THAYERS NATURAL BLOG

Stress Less!

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Meet three holistic practitioners who are helping people relax, restore and chill out with natural remedies.

It’s old news that modern women of all ages are tasked with doing more than ever. While juggling careers, children, housework, hubbies, and hobbies, women are looking for lifestyle “hacks” and shortcuts to alleviate mounting stress levels. How often is stress rearing its ugly head? Quite a bit says the American Institute of Stress (AIS) which cited a recent European study with staggering findings that stress and depression in middle-aged women doubled in the last 40 years due to these pressures. If you typically feel a mix of anticipation and anxiety during the winter months, you’re not alone. With the AIS also reporting Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is four times more common in women than men, the seasonal struggle is real! That’s why we talked to three professionals with a holistic approach to treating stress naturally so we can pass on their expert advice to you!

CANDACE MOORE

1847 Magazine: What’s the name and location of your business?

Candace Moore: YogaByCandace LLC in Hartford, Connecticut

1847: What services do you offer?

CM: We’re a yoga lifestyle media company. Under the YBC® brand we have created Mantra Box®, a quarterly discovery box that’s filled with health and wellness products. We also offer yoga workshops, retreats and teacher training all over the world, led by myself and team of instructors. We also host a podcast called Namaslay® and have a popular YouTube channel with hundreds of free yoga videos.

1847: Although many people practice yoga for flexibility, joint health, and fitness, others say it’s great for mental focus and relaxation. How often do you have clients taking classes for stress relief?

CM: All the time. It’s one of the top reasons people sign up for our yoga classes.

1847: In your opinion, how does yoga help with overall well-being and stress relief?

CM: Yoga is a beautiful, intentional practice because it links breath with movement. When we slow down and focus on intentional breathing, our minds can be calm, anxieties dissipate, and the layers of stress melt away.

1847: What specific poses or exercises do you include in your classes to alleviate stress?

CM: I like to incorporate a supported fish pose. It’s a heart opener, so it’s a true feel-good pose.

1847: Do you notice more clients experiencing stress during winter?

CM: Yes, stress seems to ramp up during the long winter months and especially during the holidays. This is why it’s more important than ever to stay active and well-balanced with yoga.

1847: For those who don’t have time for classes, what are some simple breathing or yoga poses they can easily do at home to relax and unwind?

CM: I always say that you can accomplish a lot of de-stressing in just one minute. Sit tall on the edge of a seat, as this will help tilt your pelvis forward so that you have a long spine. Close your eyes and breathe in for a count of ten – then breathe out for a count of ten. Repeat for one minute and you’ll be surprised at how good you feel.

 

DEB GOWEN

1847 Magazine: What’s the name and location of your business?

Deb Gowen: Women’s Health Solutions, Arlington, Massachusetts.

1847: As a holistic practitioner for 33 years, what are your credentials?

DG: I’m a Registered Nurse with a BSN from Boston University, and I have a Master’s of Science in Nursing as well as certification as a Nurse Midwife from Columbia University.

1847: What services do you offer?

DG: My current focus is on women’s health, with specialties in bioidentical hormones and stress management. I also offer the full scope of ob/gyn care – from adolescence to the end of the life cycle, and intense relaxation therapies using a variety of modalities and Access Bar sessions.

1847: Do you treat more stress-related illnesses during the holidays?

DG: Holiday stress begins well before the time we consider the actual season and can last long after. In general, stress is at an all-time high with my clients. It affects all aspects of their lives and can result in physical illness based on abnormal cortisol levels which can alter the hormone systems. Many people turn to medical providers who routinely recommend prescriptions for sleep, anxiety, allergies, pain, and even mood. The diagnoses can extend to thyroid, glucose, joint and autoimmune problems. SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder is often an exaggeration of symptoms, and some can find relief with special lighting or trips to warmer climates with more sunlight exposure.

1847: How do you typically treat patients who are suffering from stress-related ailments?

DG: I take a health history and assess for cortisol levels, hormonal imbalances, and other glaring deficiencies. Next, I may recommend supplements and bio-identical hormones if that’s the obvious avenue. I also frequently recommend a homeopathic gel called Somaderm, which helps with sleep and energy.

1847: What treatments are available for those who describe their stress as severe or perhaps temporary due to hectic seasonal demands?

DG: For those who need immediate results, I offer intense relaxation therapy in my office. A one-hour session provides the equivalent of approximately six hours of theta-waves, which can also be achieved from deep dreaming states or daily meditation. A basic session is called Access Bars, and it can lower stress tremendously and promote mental clarity.

1847: What are some simple things people can try at home to reduce stress?

DG: Taking a five-minute break to close your eyes and breathe deeply and slowly will reset your brain and promote a sense of calm. You can also hug it out! Giving and receiving hugs that last 20 seconds or longer is a good way to get the warm and fuzzy endorphins flowing! Also, make a habit of unplugging occasionally and going device-free for at least an hour a day. Another good tip is to distract yourself with a task or a chore. Set a timer for 15 minutes and focus on organizing a drawer, cleaning out a closet or removing clutter around the house. Keeping your mind busy and occupied is a great way to restore sanity!

REBECCA SCHIFFHAUER

1847 Magazine: What’s the name and location of your business?

Rebecca Schiffauer: Camp Wander, located in Bedford, Wyoming.

1847: What services do you offer?

RS: Essential oil education, remedies, recipes, and online retail.

1847: Why did you choose to start Camp Wander?

RS: With unprecedented prescription drug overuse nationwide, I recognized that people are eager to learn more about alternative, plant-based products like essential oils. Overall, the popularity of pure essential oils has skyrocketed in the past few years because they are affordable, readily available and without dangerous side effects.

1847: How are essential oils important for overall health?

RS: Essential oil therapies are unique because unlike pharmaceuticals, they can’t create resistance. The chemistry of plants is ever-changing and complex due to weather, pests and other factors, and differs from lab-created products that may only have two or three chemical constituents. It’s exciting to see people discovering they can treat many maladies from home with plant-based wellness practices.

1847: What are some ways to use essential oils for stress relief?

RS: In my opinion, one of the best home health devices is an ultrasonic aromatherapy diffuser. It breaks up essential oils into tiny droplets and emits them into the air via water vapor. Aromatherapy is generally safe for all ages and backed by science for many health benefits, including purifying the air of airborne pathogens such as viruses and even mold spores. Diffusing essential oils can also help manage moods without endocrine disrupting chemicals that are found in some commercial air fresheners.

1847: Can essential oils be applied topically?

RS: Yes, topical application is an effective modality to get essential oils into the bloodstream. Simply applying oils topically along with a pure carrier base salve to protect against skin sensitivity is the way to go! Always remember to protect your skin with a carrier base salve or carrier oil like coconut or olive oil. Essential oils such as Oregano or Cinnamon are especially hot and must be diluted properly. Another popular option is adding a few drops of essential oil to bath water. For example, adding Lavender can create a wonderful, relaxing experience! Always add an emulsifying agent like a cup of oregano milk to break up the essential oils in the water.

1847: What essential oils are best for stress relief?

RS: Lavender is traditionally the most well-known, but citrus oils can also be very invigorating and uplifting. Because stress can be very complex these days, a combination of oils is often recommended. That’s why I created several stress-busting blends to alleviate tension, headaches, brain fog and lack of energy. Experiment with essential oils to learn which ones soothe your soul!

1847: Do you have customers specifically using essential oils more during the winter or holiday season to reduce stress or promote a less stressful environment at home?

RS: Essential oils are a lot of fun during the winter months. Blending oils to create a warm, welcoming, and immunity boosting fragrance in the home or office not only smells wonderful, but it can make you feel better and clear the air of pathogens. It’s a healthier alternative to using scented candles during the holidays because these can pollute the air.

1847: What’s the easiest thing beginners can do to get started with essential oils for stress relief?

RS: Until you decide to buy a diffuser, simply add a few drops of your favorite oil or blend to a tissue and keep it in your purse or pocket. Keep a scented tissue in your car, too! Consider a drop or two on the edge of your pillowcase to soothe nerves as you drift off to sleep. Add a few drops to wool dryer balls to freshen and sanitize laundry.

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