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  • Writer's pictureBeth Molaro

Boost Your Resistance to Stress

"The key to success is often the ability to adapt.”


Stress is something that we all experience to some degree everyday. It is helpful to know that there is negative stress and positive stress. While stress can help motivate us to get things done, to challenge our body and mind, to push us into a direction that is positive for us, being stuck in a "stress loop" and holding on to too much stress can take a toll on our bodies and our emotional well-being. The brain reacts to stress and danger by generating hormones that temporarily shut down the body’s non-emergency functions to help us respond. When we get caught in chronic stress patterns, the constant hormonal response to stress has a degrading effect on our health. It is important to realize that even low-grade stress and anxiety can damage the body’s ability to defend itself against viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. It is of vital importance that we find ways to boost our resistance to stress in our lives.

Many years ago, I began studying herbal medicine and was introduced to the class of herbs called Adaptogens. The term adaptogen is used by herbalists to refer to an herb that increases the body’s resistance to stress, trauma, anxiety and fatigue. Some common adaptogenic herbs are the Ginsengs (Asian, American, Siberian), Ashwaganda, Astragalus, Holy Basil, Licorice Root, Passionflower, Schisandra, Reishi, shiitake and maitake mushrooms. You can read more about these herbs and their actions on the internet or in your favorite herbal manual.

These incredible herbs are used to improve the general adaptability of your body by stimulating the body's own self-regeneration process. They are recognized for their ability to increase resistance to a variety of stressors - chemical, physical, and emotional. They also help the body recover from physical stress like lack of sleep, recovery from surgery, heavy manual labor, running long distances, and even high-altitude sickness. For an herb to qualify as an adaptogen, it must be completely safe and non-toxic, it must have broad uses for health, and it must specifically reduce stress, both mental and physical.

As I learned about the wonders of Adaptogen herbs, I realized that our practices of Jin Shin Jyutsu and regular functional yoga also have an adaptogenic action on the body as they are safe and non-toxic, and have the same ability to stimulate the body's self-regenerations and self-healing abilities, as well as aiding us to be more adaptable in body and mind.

One of my regular clients recently said, "I know that my weekly sessions are helping me with my health challenges, but more importantly, these sessions are helping me to cope better with the stresses of my busy life!"

She has discovered for herself the adaptogenic action of a regular practice of self care.

When we give our bodies the support that they need to deal with stress, we enable them to heal themselves. The combination of daily self-help and your regular yoga practice can help you to adapt with ease to whatever life throws your way.

"Every day brings a choice: to practice stress or to practice peace." ~Joan Borysenko

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