We all know how eating fresh, organic, local food, exercising regularly, and keeping stress at bay helps us to be our healthiest selves. But in spite of our best efforts, sometimes, life just takes over! Know that feeling of when you’ve come back from vacation and instead of feeling rested you feel the need for rest? Or, how exhausted are you when you’ve had several days with very little sleep for a home or office project and can’t find the time to make those nourishing smoothies?
These high stress times are when the body lets its guard down. Headaches, tummy upsets, sore throats, back pains, etc. are likely to appear. For those of you who believe that the body can heal itself and for those who don’t particularly enjoy the ill effects of reaching for pills at the drop of a hat, here are 4 modalities you can use to address those little health pet peeves with natural options:
1. Bach Flower Remedies: Developed by researcher, physician, homeopath and bacteriologist Dr.Edward Bach, Back Flower remedies are gaining ground in alternative health circles for their unique approach of addressing the mind’s negative states (stress, fear, anxiety, excessive worry, low self-esteem etc.) that actually cause physical symptoms. These remedies are made from plants, shrubs, and trees and are heated in spring water with sunlight or boiled to extract their essence. Endorsed by Dr.Oz, Martha Stewart and Jennifer Aniston, the Rescue Remedy is great for high stress times!
2. Aromatherapy: Ah, the healing power of natural essences. They are potent and gentle, healing and calming, antiseptic and anti bacterial, and so many other things! Whether you use a couple of drops of lavender oil on your comb to brush your hair at night, or a whiff of eucalyptus on your handkerchief, essential oils can be enormously rewarding in a self-care and home remedy routine. My favorites are sandalwood oil blended with almond oil to soothe and nourish sensitive skin, neem oil as an antiseptic or these five essential oils that you should definitely stock at home!
3. Ayurvedic wisdom: This ancient system of living has a wonderful storehouse of home remedies for tons of minor health issues. Chew on a small piece of ginger before your meals to help digestive issues, rub a few drops of warm sesame oil on your feet before bed to relieve anxiety, gently scrub your face with a tablespoon of chickpea flour mixed with a teaspoon of granulated sugar and a teaspoon of yoghurt to make your skin glow! The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies by Dr.Vasant Lad has been a wonderful reference manual for us for almost 3-4 years now!
4. Music: Numerous studies have shown that music heals naturally and powerfully. It helps release the pleasure booster Dopamine, which affects how you think and feel. It can also distract from negative experiences of pain, anxiety, worry and sadness. Millions of people around the world use it for meditation, cleansing, healing, yoga, exercise and just about any other positive activity possible! Dr.Miller, the director of the Center for Preventive Cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center recommends listening to joyful music as a great prescription for good heart health. So plug in those iPod earphones, and listen to your favorite music to bring on a release of endorphins for a natural high.