Posts Tagged ‘meditation’

Anxiety is an emotion that we all experience on occasion. However if a person experiences it too frequently then it is a sign that a problem is on the horizon and needs to be addressed.

An overabundance of anxiety is a concern that cannot be swept under the carpet. But there are natural methods for coping with the prevalence of this emotion. Here we explore the most effective natural cures for anxiety.

Too Much Anxiety:

Anxiety is something we all suffer from from time to time. It is a normal response to a situation that is stressful and difficult to cope with. However if you experience it on a regular basis and your worries threaten to assail you then it is possible that you have developed generalized anxiety disorder.

If you are experiencing irritability, restlessness, poor concentration or find yourself growing impatient very easily then you should be evaluated by a medical professional. It helps to also become familiar with the most effective natural cures for anxiety.

Bodywork for Relief:

Bodywork is an excellent natural way of releasing tension and anxiety in the body and the mind. To help you to relieve stress, let go of muscle tension, sleep better and to feel more relaxed try massage therapy or shiatsu. You can also explore other methods of bodywork to reduce the level of anxiety you feel.

Mind and Body Techniques for Relief:

Techniques that engage both your mind and body can also provide an effective cure for anxiety in a natural way. Examples of those include meditation, hypnosis, biofeedback, yoga and tai chi. There are also mind/body exercises that you can do. Getting plenty of physical activity is also a natural anxiety cure as it reduces stress, gives you more energy and provides relaxation. What you might want to do is to try a variety of mind/body techniques and then choose the ones that are most fitting to your lifestyle and schedule.

The Herb Valerian:

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is an herb that is often used to treat those who suffer from insomnia as it can provide a restful night’s sleep. This is also an herb that has shown success in patients who suffer from a mild form of anxiety. Be aware however that the research done on Valerian and anxiety shows promise but is limited at the present time.

This herb should be taken once a day. The best time is approximately one hour before you go to bed. You should continue to take it for a period of two to three weeks at a time. You should not take it for more than three months. Valerian should not be taken with other types of medication. In particular it should not be taken if you are also taking antihistamines or sedatives.

Other Natural Anxiety Remedies:

Other natural remedies for anxiety that you may wish to explore include the herbs passionflower and kava as well as aromatherapy. Chamomile is also good for anxiety as are the B vitamins and the minerals calcium and magnesium.


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You have high blood pressure and your doctor wants to put you on medication to bring it down. You hesitate because you know that you will end up taking this medication for the rest of your life. What are your other options?

If you suffer from high blood pressure, also sometimes referred to as hypertension, then finding ways to reduce it naturally can do your body a world of good. It helps to know that high blood pressure (HBP) is a medical condition that can be prevented if you take the proper steps to control it. Finding natural ways to lower your blood pressure is important because when it remains elevated for long periods at a time it can lead to heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, aneurysms and a decline in cognitive function.

Shed Pounds:

The first thing you must do to lower your high blood pressure naturally is to lose weight if you’re obese or carrying in excess of 50 pounds. Weighing too much is not good for your blood pressure in any way! Eat less, eat healthier and start a regular exercise program.

Patients who suffer from hypertension who start walking briskly for at least 30 minutes a day, preferably at least five times a week (and more if possible) help their heart to work more effectively. This is because the heart does not have to work as hard to pump blood through the body and it uses its oxygen supply more efficiently. Challenge your heart a bit every day and this will help to strengthen it. Of course before starting any exercise program talk to your primary care physician. For a gentle program consider Dr Al Sears PACE Exercise Program – more here.

Natural Health Practices:

Practice deep breathing, yoga, tai chi or meditation. These natural health practices are remedies for high blood pressure because they reduce the level of stress hormones in the body which in turn makes it easier for you to relax. It also helps to learn to breathe from your diaphragm instead of your chest. Inhale as deeply as you can to allow your belly to expand a ball and then let it out. Just feel the tension leave your body. Your blood pressure will thank you for it!

Healthy Diet:

A lower blood pressure diet should include foods that contain plenty of the mineral potassium. As a natural way to lower blood pressure potassium-rich foods such as bananas, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, orange juice, cantaloupe, peas, kidney beans and honeydew melons win top marks.

Potassium can also be found in dried fruits. Examples of these include prunes and raisins. To naturally lower blood pressure you should try to keep your potassium levels around the 2,000 to 4,000 mg mark.

Here is an enjoyable way in which to improve your blood pressure; health- indulge in delectable dark chocolate. Chocolate of the dark variety (not milk chocolate) is composed of a healthy substance called flavanols that keeps the blood vessels strong and elastic. Eat no more than ½ ounce at a time as chocolate is high in saturated fat. Choose a variety that contains approximately 70 percent cocoa or more. This will help lower your blood pressure naturally.


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In part one of Exploring the Basics of Alternative Medicine we took a general look at alternative medicine and care. Here in part two we look more specifically at the categories that NIH has established. There are four in total and they are worth becoming more knowledgeable about because they can enrich and enhance your health and your overall life.

Mind-Body Medicine:

Meditation would fit into this category, as would prayer, music therapy and Tai Chi. These therapies are geared towards developing the mind’s ability to have an effect on physical symptoms that occur in relation to health issues. The goal of these therapies is to use the mind to focus in on the conditions that affect the functioning of the human body.

Biologically-Based Practices:

These therapies have to do with the substances that can be used to heal the body, such as vitamins, herbs and herbal remedies, dietary supplements and healthy foods. Herbal remedies would include plants that are used either for medicinal purposes or for improved nutrition. They can be obtained through a variety of means such as health food stores, grocery stores, pharmacies or through herbalists. You can purchase them in capsule form, as extracts, teas or tinctures.

The FDA does not regulate any of these items at the present time.

Manipulative and Body-Based Practices:

Massage and chiropractic treatments fit into this category of alternative health treatments. These natural therapies are based upon the manipulation and movement of parts of the body. Therapeutic touch would fit in here as well. If an alternative practitioner manually puts pressure on the body and realigns its parts to help it to heal and to alleviate symptoms of pain and discomfort then it is a manipulative and body-based practice.

Chiropractors are a perfect example of this. These doctors use manual manipulation to adjust the spinal column and to have a positive effect on the nervous system.

Energy Medicine:

This category of alternative medicine is based upon a theory that at present does not have any scientific basis in fact. Nevertheless it has many believers. The theory that underlies it is that there are energy fields that penetrate and surround the human body. Examples of these include therapeutic touch (which is also, as previously mentioned, a manipulative and body-based practice), qi gong and Reiki.

Included in this area are also treatments that are based upon bioelectromagnetics. This is the theory that electrical currents found in all living beings are capable of producing magnetic fields that  surround the body and from there extend beyond it into the natural environment.

Some alternative therapies do not fit neatly into any of these four categories and as previously mentioned, there is often overlap between the categories. For instance acupuncture comes from the practice of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and deals with stimulating points along the meridian of the body with thin needles in order to bring balance and harmony to the body by unlocking the pathways of energy. Homeopathic medicine and such practices as Ayurveda incorporate elements from a number of these categories.


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When you hear the words “alternative medicine” what do you think of?

If you are like some people then you probably think of meditation, herbal remedies, acupuncture, hypnosis or something along those lines. All of these practices are treatments that fall under the larger subheading of CAM or complementary and alternative medicine.

But what is alternative medicine all about and more specifically what does it mean to the individuals that seek it out when they are experiencing health and wellness issues? Let us look at this closer.

The Definition of Alternative Medicine:

Alternative medicine does not have a definition that is set in stone. It is often described and determined differently by various individuals. It may mean something different to you than it means to your mother or father, brother or sister, spouse or child. In most cases alternative medicine includes any “healing practices that are not part of mainstream medicine.” This means that it is practices that are not commonly taught to physicians in training when they are in medical school and it is not often used by doctors in their offices or in hospitals throughout the country.

Alternative care is always in flux and is constantly evolving and changing as it becomes more and more acceptable by physicians. It is also becoming more requested and understood by patients with any number of health problems. Many practices that were brushed aside as strange, silly, harmful or downright useless 20 to 30 years ago are now viewed as beneficial therapies that complement traditional medicine that is used in the Western world.

In the United States the agency that does the vast majority of scientific research into alternative therapies is The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) that is found at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

NIH breaks down alternative care into four general categories. These categories include mind-body medicine, biologically based practices, manipulative and body-based practices and finally, energy medicine. These areas often overlap. Once you understand more about each one of these alternative therapy categories then you can determine which one of them or which varieties of them are well suited to your life and your aches and pains.

In part II you can read about the breakdown of the categories of alternative treatments.


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There are some alternative therapies that have successfully made the transition into conventional medicine while others still have not crossed over.

For instance many medical doctors will recommend massage therapy or acupuncture as part of the overall treatment plan for their patients.  Let us take a brief look at the options that are available to you.

Acupuncture has been used for healing in China for 1000’s of years. It involves the insertion of needles along the meridian lines of the body in order to open up neural pathways that have become blocked. This therapy can be used for any number of health problems.

Massage therapy is often as soothing and rejuvenating as it is relaxing to the body and mind. It involves the manipulation of the joints and muscles of the human body in order to relieve stress and improve circulation. Many sports medicine clinics advocate this for injury recovery athletes.

Chiropractic therapy involves hands on adjustments made to the spine and the adjoining structures. Manual manipulation can lead to a healthier spine which can in turn lessen the risk that injuries will take place. Doctors of chiropractic can help their patients with back and neck problems, as well as headaches, joint problems such as arthritis, hand and wrist pain as well as problems with the feet.

Meditation is something that one can learn to do on one’s own. It can be used to treat everything from heart conditions to high blood pressure to panic attacks.

Herbs are a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and can be either taken by mouth or rubbed on various areas of the body to treat sicknesses and/or injuries. You have lots to choose from if you decide to give herbal therapy a try.

Hypnosis or hypnotherapy leverages the power of your subconscious mind to overcome  challenges and a skilled and experienced practitioner can help with bad habits, weight loss, confidence, stress and anxiety, phobias, and many other dis-empowering thoughts and barriers to you reaching your goals.

Other types of alternative methods of therapy you may have heard of include Ayurveda, homeopathy, naturopathy, music therapy and pet therapy. There are other lesser known kinds but these are the alternative treatments that are most often talked about and put into practice.

What you choose to try is entirely up to you. It helps to have an open mind and to be able to identify exactly what you are looking to achieve through the treatments method(s) you put to use. The various practitioners of each one of these therapies can explain to you how each therapy works and the purpose of it to the healing process.

You can ask as many questions as you like in order to figure out if it is a treatment that appeals to you and can help you to feel better.  Explore as many therapies and as many practitioners as you need to in order to zero in on what can offer the most benefits to you.

The only risk in trying any of these therapies is that they don’t work for you. In reality many people going through traditional medicine have reached the same point as well.


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