Why Ayurveda Works For Stress Reduction In HSPs

As a highly sensitive person, I experience a lot of stress.

Most highly sensitive people do.

It is not a choice. Our nervous systems are sponges for the stimulus around us.

We become flooded and overwhelmed. If we are not careful we can drown and become unable to function.

Stress Reduction: A Necessity For Highly Sensitive People

Stress reduction is as much a necessity for highly sensitive people as air is for everyone. We simply cannot live without it.

When the pace of the world was slower, highly sensitive people could manage the stresses of their nervous systems better. Now that there is so much activity in our social space, the challenge of stress reduction for highly sensitive people has become more difficult and even acute.

Highly sensitive people require:

  • the opportunity to process whatever they take in
  • rest when their nervous systems are overtaxed
  • a lifestyle that supports their stress reduction requirements
  • work that supports their health and quality of life.

How Stress Reduction Problems Become Worse

Highly sensitive people can suffer more when their lifestyles do not support their needs or make their health challenges worse.

The demands of being highly sensitive require that we commit a certain amount of our energy to it. When our energy is too low or diverted elsewhere, then we will suffer and most likely become sick.

The following can make it more difficult for us to handle our sensitive natures:

  1. water, air, and noise pollution
  2. processes food
  3. food with additives
  4. GMO foods
  5. leftover foods
  6. fried and fermented foods
  7. meat which is harder to digest than other foods
  8. staying up too late
  9. lack of exercise
  10. an irregular schedule which will upset the nervous system
  11. work that is too high pressure or too much drudgery
  12. relationships that are unsupportive, competitive or demanding

Much of the modern Western lifestyle is aggravating to highly sensitive people. It is not a fault of highly sensitive people but is is a reality we have to deal with.

Why Ayurveda Makes Stress Reduction Easier For Highly Sensitive People

There are so many challenges in modern life that make life hard for highly sensitive people.

I have tried many different methods to become healthier including juicing, vitamins, supplements of various kinds, meditation, Ayurveda, reiki, affirmations and the Sedona Method. I have read many books about health and well being.

I have discovered that most methods are a form of “managing the symptoms.” I did not just want to manage symptoms. I wanted to be healthy.

Being healthy is a different goal than not having symptoms of illness. I have learned that few approaches really get the job done.

Only one that I have found has really helped me to become well and that is Ayurveda.

Why Ayurveda Works For Stress Reduction In Highly Sensitive People

As a highly sensitive person, I need to simplify whenever I can.

Health can be complicated since we are complex beings – particularly if you are highly sensitive.

Ayurveda is the one discipline that actually lets me simplify my health regimen because

  • it is a group of health practices customized to support the highest well being of each individual
  • it is holistic and total.
  • it offers a set of daily practices that let me be at my best
  • its diet strategies ensure that the problems of food in our current world are not my problem
  • TM, the Ayurvedic meditation practice is easy. It relieves stress, heals the nervous system and supports the higher self. I have been doing it for almost 20 years and love it..
  • Ayurveda has a magnificent understanding of food and herbs. Their herbal remedies have helped me immensely.

There is a lot to learn in Ayurveda. Frankly I consider myself a student and always will.

Implementing Ayurveda

I have been integrating Ayurveda into my life slowly over time. I have noticed, however, that the more I do the less I am affected by stress.

I use the following Ayurvedic practices:

  • TM has been especially helpful since I find I am less affected by drama around me after practicing TM for so long. I have been told that it works on the nervous system and heals it, which I have found to be the case.
  • I find that the daily schedule has helped me reduce stress. I like to go to bed around 9PM and rise between 5-6AM.
  • I also like the daily massage, called Abhyangha. It is self massage using oil. It helps with detoxification and stress reduction.
  • the diet is very soothing. When you eat food that is wrong for you, it creates stress in the body. The digestive system becomes weaker and toxins build up in the body. The Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle work to prevent that outcome.
  • There are times when I have had difficulty maintaining the diet for schedule reasons. I have however, maintained a regimen of herbal remedies that support me and help me detox in spite of dietary lapses. The two herbs that I use religiously are triphala and neem.
  • Ayurveda offers herbs for stress. Ashwaghandha is the best known and I take it for stress relief.

I highly recommend Ayurveda for highly sensitive people for relieving stress and putting themselves onto a path that can work to achieve quality of life: something we deserve.

I believe that it is better to put your effort into becoming adept at a health system that eliminates problems that to continually try to fix that which does not work. Micromanaging health symptoms is not the same as becoming healthy.

The best book for learning about Ayurveda as a beginner is Deepak Chopra’s book, Perfect Health. It is a very accessible introduction to an old and skillful health tradition.

I love Ayurveda and hope you will give it a try.

Unfreeze Those Feelings!

To a child all feelings may seem huge, since they feel so small – and are.

Children are very natural about their feelings. They experience them and let them go.

Unfortunately, it does not take long before we learn that our feelings are unwanted and inconvenient.

Then we start to reject them and hold them in with all the negative effects that brings.

What Happens To Our Feelings?

Our feelings become objectified. We learn to treat them like objects at a store, some unwanted and others preferred as demonstrated to us by our families and educators.

And so the stress starts. According to Yogi Amrit Desai, founder of Kripalu Yoga in a June, 2010 article in Natural AwakeningsHealing the Root Cause of Addiction with Ayurveda A Natural Cure for Unhealthy Dependence by Linda Sechrist,  

“It is important to recognize that most people don’t know the difference between tension and stress…

He observes that stressors—thoughts and reactions to our lifestyle, relationships, work environment and family life—are introduced through the ego mind. Emotionally charged thoughts and feelings of blame, shame or guilt then get metabolized into our biological body system. Stored in the form of toxins and neuro-glandular imbalances, these feelings create energy blocks that prevent the free flow of energy, or prana, the body’s self-healing wisdom.

Energy blocks may take the form of muscular tensions and weakness in liver, kidney and digestive functions. Gradual decline results in a progressive deterioration of biological processes and consequently can manifest in external symptoms of fatigue, fear, anxiety and insecurity.”

Essentially we are socialized to have certain emotions and reject others and our unwanted emotions then get stuck in our bodies and gradually make us sick.

Why Rejecting Feelings Is A Mistake

When we reject our feelings, we cannot own them and process them.

When we are processing our feelings, we take them in, accept them feel them and listen to them. It is called metabolism.

Metabolism comes from the greek word ” metabole” for change or transformation. At any given time as we interact with our world we are in the process of metabolism – of perceptions, thought, feelings, emotions as well as material substances such as food and water.  All forms of life engage in metabolism, from plants to humans.

When we are unable to metabolize a food it will clog our bodies. When we are unable to metabolize or process emotions, they will clog our system as well. Ideally we process all food and experiences each day so that we are in a state of flowing with life. If only it were that simple!

It is often not  possible to process all information and feelings when they occur. Some feelings can be part of a larger process.  The grieving process is a good example of that.  However, the most difficult situations are those where an acceptable arrangement is not possible – situations that are abusive, demeaning, and dehumanizing –  because the pain of these situations often does long term damage to the energy of the body, and takes a long time to heal.

Learning To Accept And Release Feelings

It can be useful to think of feelings as information.  When the feelings are the result of a past experience transferred onto the present, it is a sign that there is unfinished business in the past that must be dealt with. Another way of looking at it is that energy has become blocked in the body, it has not been metabolized. Under these circumstances it is our job to accept the feelings so that they can be released.

There are releasing practices available including meditation,and the energy healing practices of eft (emotional freedom technique) and reiki that help with processing emotions. Writing in a journaling has been widely used and can be effective.  Therapy groups have been helpful to many.  The more severe the experiences causing blocked energy the greater the need for therapeutic solutions.  The body has its wisdom and in some severely abusive situations it will “store” emotions to be processed at a later date if that is what is needed to survive.

Highly sensitive people and severely abused people need to be aware that they can accept and take charge of their healing process by finding therapeutic practices and groups that will let them forgive and let go of the past. Engaging in such practices helps minimize the potential for long term destructive addiction and therefore is valuable for all people.

17 Bitter Foods For Cleansing

The American diet is unbalanced.  It consists of predominantly sweet and sour foods according to MAPI, the Ayurveda health center in Iowa.  As a result, our bodies are unbalanced and we often feel sluggish and unwell.

Bitter foods promote a natural cleansing of the body.  By including some of the bitter taste in our diet, whether in specific foods or herbs like turmeric we are cleansing our bodies each day.

The Six Tastes For Each Body Type

Ayurveda recommends that we include all six tastes in our diets: sweet, sour, salty, bitter, astringent and pungent. Although we need to have some of each taste for balance and to avoid cravings, each body type needs more of some tastes and less of others.

The balancing tastes for each body type are as follows:

Vata body type (thin build): sweet, sour and salty

Pitta body type (medium build): sweet, bitter and pungent

Kapha body type (heavyset build): bitter, pungent and astringent.

A healthy diet for each body type would focus primarily on foods that balance them, but ensuring that the other tastes are represented through spices and seasonings.

What Bitter Foods Do For You

Bitter foods as you can see from above are important for people with medium and heavy builds.  They are less critical for people who are thin.

So what does the bitter taste do for you? According to well known Ayurvedic doctor  Vasant Lad,

  • the bitter taste is anti-toxic. It is antibacterial and antiviral so it helps with cleansing the body
  • the bitter taste kills germs
  • the bitter taste relieves burning and itching sensations and helps with skin disorders
  • the bitter  taste reduces fever
  • the bitter taste improves the firmness of the skin and muscles
  • the bitter taste helps digestion and relieves intestinal gas.
  • the bitter taste dries the system and reduces fat, bone marrow and elimination.
The bitter taste also affects our emotional and mental state. It causes us to withdraw from worldly concerns and become more introspective and less attached. Too much bitter taste can lead to aversion and cynicism.

Bitter Food List

The following is a list of 17 bitter foods:

Jerusalem artichoke

bitter melon

burdock root

dandelion greens

eggplant

kale

sesame seeds

castor oil

sesame oil

chocolate

dill

cumin

fenugreek

neem leaves

saffron

turmeric

coffee

The Bitter Taste And HSP’s

Bitter foods are a great way to naturally cleanse the body.  However, in excess it can lead to increased isolation which HSP’s do not need.  Therefore unless you are on a weight loss diet which bitter foods can help, eating the bitter taste through herbs and spices may be most helpful.

Why Food Is Medicine: The Secret Of The Six Tastes Of Ayurveda

Have you ever questioned your relationship with food?

Do you ever wonder why we humans seem to be so unhealthy?

Most people eat to avoid hunger, because the food tastes good, for social reasons or to deal with difficult feelings.

The most important function of foods, however, is the one we have lost touch with. Foods are medicine.

Why Food Is Medicine

When I say that foods are medicine, I mean that food sustains our life force or diminishes it, depending on what we eat, when we eat and the quality of the food. Food is the single greatest source of nourishment for our life force that we have. So poor food choices are a major factor in creating illness in our bodies.

Modern medicine does not give food the attention it deserves as a factor in our health. Food is not just something to put in our stomachs so it does not growl. Food is not just for fun, something to tickle the taste buds. Do you think that hospital food is helping you become healthy or increasing illness in your body?

How To Know Which Food Is Right For Us

Ayurveda has catalogued all foods so that we have the knowledge of which foods help us be healthy and at our best. It starts with the understanding that foods are primarily medicine. One way to start understanding how food is medicine is to start with the Ayuvedic concept of six tastes.

The six tastes are a recognition of the subtle energies of foods and how they impact the subtle energies of each person’s bioenergy or dosha. This is the information we need to select the foods that are best for our bodies. Ayurveda is as customized an approach to health as exists in the world. By understanding the subtle energies of foods, Ayurveda knows how to help an individual achieve optimum health.

According to Dr, Vasant Lad, an eminent Ayurvedic physician and teacher, Ayurveda has an integrated view of foods. Many century ago, it started its knowledge gathering by investigating and cataloguing the qualities that each food has. This information was used to understand the six tastes of food which are tailored to each body type to create healthy eating.  There are 20 or 10 pairs of opposites:

  1. heavy or light
  2. oily or dry
  3. stable or mobile
  4. slimy or rough
  5. gross or subtle
  6. cold or hot
  7. slow or sharp
  8. soft or hard
  9. dense or liquid
  10. cloudy or clear

The Six Tastes And Why They Matter

Each food has certain qualities. These qualities have an affect on the doshas or bioenergies. What that means is that food affects not only the body but the mind and emotions as well since the doshas are holistic and include the mind and emotions as well as our physical constitutions.The six tastes are:

  1. sweet:  has the qualities of oily, cooling and heavy. In moderation it promotes a strong body and good health.  In excess, it increases congestion including colds, diabetes, obesity and tumors.
  2. sour: has the qualities of liquid, light, heating and oily.  In moderation, it is invigorating, and good for the digestive system.  In excess, it creates excessive acidity, heartburn, ulcers and various skin diseases like psoriasis and eczema.
  3. salty: has oily, heavy and heating qualities. In moderation it promotes growth and maintains water electrolyte balance.  It improves digestion and elimination and is so strong that it can overwhelm the other tastes.  In excess, it thickens the blood, and causes hypertension and aggravates skin conditions.
  4. pungent: has the qualities light, drying and heating.  In moderation, it helps digestion, and clears the mouth and sinuses.  It improves circulation and breaks up clots.  It removes obstructions and helps perception.  In excess it causes sexual debility, overheating, diarrhea, heartburn and nausea. In vata dosha, it causes giddiness tremors, insomnia which HSP’s need to be concerned about.
  5. bitter: has the qualities of cool, light and dry.  In moderation, it is anti-toxic, so it relieves heating conditions, skin diseases, and reduces fat.  In excess, depletes the various elements of the body including muscles, bones, and marrow and creates weariness.
  6. astringent: has the qualities of cooling, drying and heaviness. In moderation, it absorbs water, heals ulcers and causes clotting. In excess it can lead to neuromuscular disorders which HSP’s need to be concerned with, increases constipation, and circulatory issues.

This is a short overview of the qualities in food and how they affect the body. HSP’s can benefit from the Ayurvedic approach to food since it enables them to be more precise in their food choices and minimize inadvertent health problems caused from eating the wrong food.

The attributes and qualities of food affect the taste and the tastes can have a balancing or disturbing effect on an individual. If we are not eating the right foods for our bodies, we may be helping create depression, anxiety and other mood disorders in ourselves. We may make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. We may have trouble digesting the food and therefore become malnourished.

It is so important that we eat the right foods for ourselves in order to be healthy. By understanding our constitution, (see Ayurvedic Healing), and what foods support us, we have a chance to experience great health with little effort.

Note:  Although some of the information comes from my own knowledge, many of the details were taken from the work of Usha Lad and Dr. Vasant Lad: Ayurvedic Cooking for Self-Healing, The Ayurvedic Press, Albuquerque, 1994, 2002, p. 31-37.  His work provides even more detail about the Ayurvedic understanding of food and the elements and is an important book for individuals interested in Ayurveda.

Keys To Sticking With A Weight Loss Diet

A new year often means a new diet.

Diets are always challenging but they can be particularly problematic for highly sensitive people.

Why?

Because overstimulation, stress and difficulties with other people can overwhelm our best intentions.

Can We Make Dieting Easier For Highly Sensitive People?

There are many approaches to dieting but two stand out:

  1. reduced calorie diets. These diets generally take your existing diet down a notch. Depending on your current eating plan, it may be less of what you are currently eating. It may involve a change of foods.  There are many dieting services like Weight Watchers and Nutrisystem among others that find ways to reduce calories without changing your food lifestyle.
  2. meal replacement diets. Meal replacement diets came into vogue as technology entered the food business. Once company that pioneered their use is Medifast. Meal replacements   can have a high amount of nutrition for a modest amount of calories. They are dense nutrition meant to replace 1-2 meals a day.

Either of these approaches can help you lose weight but there is more to it.

What Is Weight Loss Discomfort?

One of the reasons that people have difficulty with diets, is that their bodies feel the withdrawal of food. It can be frightening.

Because of calorie restriction, no matter what your method, you body will most likely digest what you do eat fairly quickly – certainly faster than when you were eating more. So you will feel ups and down from sugar imbalances.

Whatever our current diet, we have found a way to create sugar stability in our bodies, even if it means we weigh more than we would like. When we start a diet, we disturb that equilibrium and that causes discomfort. Your  equilibrium changes can also change your moods, make you feel weaker and make it harder to handle stress. All of these factors can make a successful weight loss diet seem like an impossible achievement.

How To Manage Blood Sugar Levels On A Weight Loss Diet

There are herbs for managing blood sugar levels. One of the best is gymnema silvestre which is THE Ayurvedic herb used for managing sugar levels. It will stabilize your blood sugar levels while you are reducing your weight.

It will make the dieting experience much more pleasurable.

Other Ways To Make Dieting Easier

There are a number of other herbs that can help make dieting easier:

  • ashwaghandha and brahmi are two great herbs for helping with stress. It has antioxident and anti-inflammatory properties. It can help you manage your stress levels easier when you are dieting.
  • vidanga and trikatu are two herbs that improves digestion
  • triphala is a great herb for balancing the entire body gently over time.

Making Dieting Work When You Are Highly Sensitive

Being highly sensitive can make health challenges greater but that does not mean that getting in shape is impossible. A solid diet plan, a sensible pace of work and rest, and herbal support can put achieving a healthy weight within reach.

Go for it!

Get The Monkey Off Your Back!

 

You know the feeling…

You are bone weary. You are not sure that you can move. You look at your limbs like they do not belong to you and they have no interest in doing what you want.Your energy is on strike and you can not afford it.

We have all felt this way. It has a cause and it has a cure.

The Burden You Are Carrying

It is easy enough to write off the symptoms of fatigue to bad diet and too much work. If only it were that simple. It is easy enough to fault the individual for some weakness that causes them to not be “strong” enough or responsible enough or whatever enough. It is easy enough to blame bad genes or the weather or some other factor outside of our control.

The reality is that we are living in an unusual time in human history and understanding context is key to making your life more manageable. There has never been this number of human beings on this planet that has grown so complex that no one can manage it any more. Our world is out of control in more ways than one, and you are feeling the effects.

It is not your fault.  But you still need solutions.

Short-term Solutions Make It Worse

Most short term solutions for fatigue are nothing more than one form of stimulant or another:

  • stimulants like coffee and sugar snacks do a number on your body by upping the sugar that sets you on the road to metabolic disorder and diabetes. It’s a high price to pay for a temporary boost that depletes us later.  It’s a kind of deficit spending for the body.
  • working harder is another often used approach. We have all heard the expression that there are not enough hours in the day. One Ayurvedic doctor told me that working six hours a day was considered far superior for health and more natural for us than our current culture of long hours and 24/7 availability.
  • distraction can help us pump ourselves up.   Loud music and entertainment can create a high of sorts which is not actually restful and may negatively affect the nervous systems of highly sensitive people.
  • reaching for food is actually a rational instinct since food supports our health and ability to function.  Unfortunately one of the challenges extremely busy people have is that much of our food supply is processed and full of all sorts of chemicals as well as corn syrup and other ingredients that increase weight and act as stimulants to the body.  Because processed food is so high in calories and low in nutrition it can cause people to want to eat more to meet their nutritional needs and when they are tired their nutritional needs rise.  Fatigue can therefore contribute to weight issues.

Fatigue is important information that needs to be listened to.  It provides valuable information about how to manage ourselves and our work that can support long term effectiveness. It can help us learn how to pace ourselves. All of the unhealthy ways we have of handling fatigue in the short term affect our perseverance and staying power in the long term, because they take a weakened state of being tired fatigue, and make it worse.  Over a long period of time, inevitable chronic problems will develop.

Highly sensitive people are very conscientious which can make them more easily tired. By taking poor fatigue handling strategies off the table and working with the body’s nature, HSP’s start to level the playing field on fatigue management.

How To Take The Monkey Off Your Back

Getting the monkey off your back is not a quick fix.

  • you need to accept how out-of-control the world is and accept that you probably will not fix it.
  • you need to put your health ahead of saving the world.
  • you are not responsible for other people’s expectations including their expectations of a perfect world.

Once you have accepted these things you are ready to work on your life. You must start by making a list of priorities putting health at the top of your list. Getting on a health maintenance plan that supports your highest functioning will help you handle work better and help you feel better at the same time.

MAPI, the Ayurvedic website,  recommends strategies based on the type of fatigue you are experiencing: mental, emotional or physical. Their article,  Wiping Away Fatigue, and offers some tips and case histories of how some individuals were able to recover from fatigue. (You can check your dosha type below.) Next you need to get serious about simplifying your life.

  • what do you take on that is unnecessary?
  • when do you help others when they should be helping themselves? You do not want to deprive others of empowerment opportunities!
  • what do you do that pleases others but is totally draining to you?
  • is your home and office cluttered?

See if you can reduce one “obligation” or source of clutter a day.  Decluttering your life takes time, which is a good thing because freedom takes time to get used to.

But it is worth it and you are worth it. And by the way, when someone brings you a monkey, say no!

 

Herbs That Control Blood Sugar

When you put food into your mouth, you are not really eating.

Why?

Because most food has very little nourishment..

How this came to be is a story for another time.  However it is important for you to realize that what passes for food in the United States is sugar and a bunch of chemicals to give you a taste, but very little actual nourishment.

As a result, managing blood sugar levels is something that everyone needs to do.  The quality of much of our food is that bad. And given the amount of sugar in American food, managing blood sugar levels is going to be a challenge for the foreseeable future.

The Easiest Way To Manage Blood Sugar Levels

By far the easiest way to handle the blood sugar issue is to not have the problem. Depending on where you live and what types of food you have access to, it can be a challenge to put together a diet that is healthy: consisting of mainly vegetables, grains, fruits and legumes. Even those who have access to high quality food often find that having time to cook is difficult and healthy eating habits are difficult to achieve on a consistent basis.

Having said that, there is no question that making healthy eating an important long term priority is worth doing.  I would suggest starting with some good reading material:

  • one excellent resource is The Three Season Diet by Dr. John Douillard, which discusses the right way to eat for each season.  His book includes helpful recipes.
  • another is Perfect Health by Deepak Chopra.  This book is an excellent introduction to Ayurveda health practices including diet.  It includes food lists for each body type and can help you understand what is right for you.

While you are learning about and developing healthier eating habits herbs can come to the rescue to help you feel better.

 Herbs that Reduce Blood Sugar

There are a number of natural herbs that are very helpful for managing blood sugar.

They are:

  1. gymnema silvestre.  By all accounts, gymnema is the most useful herb for improving blood sugar levels.  The herb’s Hindu name refers to its function: “the sugar destroyer”.  According to WebMD, “Gymnema contains substances that decrease the absorption of sugar from the intestine. Gymnema may also increase the amount of insulin in the body and increase the growth of cells in the pancreas, which is the place in the body where insulin is made.”
  2. neem. Neem is an herbal remedy made from various parts of the neem tree grown primarily in southeast Asia, although it can be found in Florida in the US.  Neem is an herb that provides a lot of support to the immune system, treats a variety of illnesses and improves blood sugar levels according to WebMD.  It’s comprehensive benefits make it a worthwhile addition to a daily health regimen.
  3. ginseng.  Some studies have indicated that ginseng can reduce blood sugar levels. According to Science Daily, American ginseng improves blood sugar levels, although apparently ginseng root is not as effective.

In addition fenugreek and turmeric are two herbs that can be taken with as supplements or as spices  which also have a beneficial effect. Fortunately, these herbs and spices are relatively inexpensive and worth considering to avoid the pain and expenses of difficult chronic diseases like diabetes. I have used them and I have found them to be safe.

Which Detoxification Steps Are You Missing?

Are you aware that detoxification is only part of the process of rejuvenating yourself?

Detoxification is necessary when toxins build up in our bodies to a point where the pathways of the body become clogged so that nourishment and detoxification are not able to occur naturally.

Getting rid of toxins and restoring balance consists of 2 objectives:

  1. clean up the digestive and immune systems
  2. restoring cell and digestive functioning.

One of the best detoxification experts is Dr. John Douillard of Lifespa in Colorado. He is also the author of Colorado Cleanse which details in a very readable way why you need to detox and the steps necessary to remove toxins from the body and restore optimal functioning. Dr. Douillard’s excellent detoxification program that both detoxes and rejuvenates the body.

These are the steps for an effective detox and rejuvenation program:

  1. cleaning the lymphatic system, home to most of our immune system. The lymphatic system is found in the inside of our intestinal wall and extends to all the lymph channels of the body including the lymphatic systems the drain the skin and membranes of the body of toxins. When the lymphatic system is compromised, our immune systems cannot do their jobs.
  2. repairing the mucus membrane of the gut. Part of the lymph system is the mucus membrane of the gut which is very responsive to digestive imbalances. The imbalances show up either as constipation or diarrhea depending on whether the imbalances are drying or creating congestion. These imbalances then damage our immune functioning.
  3. thinning the bile.  When there is congestion in the mucus membranes of the intestine, toxins do not get processed by the intestines. Instead they back up to the liver which thickens the bile which in turn congests the bile and pancreatic ducts. The result is that fats cannot be digested, fat soluble toxins cannot be processed and digestive enzymes are not as available to do their job. This compromises both the immune system and digestion.
  4. cleansing the liver for proper processing of fat soluble toxins and digestion of fats so that they of not end up stored in fat cells throughout the body.
  5. cell regeneration. When you have a buildup of toxicity in the body, nutrition and oxygen do not reach the cells causing them to starve. Cell regeneration helps restore nutrition and energy to the cells of the body.
  6. balancing blood sugar. With all the concerns about diabetes, most of us worry about blood sugar levels which when stabilized make it easier it use fat stores as fuel for the body, in addition to preventing a long-term chronic diseases.
  7. restoring digestion. It is necessary to restore the necessary digestive enzymes for proper digestion to support the health of the body. They can become damaged when your system is our of balance.  

So often we think that taking a pill will detox us. And it may help somewhat. However we need to engage the larger problem of getting out of balance and restoring ourselves to be really healthy.

Unfortunately, all the environmental toxins we have now makes detoxification a must for good health.

Disclosure: the author has an affiliate relationship with Lifespa and is also a customer.

Subtle Energies – The Path To Health

Subtle energies are what you notice when you are in stillness.

Subtle energies are precious information.

Subtle energies have truth in them, but they don’t scream and yell their message. They are there to be discerned. They are where highly sensitive people live.

A Lost Skill

A subtle energy requires good listening skills. Somewhere in the progress of the human race, we seem to have stopped listening.

Our early ancestors may not have had our material sophistication but they knew how to listen to the energies around them. A tracker for a tribe, any hunter, and shaman or medicine man knew about subtle energy and what the various energies meant. Their knowledge was a matter of life and death.

Subtle energies are fluid and moving. They are not tied to anything. They just are.

These energies are present everywhere and in everything. They include everything. They include time, space, materiality, qualities – hard, soft etc., attitude, and direction.

Subtle energies are our path to the flow state. They are also our window to the connection of mind and body that many of us have lost.

Subtle Energies At Work

One of the best examples of a great use of subtle energies is Ayurveda, the ancient holistic healing system.

Ayurveda categorizes everything by its subtle energy.  Each of the three human body types of doshas is a group of individual unique energies.  All three exist in each of us in different combinations.

When Ayurveda suggests food for a dosha, it is recommending the best subtle energy choices that will support health in a particular individual. Each of the seasons and stages of life represent different subtle energies as well. This is the reason that Ayurveda has become a great resource for people seeking a way to manage their health themselves.

Understanding subtle energies can help us respond intelligently and in a life affirming way to what is in front of us, in our culture and in our daily lives.  Ayurveda and the energy healing fields are pointing us increasingly towards effective methods of health and healing by helping us relearn and master subtle energy skills lost by our cultural disconnection from nature.

3 Amazing Herbs For The Immune System

Do you think your immune system is taking adequate care of you?

Do you fall prey to seasonal illnesses or illnesses that get passed around: colds, flu, etc? Are sick more often than others around you?

If you are answering yes to the last two questions, then your immune system may not be protecting you adequately.

Highly Sensitive People And The Immune System

It is a bit unfair to blame the immune system for our getting sick particularly if you are a highly sensitive person.

One of the biggest health challenges that highly sensitive people have is supporting and maintaining a healthy immune system. Our immune system often cannot cope with the demands that our nervous systems and cultural expectations place on it.

Although everyone needs to take care of their immune systems, HSPs need to step up their self-care to compensate for higher demands on their bodies. The specific burden that highly sensitive people have is stress – stress in such high volume that it overwhelms our bodies, immune system included, if we are not careful. Even if we were to lead an extremely quiet lifestyle, we need to support our immune systems because our hyperactive nervous system are naturally active all of the time. In the best of situations, we are vulnerable to becoming depleted from nervous system stress.

The Special Problem Of Stress And The HSP Immune System

If we are experiencing a lot of stress and our immune systems become weakened, then when other problems arise, we have a more difficult time coping with them. Viruses, parasites, and other invaders are more likely to take hold in our systems.

Therefore, in addition to stress reduction strategies, it is a good idea for highly sensitive people to offer their bodies some immune system support. These herbs can help:

  1. ashwaghandha is one of the most important herbs for highly sensitive people because not only does it help with stress but it also builds you up. It has the ability to reduce high cortisol levels which gets activated under stress and which can be chronically active in highly sensitive people. Since highly sensitive people are under stress a lot of the time, ashwaghandha is highly valuable as a defense against the effects on long term elevated cortisol which can cause metabolic syndrome and other conditions. Metabolic syndrome is considered an indicator of the potential to eventually get diabetes. Ashwaghandha is one of the most important Ayurvedic herbs because it not only calms the nervous system, but it also boosts energy and vitality, making it particularly important for HSPs who often feel drained.
  2. tulsi or holy basil is considered a holy plant in Ayurveda that brings in positive energy into the body and help eliminate negative energy. It is rich in antioxidants and  strengthens the immune system. It is considered a healing agent for the nervous system, so it reduces stress symptoms. Like ashwaghandha, tulsi is considered an adaptogen, which means it will strengthen the body. Tulsi will improve mental functioning in particular the memory.
  3. neem is an amazing herb that is antiviral, antifungical, antibacterial and antiseptic. It is a blood cleaner that is beneficial for skin conditions and dental health. Neem is a strong immune system booster.

All of the herbs individually and combined will help any highly sensitive person to improve the functioning of their nervous and immune systems. They are herbs that I use and personally recommend.