. Journaling is an exercise that is good for gaining clarity while bringing calmness to the mind.

Book a Massage – Massage does more than relax your muscles, it can relax your mind as well helping to relieve symptoms of stress. During a massage, endorphins are released from your body that calms and relaxes your nervous system. Research studies show that massage therapy actually boosts the body’s immune system which can become compromised during periods of long term stress. It is recommended that a person gets a massage once a week however once a month is fine. Anytime you can give the gift of a massage to yourself you should take advantage of it and enjoy the benefits that it brings to your mind, body and spirit.