HERBS FOR HEALTH MANAGEMENT

Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE IMPACTS PSYCHOLOGICAL HARDINESS

Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.

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ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…

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courses through your body. Allow the air to slowly and evenly leave your body until the stressful feeling goes with it. Envision the poison of the stress being carried out with the breath. Repeat as many times as possible.


Some people prefer sitting in a half or full lotus position during their breathing exercises. Some prefer sitting Indian style, standing or even walking while working the conscious breath. Everyone needs to find their own groove. The chemistry of changing the breath to de-stress is vital, but there is also the mental training to allow yourself to be quiet, stop whatever you’re doing and decide to put some time toward mental health and wellness. Allowing yourself to take better care of yourself is the first big step.

A calm mind is worth its weight in gold, especially in this day and age. There are more bills, emails, tweets, kids running around and relationships in need of time than ever before. Everybody needs to learn how to catch their breath and relax.


Techniques using the breath to calm the mind have been around forever. While these techniques are widely known and accessible, many people feel they don’t even have the time to learn about them, let alone develop a daily practice. This stress trap develops over time into unhappiness at best and, at worst, illness. Like any machine, the body is not designed to be overworked constantly. Like any good exercise, conscious breathing should be moderate and done daily.


Oxidative stress, which occurs through inhalation and exhalation, wears on the body through the years. Without something to keep breathing strong and active, the body will breathe just enough to get by, with breaths growing more shallow as time passes. The eventual dissipation of breath can lead to many health issues.


Try a variety of breathing practices to see which one works best for you. Finding a quiet place to focus on the breath is ideal. Even doing two minutes is great, but going up to 20 minutes is wonderful. It’s important not to become over-oxygenated. Start by breathing in slowly for

CALMING THE MIND THROUGH CONSCIOUS BREATHING

CHARLES SEBASTIAN

Charles Sebastian is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

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five seconds, allowing the breath to settle. Some people like to hold the finished in-breath for five seconds. Then push the air out for five seconds using the lower abdominals. Using lower, deeper muscles for the exhale is a healthy habit we lose as we become adults. Most adults breathe from the upper chest.


In-the-nose/out-of-the-nose breathing is used in many forms of yoga as well as classical tai chi. This creates a slower inhalation/ exhalation process, but it can be hampered by allergies and blocked nasal passages. Extra nitrogen picked up in the nose adds to the relaxed quality of this method. Breathing in the nose and out of the mouth is a form of breathing that yields a slightly different effect. Breathing in the mouth and out of the mouth is the last resort but is sometimes necessary. Whatever the method, the breaths should be taken in easily, allowing for a full tank before the controlled, conscious exhale starts.


Visualization can be incorporated into any of these processes. When tied with the breath, it can be extremely powerful. Take a stressful situation or thought that has been plaguing your mind. Envision the stress as a colored liquid being drawn into the body during the inhale. In the period between the end of the inhale and the beginning of the exhale, allow yourself to feel the emotion of the liquid as it