Spontaneous sweats, headaches, full body tension... These are only a few of the many symptoms that comprise anxiety. Today, over 40 million Americans are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, and what is worse is that the number of undiagnosed people who suffer from anxiety is much higher. While it is common to think that medication is the answer to your anxious symptoms, in reality, it only masks the surface signs of your anxiety and never treats the root causes. Will you get short-term relief from pharmaceuticals? Most likely. However, there is nothing empowering about a pill, and your anxiety will always be there haunting you until you start to deal with it in a healthy and confident way. As a young woman who suffered from a decade-long, severe and chronic anxiety disorder, I, too, believed that medication was the only "cure" for me. When I started incorporating the following practices into my daily routine, though, I saw dramatic results and a significant decrease in my anxiety. Admission, affirmation, meditation and prayer all gave me what no drug ever could, an overwhelming sense of empowerment and true healing for my disorder.
Pranayama, or yoga breathing, may provide effective relief for some asthma suffers, says a recent study in “The Lancet” (vol. 335, no. 8702). The yoga breathing technique has been used for centuries in Hindu cultures to treat respiratory problems, but now the method has been confirmed by a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, said Virendra Singhl, M.D., leader of the research group. The study found that the use of pranayama exercises in subjects with mild asthma led to an overall improvement in lung function equal to or greater than that obtained through hypnosis or the use of low-dose inhaled corticosteroids. Singhl speculates that by reducing psychological over-activity, the yoga exercises help increase bronchial dilation and efficiency.
A book review is a lot like a book report, something I was quite adverse to throughout my schooling. Why read a book and go through the trouble of explaining what the author says or means? If I read a great book, I just tell my friends, “You have to read this book!” End of story - or mine at least.
“I say it, as it is. And some people don’t like it.,” said someone who was explaining the sources of her stress to me. She continued, “I want to be truthful. Sometimes truth hurts, so they get angry and they try to hurt me back, you know,” she added. “Yes, I agree,” I replied, “but does truth always need to hurt?” This is a conversation I have had multiple times — and it’s not always with individuals who are highly stressed.
I have been a pharmacist for over 30 years and an acupuncturist for nearly 10 years.
There’s a fine line between perception and imagination. We don’t just see things as they are, but rather we see things as we are. As a psychotherapist, I use the power of imagination to help my clients shift into new perceptions. Bending things is the name of the game. Just like massage is manipulation of soft tissue for a good outcome, psychotherapy is a benevolent intervention that challenges the mental/emotional “knots” of the person to help them get unstuck. I use imagination to stretch perceptions and rock the boat.
Just as important as what you eat, "what's eating you" plays a central role in the disease process, and therefore, careful attention to your mental health (with a focus on feelings) is paramount to getting well. Feelings play a maj or role in the hierarchy of what the body can and will heal. Paying attention to feelings, especially those that may reside in repressed form within the tissue of the body, can unleash great forces for healing by normalizing hormone levels, reducing inner pressure, and generally bringing a sense of resolution to the system. The techniques of hypnotherapy, rational-emotive therapy, body—focused psychotherapy, and Centropic Integration (a unique form of hands-on-emotional facilitation) as appropriate for your situation, can help you get in touch with, uproot, and integrate those aspects of your experience that may be adding to the stress of a disease process or hindering the healing. Remember: "The body follows what is in the heart and mind."
The Buddha said, "Do not dwell in the past; do not dream of the future. Concentrate the mind on the present moment." In other words, yesterday is a cashed check; tomorrow is a promissory note; now is the only cash on hand. People beat themselves up thinking of all the poor choices they made because they are attached to and have difficulty letting go of the past. Regrets and guilt about things done or not done plague most people. It is almost impossible to move forward when mired with worry about what might happen in the future. There is nothing that can change the past and the future does not exist yet. The critical time is now.
Conventional wisdom has it that no matter how hard your workday, you’re supposed to turn into a sociable family member when you get home and “communicate” with your spouse. But now a New York University study indicates that complete withdrawal may be a healthy and effective way to cool out after a tough day.
Today, stress-related illnesses such as hypertension, heart disease and ulcers, collectively will kill more Americans than cancer. Others such as asthma, obesity, bad posture, tension and dietary problems will cause chronic debilitating illnesses. According to statistics complied by the Center of Disease Control, the major causes of premature death in the United States are “diseases of living” rather than viral diseases. As the incidence of stress-related diseases continues to grow, the Center predicts that within the next ten years, one out of every one hundred people will unnecessarily die from stress-related illnesses.
Over the last several decades at Hippocrates Health Institute, we have discovered a consistent and evident pattern to human life and healing: There is no true life or health that does not include spirituality.
Thanks to recent hurricanes Wilma and Frances two big trees in my yard toppled over, and within days their leaves, bark, and branches showed signs of decline. Without their connection to the earth trees get sick and die. The same is true for us people.
An active spiritual practice promotes our health and wellness, providing invisible healing, calmness, and peace of mind. We can heal ourselves, those around us, and even the planet through spiritual motivation and a renewed feeling of connection to something larger than ourselves. Regardless of religious tradition or dogma, healing and the Higher Power are interrelated.
Dogma, ritual and rhetoric have confused the issues of spirituality in our lives. Too often, our time for contemplation and openness is spent on studying rules, regulations, and interpretations of the theories that others have conjured up. Many spend inordinate amounts of time searching for the true meaning rather than living life itself. This syndrome has been manufactured through the way that spirituality has been presented to us. Religion, which is credited with the establishment of civilization, has often been the very center of why we individually do not find our greatest purpose. Community is a necessity and spiritual organizations play a major role in formulating this vital arena. We must never forget that for community and society to further itself we as people must open up our possibilities to greater spiritual practice.
Many people come to Hippocrates Health Institute who are stressed out, exhausted or confused. These are symptoms of sickness or imbalance; the mind being the culprit, the body, its agent. Unhealthy states of mind lead to unhealthy states of body.
Emerson said, “Nothing can bring you peace except yourself.” But how can one achieve inner peace when the decidedly discordant outer world insistently impinges upon the self? The answer to this most critical question is supplied by Goethe: “Every man ought to begin with himself to make his own happiness first, from which the happiness of the whole world will at last unquestionably follow.”
Because we all daydream and night dream, we know we have an internal world that we can experience in both positive and negative ways. Guided imagery requires you to go to that inner world and construct a place where you’ll feel safe and relaxed whenever you imagine yourself being there. The core of the guided imagery approach to stress reduction lies in imagining a positive experience in order to stop, interrupt, or prevent a physical stress reaction.