Relax NaturallyJanuary 9, 2012 Written by JP [Font too small?]
It’s ironic, but the concept of holistic wellness isn’t always popular with some of my clients. Not everyone is interested in learning the root causes of their conditions or “dis-eases” and/or taking the necessary steps to address them through meaningful lifestyle changes. Recently, a client wanted to know what simple steps he could take to help him through a particularly stressful time at work. Options such as aerobic exercise, dietary adjustments and yoga were summarily dismissed by this “Type-A” personality due to time constraints. What to do?
There are some natural remedies that can be used to assist you through times of anxiety and distress. The alternatives listed below do not address the underlying issues that contribute to a stressful state of mind. This is why I don’t recommend them as long term solutions. Nevertheless, they’re much safer when compared to destructive pacifiers such as cigarettes, drugs and excessive alcohol use.
An extract of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) was recently shown to reduce mild-to-moderate anxiety symptoms and sleep disturbance in a group of “stressed volunteers”. In the 15 day study, 600 mg/day of a patented lemon balm extract (Cyracos) “ameliorated anxiety-associated symptoms by 15%” and “lowered insomnia by 42%”. Other current research points to the value of high dose B-complex vitamins and concentrated fish oil, providing 2,085 mg EPA and 348 mg DHA daily, in stressed students and workers. All three of these supplements have a good safety record and numerous studies to back their use for promoting mental health.
Two simple, mind-body approaches are always worth considering. The first is the use of bergamot oil as an aromatherapeutic essence. Current evidence reveals that a spray containing this citrus extract lowers anxiety, blood pressure and heart rate variability in anxious individuals. Finally, meditation, even if it’s only practiced for 5 minutes a day, can significantly alter anxious feelings, perceived stress and improve quality of life. Carrying around a small bottle or inhaler containing bergamot oil and/or meditating for a minimum of 5 minutes daily is feasible for just about everyone.
Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!
To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:
Study 1 – Pilot Trial of Melissa officinalis L. Leaf Extract in the Treatment of … (link)
Study 2 – The Effect of 90 Day Administration of a High Dose Vitamin B-Complex … (link)
Study 3 – Omega-3 Supplementation Lowers Inflammation and Anxiety in Medical … (link)
Study 4 – Aromatherapy Benefits Autonomic Nervous System Regulation … (link)
Study 5 – Effect of a Single-Session Meditation Training to Reduce Stress and … (link)
Lemon Balm May Improve Various Psychological Symptoms
Source: Med J Nutrition Metab. 2011 December; 4(3): 211–218. (link)
Tags: Anxiety, Insomnia, Meditation
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Mental Health, Nutritional Supplements