Dealing with “Stress Overwhelm”

Dr. Rick has recently coined the term “stress overwhelm” which is an inclusive term for a number of fancy psychiatric diagnoses, such as depression, anxiety and panic attacks, anger and rage outbursts. He proposes certain nutrients to alleviate these conditions, but there are also many other remedies, more helpful than medication and no side effects.

What are some of these remedies?  Yoga is one of the best.  It can give you short-term relief from stress and long-term, a more peaceful and balanced life.  The key is to find the right level class for you, one that is easily within your current capacity so you don’t get “stressed out” trying to do difficult new things.  We have yoga for all levels.  Gentle hatha yoga is a mat practice, but very simple and easy for almost everyone.  If you prefer to do it in your own home, we have a DVD, “Yoga for You”.  This can also be downloaded directly from the internet if you don’t want a DVD.  Contact me for how to do this.  The most relaxing gentle yoga class is Restorative, a practice in which you are lying on the floor with props for support and holding each posture 5 -7 minutes.  Extremely stress-relieving!  Once a month we do Restorative plus Reiki (R & R), where Rosalie is assisted by a Reiki Master who attends to each student.  There is also chair yoga, for those who can’t get down and up off the floor easily.  This is a shared class with my colleague, Carol Oveross.  In the summer we have aqua yoga, delightful on a 90 degree day.  It is great for people with mobility challenges.  The final relaxation is either floating, supported by 2 foam noodles or in the hot tub.  This summer, aqua yoga will be at the Sedona Shadows pool, from June through September.

One of the great things about yoga is the emphasis on control of the breath.  Doing various breathing practices (with our without a yoga class) gives you instant connection to your autonomic system, enabling you to change your mood and balance your energies.   Deep diaphragmatic breathing is very calming.  Using the “ocean-sounding breath” (ujjayi, in Sanskrit) is a non-verbal signal to your body/mind to relax.  You can just feel the adrenaline leaving your body.  Alternate nostril breathing is great to prepare for a good night’s sleep.  All these are taught regularly in yoga classes, or you can have a coaching session with me to learn the proper technique.  If you don’t live in the local area, we can meet by Skype.  Breath control is essential to quiet your mind for meditation.

While you’re doing all this relaxing breathing, the addition of aromatherapy adds even more in controlling stress overwhelm.  Young Living has an oil blend called “Stress Away.”  It is a blend of lime, vanilla, copaiba and lavender, bringing a warm, relaxing tropical scent, like an instant vacation, very mentally uplifting.  It comes in a roll-on or a regular drip bottle and is recommended for diffusing during yoga and meditation.  Ann Blake-Tracy, an expert on getting people weaned off psychotropic medications, uses essential oils in all her treatment protocols.  Other blends, Peace and Calming is great for deepening your sleep and Valor is wonderful for anxiety, even performance anxiety.  Our daughter who is a competitive dancer, puts Valor on her feet before performing and says it’s very helpful.

Another useful idea to consider is that of the Inner Judge, that part of your mind that judges and criticizes you relentlessly.  That can add greatly to your inner distress.  Just knowing that everybody has this can be helpful in decreasing its power.  For more info  we have a book “Shrinking the Judge,” and an ebook “How to Free the Inner Child.”  See our Books page on this website.

Some other things I’ll just mention briefly are Magnesium and herbs.  With Magnesium (Mg), sometimes it’s a challenge to get enough into your system without upsetting your digestion.  We have a time release Mg that works well.  There’s also liquid, a product called Calm, which can be sipped all day long and Epsom Salts, which you can soak in and your skin will absorb it.  There are also lotion and cream forms of Mg.  The best herb is Ashwaganda, which can be used straight, in tablets, or as a combination pill, called Stress Relief, by the Shaklee company.  We either carry all these products or can help you obtain them, so please ask.  While you are balancing your minerals with Dr. Rick, there’s no need to suffer the effects of Stress Overwhelm when so many good techniques and products are available.  Just ask us!

Nutritional Balancing and Yoga – how they connect

Rosalie Malter, M.A., E-RYT 500
January, 2016

Yoga is a way of life, not just an exercise system. All aspects of yoga work towards balance, which is the definition of physical and mental health. The movement/exercise aspect of yoga is called hatha yoga. “Ha” or sun energy and “tha” or moon energy are joined via yoga, which means “to yoke”.
Yoga philosophy includes the “four fountains,” our basic drives for food, sleep sex and self-preservation. In the recommendations regarding food there is discussion of the different tastes: sweet, salty, sour, pungent, bitter and astringent. In our culture, sweet and salty tastes predominate, but the full variety of tastes is necessary for a balanced diet. When one eats this full variety of tastes he/she is more likely to consume a full range of nutrients. Of course this advice was more valid hundreds of years ago, when the soils were not yet depleted. Today, in addition to healthy and balanced diets, balancing of nutrients requires supplementation.
Both yoga and nutritional balancing (NB) contribute to stress management, essential in handling our modern high stress lifestyles. Yoga contributes to stress management by utilizing slow stretching and holding that stretch to relax muscles, and deep diaphragmatic breathing to calm the nervous system. If a student has low energy, other yoga postures can be rejuvenating or stimulating, bringing the energy more towards a balanced state. Pranayama practice (various breath control techniques) can be either calming or stimulating also, always working towards balance.
NB, as guided by hair Trace Mineral Analysis (TMA) can help balance the autonomic nervous system also. Sympathetic (the alarm system) and parasympathetic (rest and digest). Rest and digest sounds more ideal, but too much parasympathetic input can lead to burn-out and low energy. It’s a delicate balancing act, just like some yoga balance postures.

NB proceeds by looking at mineral ratios. Some of these ratios can affect ability to do yoga postures. For example, copper (Cu) contributes to flexibility, so a low Zn/Cu ratio, which can have many negative health repercussions, also increases ability to do postures that require flexibility.

Often students get muscle cramps while doing yoga postures. Usually that is an indication of a high calcium/magnesium (Ca/Mg) ratio, as Ca causes muscle contraction and Mg causes muscle relaxation. As a yoga teacher, I always suggest students get a hair TMA test if they are getting a lot of cramping in class. Invariably they show up with a low Mg or a high Ca/Mg ratio. High Ca/Mg is also associated with sugar cravings, which upsets the taste balance mentioned above.
Ideally, having a balanced lifestyle in these stressful times would include a yoga practice (including meditation) and an NB regimen, guided by hair TMA with a knowledgeable practitioner.

For more information on yoga and health coaching, contact Rosalie Malter, M.A., E-RYT 500, at royoga@cableone.net or look on the website www.malterinstitute.org.

Veggie Nuggets

Most children dislike vegetables and love chicken nuggets.  Try as you may to introduce veggies to their diet, they much prefer those nuggets.  Problem is, those nuggets are loaded with chemicals and poor quality chicken.  I know that was the case with my children when they were young and now my grandchildren.  What to do?  If you could make those veggies taste like nuggets, they might gobble them up.  The recipe is a bit labor intensive but worth it to see the little ones eating with enjoyment and getting their good nutrition.  Adults can enjoy them too.  Be sure all your veggies are organic and go to it!  I taste tested it with some of my grandchildren, both little ones and teens, even the ones who “hate veggies.”  Here’s the recipe, adapted from a magazine called Relish, that comes with our local newspaper:

2 medium yams, baked and cooled

8 oz. frozen cauliflower, thawed and patted dry

10 oz. box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry (or fresh chopped)

1 c. finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided

4 eggs, divided

2 1/4 c, bread crumbs, either Panko or gluten free Italian flavored

1 t. Himalayan salt

1 t. garlic powder

1/4 t. cayenne (optional)

Ketchup or honey mustard, for dipping

Peel yams and mash to smooth consistency.  Pulse cauliflower and spinach in a food processor until finely chopped.  Mix with mashed yam, adding 1/2 c. Parmesan, 1 egg, 3/4 c. crumbs, and spices.  Preheat oven to 450 F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Beat remaining eggs in a medium bowl.  Toss remaining 1 1/2 c. crumbs with 1/2 c. Parmesan on a large shallow plate.

Using slightly dampened hands, form veggie mixture into 1″ balls and flatten slightly into nugget shapes.  Dip 1 nugget at a time into egg, then crumbs, then place on baking sheets.

Bake 30 min, till golden brown.  Turn once 1/2 way through.  Serve with dipping sauce.  6 nuggets per serving.  Nutrition per serving – 300 cal,42 g. carbs (yam is low glycemic however), 18 g. protein, 9 g. fat, 150 mg. cholesterol, 810 mg. sodium, 6 g. fiber, plus lots of vitamins and minerals in the veggies.

If you try it with your kids, let me know how it goes.  If you love it, make a double batch while you have all the utensils out.  It freezes well.

Rosalie

Yoga teacher and health coach

 

Beating the Summer Heat

It’s still HOT out there.  Here are some yoga perspectives on beating the heat naturally.

Hatha Yoga

HA means sun and THA means moon in Sanskrit, so all of hatha yoga is about balancing your energies.  The HA (solar energies) predominate in the summer. but there are many postures that will cool you down.  Sun Salutations will tend to make you hotter especially if you jump forward as part of the sequence.  This is a good time to take a break from that sequence.  Good postures to practice on hot days are the passive ones, like Legs up the Wall, supported easy backbends, like Arch Posture, with a block under the sacrum and legs up or Fish Posture with a pillow under the mid-back.  Either seated or standing Forward Bends are cooling.  Twists are also good for cooling, either seated or lying down.  Be sure to extend through the top of the head, lengthening the spine when twisting.  For further information see our calendar for the yoga class schedule.  A favorite class for many on the hottest days is Restorative Yoga, all passive lying-down supported postures, or Aqua Yoga, very cooling and relaxing.

Breath Work

Sitali pranayama, in which you sit and breathe in through the mouth as if you were sipping air through a soda straw, and exhale through the nose, is very cooling.  If you’re able, roll your tongue lengthwise for the inhale.  If you’re not sure how to do this, get directions from a yoga teacher.  One of my students said she used to do sitali with her young daughter when she had a fever and it would bring the fever down.

Single nostril breathing

Usually we do alternate nostril breathing as a technique to bring balance to the nervous system.  But on a very hot day, closing off the right nostril and breathing in and out through the left will activate the lunar energies, cooling and calming the system.  Repeat for 5 – 20 breaths.  Do not do this practice if depressed.  Only practice alternate nostril breathing in that situation.

Cooling foods

Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables (preferably organic), especially those with high water content : melons, berries, leafy greens.  Emphasize light and cool foods, minimize cooking and baking.  Coconut water is very cooling to the body but may have a laxative effect.  Most people lose sodium and potassium when sweating a lot.  Drinking loads of plain water can make this situation worse.  Replacing potassium with an electrolyte-enhanced water can be helpful, which is why many athletes depend on Gatorade.  However, Gatorade has many artificial colors, flavors and chemicals.  Shaklee has a potassium chloride drink called Performance, currently being used bRosalie Maltery many Olympic hopefuls to boost their stamina and performance.  contact Rosalie for more information.

Enjoy your summer, and come back soon to yoga class!

Keeping Your Cool in the Arizona Heat

It’s that time of year in Arizona when we all stay indoors in the midday and come out, like the animals, when the sun descends.  News articles are all about avoiding heat stroke (which is deadly).  I didn’t give it too much thought until one of my yoga students had to go to the ER last week.  She is an energetic 80-something who does lots of yoga and thinks she’s invincible.  After being out with her dog a little too long in the morning, she was suddenly weak and dizzy and had to call 911.  She spent the rest of the day in the hospital.  So what can we do to not repeat her experience and still have fun in the summer?

Stay hydrated.  Can’t emphasize that one enough.  Not only lots of water, but add in some potassium chloride to your drink, especially if you’re a slow metabolic type.  Commercial potassium chloride drinks like Gatorade and Vitamin Water have lots of artificial colors, flavors and other chemical toxins, so avoid them.  Shaklee has a drink called Performance that has been tested with Olympic athletes.   It is very effective at keeping your electrolytes balanced and it has all natural ingredients.  Email Rosalie to order this excellent product.

Do Restorative or Aqua Yoga.  Restorative is a wonderful, deeply restful yoga practice done indoors.  It’s all passive, lying down postures, supported by bolsters and blankets.  It’s beneficial for anyone feeling stressed out or stressed by the heat – very rejuvenating.  If you have an injury or recent surgery, insomnia, chronic pain or if you have been doing too much “power” yoga practice, it will re-balance your system.  Aqua yoga is done in an outdoor pool Wednesdays at 4:30 p.m. when the shadows are getting long.  You will feel cool on the hottest day and very relaxed at the end.  It’s particularly beneficial for those with mobility issues or balance problems.  See more details on the yoga page of this website and times and locations of classes on the calendar

.lotus_back_group     Restorative yoga practice

Practice meditation in the evening.  Watch the stars, clear your mind and let yourself be cool mentally as well as physically.  If you want to meditate with others we have a free meditation group Mondays at 7 at the Healing Arts Center in Cottonwood.  You can practice whatever style of meditation you prefer or Rosalie can give you some brief instruction.  Call if you plan to come, 928/649-9343.

Happy summer!  (if it’s winter in your part of the world, you can dream of summer)

Namaste,

Rosalie