I'm Dr. Elizabeth
EPIDEMIOLOGIST TURNED HOLISTIC HEALER, MEDICAL INTUITIVE AND YOUR HEALTH ISSUES’ WORST NIGHTMARE
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Have you been feeling stressed lately? We all need stress relief techniques to store in our holistic healing toolboxes.
Recently in interviews and posts, I talked about this topic and shared stress relief techniques from our unique holistic approach at Healthy Transformations with Heart: the PeseSM (pronounced peace) approach. It’s such an important topic that I want to address it here in writing, so you can save these resources.
Stress and fear are something we are all experiencing right now. Fear causes stress, and stress is directly connected to our health. Stress disrupts the functional interaction between our nervous systems and our immune systems. When this happens, stress weakens and impairs our immune systems.
This stress induced immune system impairment can result in negative and serious health consequences such as reducing our body’s ability to fight off viruses. This is because stress decreases the number of lymphocytes in the body. These are the white blood cells our immune systems need to fight off infections.
With our immune system’s guard down, stress can also lead to slower healing and reactivation of pathogens like viruses that might be dormant inside of us. Chronic stress is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular (heart) diseases, stroke, mental health complications, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.
So what do we do about it? We need to stress relief techniques that increase our inner calm and strengthen our immune systems. There are many wonderful holistic ways to do exactly this. I’m going to share some recommendations from all four pillars of our holistic approach PeseSM to target stress. These stress relief techniques can be used on their own or in combination with any others I share.
Education and empowerment are 2 things you will always get from me, so today I want to lay the foundation by sharing the knowledge about stress and health first.
Now that you have the knowledge, it’s time for empowerment!
The first stress relief technique is a physical health recommendation. In alignment with our PeseSM approach, I’ll share emotional, environmental, and social health tips too! Let’s start filling that stress busting toolbox!!
My first recommendation is Zinc. Zinc is a critically important trace mineral for our immune systems. Unfortunately, most of us are zinc deficient. Our immune systems can be overreactive or under reactive to the presence of invaders like viruses and other pathogens when we do not have enough zinc. If we are already sick, our symptoms can become much worse.
Zinc, when it’s present in sufficient quantities in our bodies, makes pathogens like viruses slow and lazy. Then our immune system can fight for us and get rid of any invaders. There are a few foods that have zinc such as pumpkin seeds, sprouts, onions, and radishes but they do not contain enough zinc to give us what we need. I suggest a liquid zinc sulfate that is not alcohol based.
My next stress relief technique is lemon balm (aka melissa)! This is one of my all-time favorites because it targets our stress and our immune systems. Lemon balm is an amazing natural remedy for stress, as it has soothing capabilities for our nerves and adrenals. It’s also a powerful antiviral and can fight off many kinds of viruses. I highly recommend lemon balm to ease worry, fear, stress, and anxiety. Lemon balm tea or alcohol-free lemon balm tinctures are wonderful.
Next I’d like to share an environmental health recommendation with everyone. Remember, these stress relief techniques can go into your toolbox and are great to use on their own or in combination with any of the other tips I’m sharing in this series!
Our environment directly impacts our health. Every day we expose ourselves to indoor and outdoor environments that can contain either help or hinder our stress levels, our wellness, and our ability to heal. Just by changing something in our environment, we can create a shift that eases our stress and also boosts our immune system.
Essential oils are one of my favorite environmental health supporters! Recent research has concluded that aromatherapy can be an effective tool for anxiety and stress. Some wonderful stress busting scents are lavender, spearmint, thyme, and wild orange. There are many more.
There is also an amazing combination of essential oils that not only smells amazing and promotes inner calm, but it can protect us from pathogens like viruses as well. Clove, cinnamon, rosemary, lemon, and eucalyptus–put together make a mean immune system protecting machine! In fact, back in the time of the Black Plague, thieves would use this combination to protect themselves while robbing the victims of the plague. Morbid yes, but, these thieves never got sick with the plague. To this day we call this combination “thieves” or “bandits”.
Try placing a few drops of oil in the bathtub or in an oil diffuser. Or, get a diffuser necklace!! If you search it on Amazon you can find them for less than $10.
There are many other awesome environmental health tips I can share, but this is one that is effective and fun!
During my career, I conducted research and became an expert at stress and its impact on health and chronic disease risk. This has always been a topic I’m passionate about because I understand the science behind it and know the devastating impact stress can have on our health through my own experiences-more on this in future posts. I want to help you all protect yourselves from stress, because we all deal with it.
This next stress relief technique is from the emotional health pillar of our holistic PeseSM approach.
Stress, both acute events and chronic stress, can lead to negative emotional health consequences. It causes us to experience feelings like sadness, anxiety, fear, frustration, or anger. These feelings can accumulate and interact with one another leading to physical health symptoms that make us feel even worse. If we have existing conditions and chronic illnesses, these feelings can aggravate them and make us feel sicker.
Mindfulness based practices are one excellent and effective way to combat stress and protect our health. Meditation is great but if that’s not your thing, I get it. Simply doing some deep breathing exercises can be very powerful tools to support your emotional health.
As soon as we begin to breathe deeply our body’s shift out of “fight or flight” mode and activate our parasympathetic nervous system. Our parasympathetic nervous systems turn on our inner calm by relaxing our muscles and slowing our heart rates. This instantly starts to relieve tension and stress from our hearts, where we tend to build up a lot of crap we don’t need.
One simple breathing technique is called “relaxing breath”, or the 4-7-8 breathing technique. Inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds. You don’t need to follow a special technique either, you can simply take deep breaths.
Today’s last stress relief technique is from the social health pillar of our holistic PeseSM approach.
Prior to the pandemic, loneliness and social isolation were the United States’ fastest growing public health problems. Now even more of us are alone and isolated due to the pandemic.
Recent research suggests that loneliness is as damaging to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Some of my own doctoral work showed that social support has an impact on mobility disability, functional decline, and chronic disease prevention in older adults.
It’s very important that we support our social health. If you’re feeling alone, please know you are not alone. Reach out to someone and if you don’t know who to reach out to I am always here too. If you know someone who is alone or not living in a supportive situation, consider checking in on them. You never know how much of a difference you might make just by a kind smile or a message saying “I’m thinking of you today.”
These recommendations might seem simple but I cannot express in words how much of a significant difference they can make to our health. We are human beings that need connection. By connecting to one another, we can instantly relieve stress from someone else and from ourselves. Connection is an important topic I’m going to talk about more in future posts.
That’s it for my series of stress relief techniques from our unique holistic PeseSM approach to combat stress by increasing your inner calm and strengthening your immune system! I’m excited to continue to share resources to help you build your holistic health toolboxes!! What other topics would you like to see me do a holistic health series of posts about? Let us know!
Sending everyone supportive energy today!!
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