Updated: Mar 10
March 22, 2022, LUDLOW, Vt. – Stress. This word has been quite common for years but has almost taken on a whole new meaning these days. Though it gets tossed around pretty casually, it can wreak serious havoc on the major systems of the body. Chronic, or long-term stress, can cause structural changes in the brain that can lead to memory, cognitive, and learning difficulties, plus additional neurological complications.
If you’re suffering from stress, anxiety, or are overwhelmed by life’s challenges and the state of the world, there are more natural and holistic approaches available than ever before that can help you restore your equilibrium on all levels so that you can navigate your life path with more clarity and peace.
Yoga is considered by many to be the oldest defined practice of self-development, dating back 5,000 years. Many of the popular techniques found to reduce stress derive from yoga, including controlled breathing, meditation, physical movement, mental imagery, and stretching. Virtually everyone can see physical benefits from yoga, and its practice can also offer psychological benefits, such as stress reduction and a sense of wellbeing. Studies show that the most effective ways in which yoga targets stress are by lifting your mood by allowing for increased mindfulness and increasing self-compassion.
Cannabidiol, widely known as CBD, seems to be the talk of the town no matter where you go these days, but there’s a lot of information to sift through if you’re considering giving it a try. This can get a bit confusing and not all CBD products are created equal. CBD is a cannabinoid derived from the hemp plant that contains either very little to no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound of cannabis, meaning that it’s unlikely you’ll feel “high” when taking CBD. Along with a diverse range of other benefits, CBD may help instill a sense of calm when used as a supplement, which may lower stress levels. While the research on CBD is still emerging, current research suggests that CBD may help with symptoms of anxiety, depression, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). By dampening the stress response and protecting against chronic stress, CBD may help prevent or treat certain mental health conditions related to stress.
Reiki is an energy healing technique that originated in Japan in the early 20th century. The word Reiki can be translated to “Universal Life Force Energy,” and is a way of guiding or channeling this energy through the body of the practitioner and transferring it to the body and energy field of the recipient to promote its self-healing abilities. During a session, a Reiki practitioner will move through a series of hand placements using gentle touch or hovering above or close to the body not directly touching. A primary benefit of Reiki, which leads to a lot of other benefits, is reducing stress. Our bodies cannot heal when they’re in a constant state of stress. Reiki gives your body a break from the stresses of daily life, helping your body return to a state of relaxation. Research shows that a single Reiki session may help your autonomic nervous system move from a sympathetic-dominant, or “fight-or-flight” state, to a parasympathetic-dominant, or “rest-and-digest” state.
The crystal industry has seen massive growth in recent years because of the interest in tapping into their powerful healing potential, but how do they work? The theory behind working with stones can be explained through Einstein’s theory of energy, “E=MC2.” Everything has a vibration and frequency, including crystals and human beings. Each body part actually vibrates at a different frequency just like each gemstone vibrates at its own specific frequency. When we come into contact with something that has a similar vibration to us but a higher frequency, it helps raise our frequency higher – we realign with the frequency of the stone; and when we are at a higher frequency, we feel in better health, we have more energy, and we experience more flow. It’s like a chemical reaction – our frequency rises to align with the frequency of the stone. Considering that one common wellness belief is that stress and anxiety can be rooted in being ungrounded, working with crystals can ground our energy, creating a sense of balance to calm the mind. If you’re curious about what all the crystal healing hype is about, perhaps it’s time to explore working with these gems and decide for yourself if it’s an effective stress reducing method that works for you.
Written by Jennifer Esposito, Integrative Wellness Practitioner, Registered Yoga Teacher, and owner of Jasper Forest, a holistic wellness center.