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Healthy Living: Ayurvedic Interventions for Anxiety and Insomnia
Pat White's Healthy Living Articles
Written by Pat White of Essential Body Pleasures   

Anxiety and insomnia are common maladies of today’s society. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), 40 million Americans experience some type of anxiety disorder.  Of these 40 million people, only one-third receive treatment. As a result many people have symptoms of worry, self-consciousness, feelings of panic and fear; physical symptoms such as feeling sick to your stomach, heart pounding, and muscle tension.  Another common symptom is insomnia (ADAA). Insomnia itself is a chronic diagnosis and up to 35% of adults have had brief symptoms of insomnia (Heffron, 2014).  Symptoms of insomnia include: fatigue, inability to focus, poor memory, mood disturbance, daytime sleepiness, low energy (Heffron, 2014). Many people miss work due to the effects of insomnia. Heffron (2014) reports an estimated $63 billion dollars a year is lost due to poor work performance and missed days due to insomnia.  As stated earlier only one-third of people seek treatment for these disorders.  Many people do not realize they have an illness that has effective treatments.  Others fear their family and friend may criticize them if they seek help(American Psychiatric Society).


Anxiety and Depression Association of America. (n.d.)  Understanding the facts.  Retrieved
January 31, 2015, from http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety
American Psychiatric Society. (n.d.) Anxiety disorders. (fact sheet).  Retrieved January 31, 2015, from  www.psychiatry.org/mental-health/anxiety-disorders
Douillard, J. (n.d.) Healing anxiety and depression:  An ayurvedic perspective. Retrieved
January 26, 2015 from www. Kripalu.org/article/355.
Halpern, M. (2011). Healing your life: Lessons on the path of ayurveda. Twin Lakes, WI: Lotus Press.
Heffron, T. (2014, March 10). Insomnia awareness day: Facts and stats. Retrieved from: www.sleepeducation.com/news/2014/03/10/insomnia-awareness-day-facts-and-stats
Hope-Murray, A. (2013). Ayurveda for dummies. West Sussex, England: John Wiley & Sons
Murthy, S. (1978). Vagbhata on medicinal uses of gems. Geological Survey of India.
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. (n.d.) Ayurvedic medicine: An introduction.  Retrieved January 31, 2015, from https://nccih.nih.gov/health/ayurveda/intoduction.htm
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. (n.d.).  Complementary, alternative, or integrative health: What's in a name? Retrieved January 31, 2015, from https://nccih.nih.gov/health/whatiscam
Ninivaggi, F. (2010). A comprehensive guide to traditional indian medicine for the west. Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield.
Shutes, J. (2014). Staying Healthy through the seasons with aromatherapy and ayurvedic principles. National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy. Boulder: NAHA.
 

 

           Due to this fear of being criticized, many people look outside of traditional western medicine for treatment.  According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NIH) up to 40 percent of Americans have looked to complementary medicine either in combination or in place of allopathic medicine.  One form of complementary medicine is Ayurvedic medicine.

In 2007 the National Health Interview Survey found more than 200,000 American adults had used Ayurveda the previous year (NIHb).

 

            According to Shutes (2014), Ayurveda is defined as “the science of life”.  It is the oldest complete medical system in the world.  Ayurveda looks at the whole person and develops a treatment plan based on wholesome foods, herbs, meditation, Yoga, mantras, aromatherapy, color therapy, music, and a healthy lifestyle.  In Ayurveda there are three states of energy, known as gunas, which determine a person’s constitution.  The gunas are known as:

 

·         Sattwa: This is a state of balance which results in purity, truth, creativity, happiness, and knowledge.  Sattwa people are calm, spiritually minded, intelligent and health conscious.

·         Rajas:  Rajas is kinetic energy that results in activity.  A rajas person is ambitious, driven, egotistical, and perfectionist.

·         Tamas: This is when nothing happens and rest occurs.  Tamasic people are found to lazy, bad humored, and attached to others (Hope-Murray, 2013).

 

The gunas form the five elements that compose the building blocks of the material world. The five elements are: ether, air, fire, water, and earth.  These elements come together to create three constitutional principles called the ‘doshas’. The doshas are known as Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.

 

Vata= Air + Space

 

Pitta= Fire + Water

 

Kapha = Earth+ Water

Each person has varying degrees of each doshas.  This unique dosha balance is referred to as our ‘prakriti’ or constitution. When our dosha is imbalanced is it referred to as ‘vikriti’.  In Ayurveda when the dosha is imbalanced the treatment involves the opposite qualities of the imbalanced dosha (Shutes, 2014).

According to Ninivaggi (2010), a stressful life event may contribute to an imbalanced dosha. The appropriate treatments would be different for each individual based on their prakriti. For the purposes of this paper, the prakriti in reference will be pitta. 

Pitta Imbalances

Pitta arises from the elements fire and water.  The water serves to protect the bodily

tissues from the potentially damaging aspects of fire. Pitta qualities are hot, intense, light, greasy, sharp, expansive, and fluid (Shutes, 2014).  Examples of psychological triggers for a pitta include:  anger, aggression, competition, irritability, dominating behaviors, narcissism, violence, and (Ninivaggi, 2010).   When a pitta is imbalanced the skin can become inflamed, the person may experience hot flashes and excessive sweating.  Physical symptoms would include:  constipation, insomnia, heartburn, bleeding gums, canker sores, and mouth ulcers.  Emotional issues would manifest as anger, irritability, judgment, impatience, jealousy, and rage (Shutes, 2014).  Pitta doshas can fall asleep rapidly but often wake up between 12 and 2 a.m.  They tend to be hot and sweat at night.  Dreams often involve wars and conflict (Hope-Murray, 2013). 

 

Pitta Ayurveda Interventions

 

A pitta should retire between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. Herbal treatments would consist of ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg, ½ teaspoon of jiggery, and ghee in a cup of warm milk.  This should be consumed an hour before bed.  Coconut oil massaged into the bottom of the feet is also recommended (Hope-Murray, 2013).  A mantra could be “Be cool and relax”.  As stated previously, the core Ayurvedic qualities of a pitta include: hot, light, and greasy/oily (Shutes, 2014).  To balance the excess pitta, qualities of cool, heavy and dry are needed.  Essential oils that would be appropriate include:  German chamomile, lavender, patchouli, vetiver, rose, sweet orange, mandarin, and sandalwood.  Cooling base oils include: coconut or sunflower oil (Shutes, 2014).  A few drop of the essential could be added to the based oil to be used as massage oil; or an aromatherapy spritzer could be made using distilled water and several drops of the essential oil.  A person may want to diffuse lavender at night to promote sleep. Also of interest in balancing the dosha is the use of gemstones. In Ayurveda, gemstones have great healing qualities and are miracles of nature. According to Murthy (1978), aquamarine can cure fever, vomiting, indigestion and improve the strength of the body.  The use of this gemstone can bring pitta into harmony and homeostasis.  The blue color of the gem is balancing for a pitta.  It cools the mind, decreases anger, and counters inflammation (Halpern, 2011).  Moderate exercise is appropriate and Hot Yoga should be avoided.  Dietary choices should consist of cooling, non-spicy, sweet, bitter, and astringent tastes.  Excess of oil, salt, fried and spicy foods should be avoided (Shutes, 2014).  A pitta should eat three times per day.  Some examples of pitta balancing foods include:  white rice, cottage cheese, soy milk, ghee, apples, lettuce, coconut, chicken, turkey, trout, tofu, and peppermint.  The overall goal of lifestyle choices is to bring in cooling, heavy, and dry qualities (Halpern, 2011). 

 

It is important to understand our own constitution for our happiness and well-being. When we do not understand our constitution we will fall into poor health disease. Ayurveda is a science that contains a well-developed science of individual types.  It helps a person understand individual variations and idiosyncrasies. According to Ayurveda, a person becomes anxious when the essential Self is lost (Douillard).  The body becomes exhausted.  The mind becomes anxious because the body and mind require energy to calm them, stabilize moods and maintain sleep. At our core individuals are healthy, whole, and happy by nature.  When our unique prakriti becomes unbalanced it is important to re-engage in habits and practices that bring balance to the mind, body, and spirit.  This paper discussed a routine that would assist a pitta prakriti when experiencing the symptoms of anxiety and insomnia. 

 

 

References

 

 

 
Paleo Living: From The Inside-Out - Get REAL About Detox and Adjustment [Part 1]
Trina Felber's Paleo Living Articles
Written by Trina Felber of Primal Life Organics   

The Truths about DetoxificationWe have all heard the word detox; a scary word associated mostly with abuse or over consumption of drugs or alcohol. In reality, it is a natural bodily function that occurs whenever a substance (good or bad) enters the body. The longer the exposure to a substance, the longer the detox timeframe. A short exposure also can lead to detox, but the timeframe may be shortened and the “effects” not as severe.

I will give an example from my background in anesthesia. I witness “detox” every day I practice.  Anesthesia is a foreign substance in your body- an alteration to your “normal” if you will. Once anesthesia is stopped, you slowly return to a conscious state. Physiologically, the drugs are metabolized and the concentration decreases. Most drugs and chemicals are lipophilic- they love fat. Drugs tend to like to accumulate in adipose (fat) tissue and just hang out there. The longer the drug exposure (anesthesia), the higher the levels of the drug in the adipose tissue. Equilibration occurs when the level in the blood stream is equal to the level in the adipose tissue.

Ok, the procedure is over, the drug is shut off or discontinued.  You wake up slowly, and feel groggy. Why??

FAT and body tissues- the more fat- the more drug that can distribute there.  The drug will “redistribute” over a period of time back into the bloodstream, to be metabolized and eliminated. This process can take 30 minutes or it can take hours. This is an example of the detox period- the period of time it takes for the body to remove the drug (or substance) and normalize. Everyone reacts differently during the detox period.

Now, lets talk about every day life. Daily, we are exposed to numerous toxins- some we can control, others we cannot. Environmental toxins are out of our immediate control (pollution, pollen). Controllable toxins include the food we eat and the things that come directly in contact with our skin. Food is easy- organic is best.  Anything in a box probably contains preservatives (neuro-toxins), gluten and sugar (yes- for all intents and purposes, sugar is a toxin. It causes chemical reactions that produce free radicals that cause cell death). Now, consider these every day products: shampoo, soap, toothpaste, shaving cream/lotion, after shave, make up, conditioner, styling agents, deodorant, body lotions… Even our water is not pure unless it is ultra purified.

Now consider the fact that most people use most of these products daily- even twice a day.  THAT is a lot of chemical exposure. Where do all of these chemicals go?? With repeat exposure, blood levels increase, natural redistribution occurs (remember that adipose tissue- Chemical housing!), equilibration occurs.

Today, a well know, rapidly growing group of society (primals) is questioning the consequences from mega doses of daily toxin exposure and quickly looking for natural, toxin free alternatives.  What happens…

Diet changes. We learn very quickly that what we eat is very important. After prolonged exposure to the wrong types of food, the body needs to heal in order to function optimally… And optimal function is our goal!  Our skin also will NOT look its best until our insides, our core, our gut, is healthy and functioning effectively. Changing the diet can have immediate results. You can instantly feel and look better. Why? You are supplying your body with proper, easily digestible, nutrient dense food – in the correct form.  BUT- WHAT IS REALLY HAPPENING??  Why, three weeks after eating whole, organic foods does your skin look lifeless- even congested and broken out.  Why did you develop that nasty rash?  And what happened to your energy- you were flying high when this new lifestyle started- but now? You feel lifeless and discouraged!!!

HOLD ON- I THINK I CAN EXPLAIN!!!  Remember all that fat??? Remember how it LOVES to hold onto things? Here is just another reason to keep fat to a normal level because the more fat you carry, the longer your detox period will take!

People are very brainwashed into thinking problems should be fixed now. That does not happen by mistake!!  Big Pharm WANTS you to believe this!!!

When you heal from the inside out- don’t expect instant results. It won’t happen. Yes, you may “feel” instantly better from proper nutrition, however, toxins and chemicals are typically stored in adipose (fat) tissue. Laws of concentration-distribution-redistribution define exactly how long it will take for the toxins to migrate out of the fat, to the liver/kidneys and be broken down and eliminated in the urine and feces. This is actually a built-in safety mechanism from nature. If ALL the toxins immediately redistributed from the fat tissue, your blood concentration could be toxic- causing even more damage. A healthy chemical detox should occur over six months- therefore, everyone will experience results and physical adjustments differently, depending on prior practices related to nutrition and skincare as well as activity and metabolism. Yes, metabolic rate will effect detox too!

The adjustment period is different from the detox period although they happen simultaneously and can be difficult to distinguish. As mentioned, detox can take 6 months (or longer). Chemicals and toxins are slowly released from adipose tissue, metabolized, and eliminated by the body. Elimination can occur through the liver, lungs, kidneys, bowels and the skin. You may feel dehydrated (drink lots of water during detox) or your energy level may swing from high to low (eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables and fermented foods)!  You may experience diarrhea or constipation as toxins are eliminated. Externally, you may experience acne- like never before!  You may develop a rash, or itching, or dry skin, eczema, psoriasis or anything unusual! This occurs as the toxins are being eliminated by the skin and this is all normal!  One major function of the skin is to eliminate toxins!! Congested skin cannot eliminate toxins as effectively.

Symptoms of detox may occur- then disappear- then reappear again, multiple times during the detox process. Keep in mind that new eating habits can also cause some of these same symptoms and the less toxins we carry, the better our body functions and the better it will react to new foods. Toxins can suppress our natural response and immune system. Yes, even the immune system will incur an adjustment period!

Remember- lab made chemicals can cause cell dysfunction and mutation. These cells will not function as parent cells did- and may not function at all.


…to be continued next month!

 

Trina Felber, RN, BSN, MSN, CRNA, CEO Primal Life Organics

Primal Life Organics offers Face, Body, Hair, Makeup, Baby and Dental Products - All 100% Chemical and Preservative Free.
We make skincare that will improve your health. The product you receive is a fresh, all-natural product, that will nourish your skin and hair from the outside. 

www.PrimalLifeOrganics.com  

 

 
Whole Living: What Is A Healthy Diet? The Importance of Love
Shirley Makela's Whole Living Articles
Written by Shirley Makela of Alki Organix   

Recently I've been thinking a lot about what a healthy diet truly is.  In my training to become an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach I studied over 100 different dietary theories and diets.  In school we heard lectures from dozens of leaders in the field of diet and health from major universities like UC Davis, Harvard, and Yale, and from leaders in various dietary theories ranging from Atkins to vegan.  Each one of these experts gave strong and compelling arguments and evidence to support their approach. I am not a disciple of any one theory and I believe there are many valid healthy choices we can make. The science of nutrition is really pretty young, new discoveries are made constantly; I find it fascinating to follow the science.  There are some basics to a healthy diet that I believe are fundamental;  drink more water, eat less sugar, less processed foods & avoid hydrogenated oils altogether. But beyond this I think the best answer on what a healthy diet is: it depends.  We are all unique; there is no one size fits all.

Some of my family have recently enthusiastically adopted a new diet where they have excluded all things gluten, wheat & dairy. While they don’t have specific medical reasons for this diet they are feeling better since following it.  I love them dearly and am so happy that they have taken an active role in their health and are feeling healthier.  I personally don’t follow a gluten free - dairy free diet but I believe that if this diet makes you feel healthy & happy, or if you have sensitivities to gluten or dairy for example, then it’s a great diet for you.  But, perhaps because they are new to their chosen lifestyle, it sometimes is seems that our visits are now more focused on discussion and judgment of ‘healthy’ vs. ‘unhealthy’ food and less about enjoying time with loved ones and sharing a delicious meal.  It feels at times like a war against what’s perceived as ‘bad’ food and it has me thinking about the role of food and of love in our life.

Dr. Bernie Siegel was one of the lecturers in my studies, there is a quote from Dr. Siegel that has stayed with me, “Don't do things to not die, it doesn't work”.  Dr. Siegel’s message was that love is one of the most powerful forces in our life for our health and happiness, love for ourselves and love for others.  He believes that illness can sometimes be brought on because we don’t love our life or our bodies. He said he believed that our bodies love us and are simply doing what we ask. When we don’t love life our body responds to our wishes.  It’s an interesting thought.  His message was to pay attention to your heart.  He told us that when you wage war against something you empower it.  He said listen to your heart, if you don’t like something, eliminate it from your life.  When we love ourselves and others we will be healthier.   So, don’t hate ‘bad’ food, love ‘good’ food! Don’t wage war on illness, love life.  It’s an interesting way to look at it.  I think it is one that makes a huge difference on our health and happiness.

Clearly, if we feed our bodies a diet of highly processed factory foods, soda pop and candy bars we aren’t showing it, or ourselves, much love.  But I wonder if zealous adherence to a particular dietary theory is sometimes more about battling unhappiness and a war with life?  If that is the case is it really a healthy diet?  Could you achieve a better outcome if the focus is shifted to a love of life and enjoying delicious healthy food?  I believe selecting the right healthy diet for yourself and your family should be about enjoying food, life and the people you love.  And if someone you know and love decides a different diet than yours is best for them, respect their choice even if you disagree with it, love and support them.  

This Valentine’s Day take a moment to reflect on love, for yourself, your body, and the precious people, animals, and nature that surround us.  Take a moment to be grateful.  Then ask yourself what could you do to show more love for yourself, others, and our planet?

Here's To Our Health!

 

Shirley Makela, AADP INHC

Owner/Artisan

Alki Organix

 

Truly Natural Skin Care in Partnership with Nature

 http://www.alkiorganix.com/

 
Healthy Living: 4 Basic Steps for Healthy Skin
Pat White's Healthy Living Articles
Written by Pat White of Essential Body Pleasures   

Basic Natural Skin Care Instructions

There are four basic steps that must be taken when caring for your skin: cleansing, toning, moisturizing and protecting. It is important to address each step so that your skin is cared for properly and so that it looks and feels as healthy as possible. There are other specialty steps that you can take if you have specific concerns like crow's feet or age spots, but those will be discussed in another article.
 

The first step is cleansing your skin. This is an important foundation step because if your skin is not clean, your pores can become clogged, which can lead to pimples.  Choose a gentle cleanser made for your skin type that won't strip your skin and leave it dry. You can use cream based cleansers, liquid soaps, handmade bar soap (which is much more gentle than store-bought 'detergent bars'. You can even use oil to clean your face. Yes, oil! As strange as that might sound, many people use oils like rice bran or olive oil to clean their face.

 

Cleaning helps to dissolve makeup, remove dirt, oil and grime that can build up on your face throughout the day. Be sure to clean your face at night before bed, so you don't have all that dirt sitting on your skin and clogging pores during the night.  Some people, especially those with oily skin may opt to also clean their face in the morning.
 

To clean your face, gently massage the skin in small, circular and upward motions. Cleanse both your face and your neck. Do not rub too hard, and do not tug on your skin. Rinse with warm, not hot water, and gently pat your skin dry. Remember that the skin on your face is much thinner than the skin on the rest of your body, so be sure to treat it gently.
 

The second step is toning. Toner helps to balance the pH of your skin and remove any last traces of makeup and dirt.  Put a little toner onto a cotton ball and gently swipe across your face, avoiding the eyes.
 

The next step is moisturizing. A moisturizer helps to soften and soothe your skin and replace natural oils that are removed from the cleansing step. They also help to lock moisture into your skin.
 

I have a wonderful moisturizer which uses shea butter, meadowfoam seed oil, and essential oils of Helichrysum, Lavender, and Rosemary verbenone.  Shea butter stimulates collagen production and increases circulation.  Meadowfoam seed oil is a wonderful oil with moisturizing and rejuvenating benefits for the skin. Helichrysum calms the skin and assists with collagen production.  Lavender is relaxing and has antiseptic properties and Rosemary is stimulating and an effective disinfectant. Rosemary should be avoided in pregnancy, high blood pressure, and in seizure disorders.


 

Meadowfoam lavender cream

 

½ oz. shea butter

 

¼ oz. Meadowfoam seed oil

 

½ tsp. of vitamin E

 

6 drops of Helichrysum essential oil

 

12 drops of Lavender essential oil
 

12 drops of Rosemary verbenone

 

Heat the shea butter until almost melted; stir well.  Add Meadowfoam seed oil, vitamin E and the essential oils.  Refrigerate immediately until solid.
 

To apply moisturizer, take a small amount and gently massage into skin using gentle, upward strokes. Never pull down on your skin, and don't forget to also moisturize your neck. We’ve all seen ladies with firm facial skin but the dreaded ‘turkey neck’ – saggy, wrinkly skin from the chin down. Using a moisturizer regularly can help prevent this from happening.
 

Finally, the last step is protecting your skin. Not following this step can leave your face unprotected against the elements like sun and wind.  Excessive sun exposure can damage your skin and cause your skin to age prematurely, leading to a dry, wrinkly and leathery look. Sometimes moisturizers will include SPF (Sun Protection Factor) so these two steps will sometimes be combined. Protecting also includes using lip balm with SPF to protect against the wind and sun.
 

The four steps of cleansing, toning, moisturizing and protecting aren't difficult at all. They’re quick to do and provide such beneficial results that they should become a part of your daily beauty routine.

 

Essential Body Pleasures is introducing our All Natural Facial Scrub this month.  This scrub contains Kaolin clay, oats, cornmeal, goat’s milk, flax seed, and Geranium essential oil. Kaolin clay draws impurities from the skin without removing natural oils while also stimulating circulation.  The goat’s milk powder has lactic acid, which exfoliates while moisturizing.  Geranium essential oil has antiseptic and astringent properties, and flax seed is rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which are critical to healthy skin.  

 

 

 

Pat White MSN PMh NP-BC

Clinical Aromatherapist

Make sure to visit Essential Body Pleasures - Skin Care Nature's Way

 

 
Do More and Feel Better with Less in 2015
Written by Trina Felber of Primal Life Organics   

Green New Years ResolutionsIt seems like everyone makes a New Year’s resolution related to losing weight, exercising more or eating better. We all jump in on January 1 and try to make our new habits last. This year, I think it’s time for a change. Why not try to focus on other ways to live more healthfully, environmentally friendly and chemical free? The choices we make every day produce waste and can impact our bodies. Here are a few ideas I’d like to think about in 2015!

Waste free living (more environmentally friendly)

Several recent news stories have covered individuals or families that have gone “Waste Free.” Lauren Singer explains how she went two years without producing waste in this video. She said she “quit plastic” by taking glass jars to the store to fill up on produce and foods, buying in bulk and planning her meals so that she didn’t feel tempted to buy items in the beautiful and shiny, yet plastic, packaging.

Singer references the Zero Waste Home blog by Bea Johnson. The blog shares what Johnson and her family have discovered through their experience with the “Zero Waste Lifestyle.” Check out her tips to “Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot” your way to a waste-free life.

Even making marginal changes in your shopping habits, like buying bulk quantities of natural soaps (like liquid castile or bar soaps that do not contain SLS) or larger quantities of frequently used items (like coconut or olive oil), can make a difference. This year, I plan to make a point of not using plastic bags and buying fewer food products that are packaged in plastic.

Chemical free living

Reducing our encounters with unnatural substances is a constant battle. No matter where you are in your journey toward healthy living, we all slip up sometimes.

A few ideas I encourage you to implement in 2015:
Buy Primal Soap in bulk

  • Bring natural soaps to the office, kitchen and bathroom
  • Pack the products you need for weekend trips, or even long days, so you are not tempted to buy lesser quality products when in need (think hair care, dental care, skincare and makeup!)
  • Rethink your sun protection habits before the summer or vacation starts
  • Fully make the switch from lotions to oils
  • Swap out your commercial, chemically filled blush and ditch the pore-clogging concealer
  • Work toward washing your hair less
  • Keep learning about ways you can live a more natural, less chemical lifestyle

Feed your skin and body what it needs, and ONLY what it needs, this year! Look for chemical and preservative free skin foods that will keep your skin looking and feeling its best.

Our products at Primal Life Organics have the nutrients, essential oils and vitamins you need, from ingredients you can recognize. We make our products because we care about your health! No chemicals, no preservatives - and we package primarily in glass and tin which can be recycled or re-used and are environmentally friendly. 

Visit Primal Life Organics for More Green Ideas & Gorgeous Beauty Care

 
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