Stress Awareness Month 2017
April is officially Stress Awareness Month. Many of the health problems I see in clinic originate in the emotional spectrum and then develop into the physical. One of the big underlying issues is stress. Stress is part of many people’s daily lives and this is especially true in our modern, fast paced way of life,
Short-term stress can be useful in achieving goals and overcoming challenges but long term, prolonged stress can be damaging to your health. It challenges your immune system leaving you prone to colds, flu and allergies but is also implicated in more serious health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, mental illness, stroke and adrenal gland exhaustion.
There are, however, many ways to minimise the negative effects of stress using a combination of diet, herbal medicine, relaxation and exercise. A balanced, nutritious diet based on wholegrains, fresh fruits, vegetables and good quality protein is very important. Many people find it is helpful to avoid too many stimulants such as tea, coffee and sugar as these can lead to irritability and insomnia. Try drinking herbal teas instead, there are many new brands and flavours on the market now and we have a fantastic range in our shop.
I regularly recommend that my clients include oats in their diet. Oats were used (especially in Scotland) both as a food (porridge) and as a medicine. Oats act as a tropho-restorative (meaning to restore back to the original state) to the nervous system and are also included in Duncan Napier's original Nerve Debility Tonic. Today we now know this as Skullcap, Oat and Passionflower Compound. This compound contains over 20 different herbs, including Skullcap, Oats, Passionflower, Jamaican dogwood, Limeflowers and Valerian.
Another side effect of stress can be sleepless nights. To help break the cycle of stress and sleep loss I recommend Passiflora (Passionflower). This is the traditional remedy to aid sleep and uplift mood and is the main ingredient of our Sweet Sleeps compound, which is our sleep mix formulation. It’s an easy to use licensed formula and an alternative to capsules and tablets.
Don't bottle it up! Stress can be helped greatly by talking therapies and we have have several highly trained and very experienced counsellors here at Napiers Clinic.
Regular exercise is also a great way to control stress levels and keep blood pressure and cholesterol down. You don’t need to join an expensive gym - a brisk 30-minute walk everyday will improve your sense of wellbeing. Swimming, yoga, stretching and cycling are all great ways of taking exercise.
It is important to take a break. Get out of the house or office. Setting time for you to relax can also be a bit of a challenge. But many of us do really need this time to charge our emotional batteries and it is equally important for both men and women. Go to see a film, read a book, take a long relaxing herbal bath or pick up the phone to a friend.