edgemontnaturopathic
8 Simple Ways to Control Stress!

8 Simple Ways to Control Stress!

Besides rebalancing hormones, simple modifications in posture, habits, thought, and behavior often go a long way toward reducing feelings of stress and tension. Here are 8 quick and simple things you can do immediately to help keep your stress level under control.

 

1. Control Your Anger:

Watch for the next instance in which you find yourself becoming annoyed or angry at something trivial or unimportant. Make a conscious choice not to become angry or upset – practice letting go. Do not allow yourself to waste energy and thoughts where it isn’t deserved. Effective anger management is a tried-and-true stress reducer.

 

2. Breathe:

Before reacting to the next stressful occurrence, take three deep breaths, into your abdomen and release them slowly. If you have a few minutes, try out breathing exercises such as meditation or guided imagery.

 

3. Slow Down:

Whenever you feel overwhelmed by stress, speak more slowly than usual. You’ll find that you think clearer and react more reasonably to stressful situations. Stressed people tend to speak fast and breathlessly; by slowing down your speech, you’ll also appear less anxious and more in control of any situation.

 

4. Complete One Simple To Do:

Jump start an effective time management strategy. Choose one simple thing you have been putting off (e.g. returning a phone call, making a doctor’s appointment) and do it immediately. Taking care of one nagging responsibility can be energizing and can improve your attitude.

 

5. Get Some Fresh Air:

Get outdoors for a brief break. Our grandparents were right about the healing power of fresh air. Don’t be deterred by foul weather or a full schedule. Even five minutes on a balcony or terrace can be rejuvenating.

 

6. Avoid Hunger and Dehydration:

Drink plenty of water and eat small, nutritious snacks. Hunger and dehydration, even before you’re aware of them, can provoke aggressiveness and exacerbate feelings of anxiety and stress.

 

7. Do a Quick Posture Check:

Hold your head and shoulders upright and avoid stooping or slumping. Bad posture can lead to muscle tension, pain, and increased stress.

 

8. Recharge at the Day’s End:

Plan something rewarding for the end of your stressful day, even if only a relaxing bath or half an hour with a good book. Put aside work, housekeeping or family concerns for a brief period before bedtime to fully relax. Don’t spend this time planning tomorrow’s schedule or doing chores you didn’t get around to during the day. Remember that you need time to recharge and energize yourself – you’ll be much better prepared to face another stressful day. If you are feeling stressed, let’s get your hormones tested and see what I can do for you.

 

Dr. Sanjay Mohan Ram, N.D.

Can stress make my hot flashes worse?

Can stress make my hot flashes worse?

What are Hot Flashes?

Hot flashes are just one of many symptoms that can occur in perimenopause or menopause. There is an intricate pathway of hormones that come into play with regards to balancing hormones. Once key thing to remember is the role that the adrenal glands play in keeping our hormones balanced and supporting us in being symptoms free.

When we enter into our mid 40’s (or earlier for some women with premature ovarian failure), our adrenal glands begin to take a front seat to our hormone health. The adrenal glands are our “fight or flight” hormone producing glands. They produce the hormones that respond to panic, or keep up awake for long hours for those working in emergency setting. The adrenal glands also regulate blood pressure, blood sugar, and produce sex hormones. So if you are in a continuous state of stress, we can notice symptoms in all of these areas. High blood pressure or low blood pressure. Shakiness when we don’t eat regularly. Increased feelings of stress and overwhelm. And all of the symptoms of hormone imbalance. Hot flashes, insomnia, low sex drive and weight gain, just to name a few.


What can you do?

If you feel that stress is a culprit for your hot flashes, consider the following actions:

  1. Try and stick to a regular schedule for meals, exercise and sleep. Bedtime by 10pm is ideal. Keep your workout light. Exercise exhaustion puts further stress on the adrenal if you are not conditioned properly.
  2. Eat protein with each meal. Protein stabilizes blood sugar and keeps you from feeling shaky, and reaching for foods that are less than healthy.
  3. Try a B complex. Most people tolerate a B complex very well. Please take with food as it will cause nausea without food. It will also turn the urine bright yellow. This is completely normal.
  4. Pick 30 min a day to deal with the most stressful things on your list or in the news. 60 minutes might be more realistic for some, but let yourself really feel what you are feeling every day. I recommend the same for people who are grieving a loss. These feelings are much the same right now for most of us.
  5. Limit caffeine intake. If you have caffeine, have it with food and choose organic. Coffee and tea are very heavily sprayed and can be considered endocrine disruptors.
  6. Seed rotation. This is pretty old school Naturopathic Medicine, but it works! From the new moon to the full moon, incorporate ground flax and pumpkin seeds in your diet. From the full moon to the new moon, do the same with sunflower and sesame seeds. Nut butters work too. These combinations boost estrogen and progesterone, respectively.

Cathryn Coe, ND is a licensed Naturopathic Physician and owner of Edgemont Naturopathic Clinic. 

Skin and Stress

Skin and Stress

Why is my eczema flaring up?

We are approaching spring and normally this time of year I would be discussing seasonal allergies and healing skin conditions (eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis) from winter exacerbation. Cold weather, dry homes and warm layers can make these conditions worse.

 

Self-Isolation & Fear of COVID-19

With the ongoing stress of isolation and fear of the Covid-19 virus, conditions that can be made worse by stress are a worrisome reminder that this is the new norm for a while. So why has your skin worsened?

Cortisol

Cortisol, which is our stress hormone and produced as a fight or flight response, can decrease our immune system. Prolonged stress actually can cause “leaky gut syndrome”, which allows foods that are poorly digested to form antigens in the blood stream, to which we form antibodies. This antigen/antibody complex is what causes inflammation on the skin.

Food Sensitivities

I always say to patients that certain foods react differently in the body depending on how much stress you are under. That vanilla milkshake that you enjoyed on vacation last summer never aggravated your eczema. Fast forward to today and you enjoyed another…big flare up. So what can you do now?

 

Here are 5 things you can do at home to help heal your skin:

 

1. Cut out potential allergens

Consider cutting down on dairy, eggs and gluten. These three foods are considered the three most common allergens. If you are in quarantine, it’s not necessarily the time to be picky about what you eat. Try rice, oats, quinoa; fresh or frozen veg, and some type of protein. Tofu, beans, meat or canned fish.

2. Over-hydration during meals

Try not to hydrate at meal time. Drinking large amounts of fluids dilutes your acid and enzyme levels, and can lead to poorly digested food.

3. Warm water and lemon

Start your day off with warm water and lemon juice. You can use one lemon wedge (make sure to wash it well first), or if you don’t have fresh lemons, about a teaspoon from a bottle is fine.

4. Supplements

Consider a B vitamin or multi vitamin if you have one a home. B vitamins can really help with our body’s stress response.

5. Eat gut-healing foods

Look at healing foods such as pumpkin seeds (full or zinc), fish (omega 3 fats), green cabbage (contains l-glutamine which helps to heal the gut), and fermented foods such as sauerkraut, yoghurt, kimchi, kefir, tempeh and miso.

If you would like further information on how Naturopathic Medicine can heal your skin condition, we are currently booking telephone consultations. Stay safe and healthy!

Cathryn Coe, ND

Surviving Stress

Surviving Stress

Some phases of life are more challenging than others. This could be because of an intensive workload, final exam season, a family crisis, life transition or recovering from an injury. The increased mental, physical or emotional fatigue can leave your body feeling like it needs a little additional support.

What can you do?

Make time to relax. This could be extra sleep, reducing your day-to-day commitments, or even a Netflix binge. Try to set aside at least one hour a day to do whatever feels right for you.

Say no, or ask for support as needed. Do you need alone time? Or some help with groceries? Be honest with your friends and family on how they can best support you.

Meditation. The research is in! Meditation can increase resilience, decrease burnout, improve emotional regulation, and decrease stress.

Exercise.  Exercise has been shown to improve cognition, memory and mental health. This is partially due to its ability to increase dopamine.

Nature time.  Time spent in natural settings has been found to decrease anxiety, anger, depression, and decrease blood pressure.

Eat a healthy diet. Aim for a diet which is 80% whole, unprocessed foods.  Neurogenesis, the formation of new brain cells, is partially regulated by brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Early studies show BDNF is increased by eating carenoid-rich fruits and vegetables. Neurogenesis is decreased by diets high in fat and sugar.

 

How can a health professional offer support?

Acupuncture

  • A preliminary study found combining acupuncture with an anti-depressant, may result in better psychological health, compared to the anti-depressant alone.
  • Acupuncture may decrease perceived stress and improve energy.

Myers’ Cocktail IV

  • A blend of B vitamins, vitamin C and minerals such as magnesium, are administered intravenously and are tailored to an individuals specific needs.
  • Taking these nutrients as an IV, allows for a rapid increase in cellular levels. This can reduce fatigue, support immune function and decrease migraines.

Supplements

  • Supplements contain herbs, nutrients, homeopathic extracts or other natural substances.
  • Your naturopathic doctor can chose supplements specific to your health needs.
      • Periods of stress can disrupt digestive function, alter mood or cause hormonal imbalances. Specific nutraceuticals can be prescribed as a part of a treatment plan.

Tailored diet plans

  • Skin concerns? Digestive upset?
    • IgG or IgA food testing may be recommended to assess for foods that are causing inflammation.

Pharmaceuticals

  • Can be prescribed as needed as part of a well-rounded healthcare plan.

Counseling

  • Can provide a space to process and allow for self-reflection.
  • Can promote a healthy relationship with challenging emotions.

Massage therapy

  • Promotes relaxation and may decrease anxiety.