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Anxious Buddies, Relax! Try These 6 Herbal Remedies To Regain Your Peace And Calmness

Anxious Buddies, Relax! Try These 6 Herbal Remedies To Regain Your Peace And Calmness

Anxiety comes in various forms and anyone could experience it any point in their lives. It is characterized by a number of symptoms, including withdrawal from social settings, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and phobia and usually can be heavily experienced during the teenage years than any other stages in a person’s life. If you are a teenager or a parent of a teenager battling with anxiety, you may find that there are various faces of depression and while it is treatable, often 80% of kids with a diagnosable anxiety disorder are not getting treatment.

In most cases, treating anxiety can be done through therapy and natural healing medications that will help one regain their peace and not totally fall into deep depression.

Along with herbal remedies, there are programs that will help teenagers better understand what they’re going through and better cope with it with the proper guidance from those who have had experience helping those who have been through depression. In an interview with Dr. Jeff Nalin, Psy.D. – Founder and Clinical Director at Paradigm Malibu, he shared that many natural remedies can help with anxiety. “There are a plethora of herbal remedies that can assist anxiety, the Adaptagenic herbs, (Ashwagandha, Eleuthero, Holy Basil, Maca, Ginseng, Rhodiola Rosea, Schisandra, Mucuna Pruriens) Sam E, Cava Cava and the combined use of Evening Primrose Oil and Fish oils, have all shown some degree of clinical success.”

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While most of these natural remedies were proven to help alleviate the anxiety, Dr. Nalin recommends that one must seek professional assistance when partaking them as these remedies do not necessarily replace proper and clinically proven to be effective remedies, “What is most important is to seek professional assistance and not self-medicate or self-diagnose, especially if you are already taking medication.”

Aletheia Luna, author and founder of self-discovery blog Lonerwolf, suffered from anxiety on and off for many years. She was prescribed with many types of medications including Prozac, Desvenlafaxine, and Loxalate. Aletheia jumped from one medicine to another, until she realized all those prescription medications only serve as a “band aid” that superficially numbs an mask her condition. When she was dissatisfied with the results of taking medication, she explored alternative treatments instead. Today we’ll look into some examples of herbal remedies and how they can help people regain peace and calmness.

Disclaimer: Consider taking these medications under the supervision of a professional. While some herbs are harmless, some may carry notable risks. Don’t rely solely on herbal remedies even if they were proven to be effective.

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Dr. Nalin further explains the importance of seeking professional help, “Speak to your doctor first. Residential treatment is an important piece of the puzzle for teen anxiety disorders. It allows treatment to happen in the moment, among their peer group, in a measured, supportive environment, creating an internal sense of self efficacy and esteem.This allows for change to be immediate and readily implemented, rather than something discussed in session and later implemented with varying degrees of success. Here at Paradigm we utilize a holistic approach, tailoring treatment to the individual needs of the client.”

Holistic activities such as Acupuncture, Aikido, Art, Drama, Music, Equine therapy, Challenge Courses, the Alexander Technique, Neurofeedback, Hiking, Salsa, Surfing, Paddle Boarding, Yoga, and Meditation are just some of the additional modalities Dr. Nalin recommends to full recover and release trauma and reconnect their sense of resilience, motivation and joy.

With these in mind, let’s explore some of the natural remedies which may be helpful in regaining you peace and calm:

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1. Ginger tea

Ginger grows indigenously in South China and also spread to other parts of Asia, West Africa, and the Caribbean. It is known to alleviate antidepressant induced nausea. Dietician Alice Mackintosh told the Daily Mail that ginger contains potent gingerol, which helps cleanse the harmful chemicals that our bodies produce when we’re worried, so ginger can help psychological stress. Becky Oberg, a freelance journalist, said her favorite ginger tea recipe is from Dominican Republic. The recipe requires a slice of one-inch piece of ginger, one quart water, one-fourth teaspoon of ground allspice, and one-fourth cup of brown sugar. All you have to do is boil the first three ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes before adding the sugar.

2. Chamomile

The leaves and flower of chamomile are edible. The German chamomile is the variety used in herbal medicine, although Roman chamomile is the true type. Anyone can grow chamomile, especially during spring because the plant grows best in cool conditions. Chamomile is commonly used as a sleeping but it is also beneficial to people experiencing anxiety as it improves mental calmness. To make your own chamomile tea, boil two cups of water and add a tablespoon of dried chamomile flowers. Steep for 15 minutes so the essential oil remains.

3. Rhodiola

It grows in regions with cold climates such as Iceland, Great Britain, and Scandinavia. The roots of this perennial plant are used as medicine in many countries. Rhodiola regulates the body’s hormones, protects cells from damage. Research suggests that Rhodax, a specific rhodiola extract, might lower anxiety in people with general anxiety disorder. Aletheia noted that she takes it in pill form at 1000-2000 mg.

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4. Siberian ginseng

It grows in Asia, but the varieties that grow in Siberia are more powerful when it comes to medicine. It can be taken as capsule, extract, or in powder form. Some take it for around 2000 mg to have its maximum effect. Still, one needs to research on the dosage because there are potential side effects with large quantities.

5. Golden Milk

It is often used in ancient Ayurvedic medicine. Golden Milk contains turmeric, the kind of herb which works as an antidepressant. The first step to make golden milk is to create a mixture in the form of paste. According to Oberg, here’s the right way to make golden milk: Combine half a cup of boiling water with one-fourth cup of turmeric. Stir it constantly until you make a thick paste, before adding one teaspoon ground black pepper. Add one teaspoon of turmeric paste to one cup of warm milk, one-half a teaspoon of sweet almond oil, and a bit of raw honey to sweeten.

6. Flaxseed tea

Flax plant usually grows in colder regions. The seeds (Linum usitatissimum), is often used in Austrian medicine internally. The seeds are generally safe for human beings. It contains healthy omega-3s and healthy fatty acids which help the brain function more effectively. As what Oberg said, you may use a teaspoon per cup of water when you have ground seeds. Then you can use two tablespoons per cup of water if you have meal.

When experiencing anxiety, one doesn’t have to deal with of these alone. It’s important to know that while you seek for herbal and natural remedies, there’s no better cure than knowing that there are many other people out there who have survived and managed to deal with the situation. Whether you’re looking to take professional medical help or join in groups and programs that will help you get a better understand of what you’re going through, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you’re not alone in this battle.

Featured photo credit: mpaola_andreoni via flickr.com

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Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

Science Says Screaming Is Good For You

There are many reasons why people might scream – they’re angry, scared, or in pain (or maybe they’re in a metal band!). Some might say that screaming is bad, but here’s why science says it’s good for you.

“For the first time in the history of psychology there is a way to access feelings, hidden away, in a safe way and thus to reduce human suffering. It is, in essence, the first science of psychotherapy.” — Dr. Arthur Janov

Primal Therapy

Dr. Arthur Janov invented Primal Therapy in the late 1960’s. It is a practice that allows the patient to face their repressed emotions from past trauma head on and let those emotions go. This treatment is intended to cure any mental illness the patient may have that surfaced from this past trauma. In most cases, Primal Therapy has lead Dr. Janov’s patients to scream towards the end of their session, though it was not part of the original procedure. During a group therapy session that was at a standstill, Dr. Janov says that one of his patients, a student he called Danny, told a story that inspired him to implement a technique that he never would have thought of on his own.

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How it Started

“During a lull in our group therapy session, he told us a story about a man named Ortiz who was currently doing an act on the London stage in which he paraded around in diapers drinking bottles of milk. Throughout his number, Ortiz is shouting, ‘Mommy! Daddy! Mommy! Daddy!’ at the top of his lungs. At the end of his act he vomits. Plastic bags are passed out, and the audience is requested to follow suit.”

It doesn’t end there, though. Dr. Janov said that his patient was quite fascinated with that story, and that alone moved him to suggest something even he believed to be a little elementary.

“I asked him to call out, ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ Danny refused, saying that he couldn’t see the sense in such a childish act, and frankly, neither could I. But I persisted, and finally, he gave in. As he began, he became noticeably upset. Suddenly he was writhing on the floor in agony. His breathing was rapid, spasmodic. ‘Mommy! Daddy!’ came out of his mouth almost involuntarily in loud screeches. He appeared to be in a coma or hypnotic state. The writhing gave way to small convulsions, and finally, he released a piercing, deathlike scream that rattled the walls of my office. The entire episode lasted only a few minutes, and neither Danny nor I had any idea what had happened. All he could say afterward was: ‘I made it! I don’t know what, but I can feel.’”

Delving deeper

Dr. Janov says he was baffled for months, but then he decided to experiment with another patient with the same method, which lead to a similar result as before. The patient started out calling “Mommy! Daddy!” then experienced convulsions, heavy breathing, and then eventually screamed. After the session, Dr. Janov says his patient was transformed and became “virtually another human being. He became alert… he seemed to understand himself.”

Although the initial intention of this particular practice wasn’t to get the patient to scream, more than once did his Primal Therapy sessions end with the patient screaming and feeling lighter, revived, and relieved of stresses that were holding them down in life.

Some Methods To Practice Screaming

If you want to try it out for yourself, keep reading!

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  • Step 1: Be Alone — Be alone. If you live in a place that you can’t be alone, it might be a good idea to talk to your family or roommates and explain to them what you’re about to do and make sure they’re okay with it. If you’re good to go, move on to step 2.
  • Step 2: Lie Down — Lie down on a yoga mat on your back and place a pillow underneath your head. If you don’t own a yoga mat, you can use a rug or even a soft blanket.
  • Step 3: Think — Think of things that have hurt you or made you angry. It can be anything from your childhood or even something that happened recently to make yourself cry, if you’re not already crying or upset. You could even scream “Mommy! Daddy!” just like Dr. Janov’s patients did to get yourself started.
  • Step 4: Scream — Don’t hold anything back; cry and scream as loud as you can. You can also pound your fists on the ground, or just lie there and scream at the top of your lungs.

After this, you should return your breathing to a normal and steady pace. You should feel lighter, like a weight has been lifted off of you. If not, you can also try these other methods.

Scream Sing

Scream singing” is referring to what a lot of lead singers in metal or screamo bands will do. I’ve tried it and although I wasn’t very good at it, it was fun and definitely relieved me of any stress I was feeling from before. It usually ends up sounding like a really loud grunt, but nonetheless, it’s considered screaming.

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  • Step 1 — Bear down and make a grunting sound.
  • Step 2 — Hiss like a snake and make sure to do this from your diaphragm (your stomach) for as long as you can.
  • Step 3 — Breathe and push your stomach out for more air when you are belting notes, kind of like you would if you were singing.
  • Step 4 — Try different ways to let out air to control how long the note will last, just make sure not to let out too much air.
  • Step 5 — Distort your voice by pushing air out from your throat, just be careful not to strain yourself.
  • Step 6 — Play around with the pitch of your screams and how wide your mouth is open – the wider your mouth is open, the higher the screams will sound. The narrower or rounder your mouth is (and most likely shaped like an “o”), the lower the screams will sound.
  • Step 7 — Start screaming to metal music. If you’re not a huge metal fan, it’s okay. You don’t have to use this method if you don’t want to.

If you want a more thorough walkthrough of how to scream sing, here’s a good video tutorial. If this method is too strenuous on your vocal chords, stop. Also, make sure to stay hydrated when scream singing and drink lots of water.

Scream into a pillow

Grab a pillow and scream into it. This method is probably the fastest and easiest way to practice screaming. Just make sure to come up for air.

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Always remember to make sure that you’re not going to disturb anyone while practicing any of these methods of screaming. And with that, happy screaming!

Featured photo credit: Sharon Mollerus via flickr.com

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