Archive | January, 2014

How Stress is Affecting Your Health

27 Jan

In our modern world, being in a stressful state is often regarded as normal or even laudable as a sign of hard work. The reality is that when you’re under stress, no matter how well you handle it, eventually you will begin to see the affects on your physical, mental and spiritual health.

 Fight or Flight

When our bodies are in a stressful state, they release endorphins, the fight or flight stress hormone, as well as adrenaline, epinephrine and norepinephrine. When you’re in a constant state of stress, the hormones and steroids that should only operate when you’re truly in a fight of flight situation are constantly being released into your body.

When this happens, the weakest part of your body will be affected first. You may begin to develop high blood pressure or have kidney issues. You may suffer like I did (…ndividual-body) from digestive challenges or have problems in the mind, such as intense anger, depression or extreme anxiety that begin to affect the way you treat others.

When all these things are going on constantly, the body shifts into a frantic and panicked state.

How to Tell if You’re Under Stress

It’s not unusual for someone under prolonged stress to get so used to it that she or he begins to think that’s just how life goes. They may not realize something is off until another person points it out to them, or they’re suddenly dealing with a crisis that forces them to change their ways. So how can you tell if you’re living with the kind of stress that will affect your health?

Pay attention to the signs. Physically, people under tremendous stress being to experience chest pains or more frequent migraines. Rapid weight loss or weight gain is also common, depending on how the person is dealing with stress.

Another sure sign of stress is the state of your relationships. When you’re stressed, you interact with your friends, co-workers and loved ones differently. For instance, when I am under a lot of stress, I become short-tempered and have a sharp tongue. I don’t care what I say or if I’ve hurt your feelings, and I become vindictive. That’s not normal for me, and when I act like that it pushes people away and it’s a clear sign that something is out of balance.

What You Can Do Today

If you’re feeling a lot of stress, or if you recognize any of the symptoms above as your own, there are several things you can do right now to replace stress hormones with feel-good hormones, and they’re all very easy!

Take a walk in nature. Let yourself be pulled away from the everyday stresses at work and with your family.

If you can’t do that, turn on some music you like – blast it! If you’re driving and you feel yourself getting angry, turn on some nice music on the radio and just chill, relax.

Spend time with uplifting friends. Even just sitting down for a 40-minute cup of coffee with someone you like can make a great difference in your stress levels.

Stress is definitely very present in our 21st century lives, but it is also manageable and doesn’t have to make you miserable. Have you tried any of these simple tricks to relieve stress? Share your experience in the comments below.

Wishing You Much Health and Wellness!


Rochel Marie Lawson, RN,AHP,CMS

The Queen of Feeling Fabulous

Twitter: @rochelelawson


Ayurveda Honors the Individual Body

13 Jan

If you suffer from high blood pressure, chances are you’ll step into your doctor’s office and he or she will prescribe you one of the leading pharmaceutical drugs to treat your symptoms. After you leave, another patient may come in with high blood pressure and your doctor will probably prescribe him with the same drug.

But since our bodies are all unique individuals, why do we treat them as if they’re all the same?

Holistic-medical modality Ayurveda is really special to me because it’s focused on balance and wellness of the mind, body and spirit. It also treats each individual as a unique being, defining different body constitutions as “Doshas.”

If two people of a different Dosha both have high blood pressure, they won’t be given the same treatment in Ayurveda. They receive treatments that are optimal for their Dosha, because although they both have high blood pressure, their journey to get there was completely different.

Ayurveda believes that each person requires a different kind of care to optimize their health. This system focuses on balancing the mind, body and spirit through the use of herbs and other body therapies, and guess what? It’s all natural, and it’s already aced the test of time.


Ayurveda is believed to have originated in India somewhere between 3,500 and 5,000 years ago. It is believed that Ayurveda is the foundation of all modern medical practice, and that includes Greek medicine, Western medicine, naturopathy, homeopathy and even traditional Chinese medicine.

The modality is still practiced widely today in conjunction with Western medicine in India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, some parts of China, and Afghanistan.

My Journey to Ayurveda

When I was eight years old, I suffered with excruciating abdominal discomfort. The Western doctors could not figure out what was going on, and I began a 17-year journey that included all kinds of pharmaceutical medications and a pelvic examination at the age of nine. Despite this, the doctors just could not figure out what was going on.

As I grew older, the intensity and frequency of the pain increased. I started playing with herbal remedies because I remembered that my grandmother had soothed me as a little girl with a homemade ginger tea. I found myself gravitating toward herbal relief, and as a teen I started doing herbal facials on my friends and myself and cured our acne.

By the time I was a sophomore in college, the discomfort grew worse and worse. When I could afford it, I got massages, and I spent time meditating and drinking herbal tea.

I went to nursing school and by my mid-twenties, I finally put all my knowledge of herbs and body treatments together in a consistent way. Despite my nurse friends trying to convince me to take pharmaceutical medications, I continued practicing my herbal remedies on myself.

After nine months of consistent practice, I was completely cured of what I later discovered to be a bleeding ulcer. I had naturally stumbled upon Ayurveda, and my mission is to share it with the world.

Have you had any experiences with Ayurveda, or do you see how it can help you overcome any physical, mental or spiritual discomfort? Leave a comment below to join the conversation.

Wishing you much health and wellness!


Rochel Marie Lawson, RN,AHP,CMS

The Queen of Feeling Fabulous

Twitter: @rochelelawson