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Living Holistically

LivingHolisticallyJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

Holistic health and wellness encompasses the whole person, emphasizing the connection of mind, body and spirit. In existence since ancient times, holistic healing traditions are based on laws of nature and the concept that an individual as a whole is made up of interdependent parts that interact with physical, mental, emotional and spiritual elements. The goal of a holistic lifestyle is to achieve optimal balance and proper function of all bodily systems to attain total health and wellbeing. Within this ancient approach each person accepts responsibility for their own health by making everyday choices to prevent illness, as well as support the highest levels of vitality and wellness.

Holism is the philosophy of understanding people by addressing factors that affect individuals in all situations, supporting a broader approach to wellness and empowering each individual to take on a larger role in self-care, health management and disease prevention. While holistic medicine may also incorporate appropriate elements of mainstream disease care, such as pharmaceutical or surgical interventions, one key focus of holistic care is the maintenance of healthy function through balanced diet, exercise, behavior modifications, environmental measures and counseling, as well as noninvasive measures that enhance the body’s ability to heal itself.

The American Holistic Health Association (AHHA) describes holistic health as “the conscious pursuit of the highest qualities of physical, environmental and emotional health, as well as mental stimulation, spiritual nourishment and the social aspects of the human experience.” Modern medicine often focuses on treating symptoms of an illness or condition, not necessarily the condition itself. Holistic medicine places the focus on finding the underlying condition or root cause of subsequent ill health and encourages individuals to tap into their own power to bring about self-healing. Considered an alternative or ayurvedic health practice, holistic medicine incorporates many medical modalities shown in studies to be safe and effective.

Holistic medicine seeks to expand the boundaries of health care assessments to include an equal emphasis on the physical, mental and spiritual health aspects of complete wellness. Like a well-oiled machine, when all body systems work synergistically the body operates in homeostasis. However, if one mechanism goes awry, the body cannot function in harmony. For example, poor gut health affects metabolism, digestion, hormone production and absorption of nutrients, which in turn can negatively affect energy levels, weight maintenance and disease risk.

Just as holistic health care incorporates conventional medicine, integrative medical physicians accept and often recommend holistic modalities as an adjunct to mainstream treatments:

  • Alternative or traditional medical systems, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine, which aims to restore the body’s balance and harmony; Ayurveda, one of the world’s oldest forms of whole body healing systems; homeopathy, a medical practice that embraces a
  • holistic, natural approach to treatment based on the doctrine that like cures like; and naturopathy, which emphasizes prevention and utilizes natural remedies, such as botanicals, massage, acupuncture, exercise and nutritional counseling to encourage inherent self-healing processes for optimal health.
  • Mind/body interventions, such as yoga, guided meditation or support groups, which aim to boost the mind’s ability to enhance physical health. Try an outdoor yoga session to encourage bringing more of nature’s healing vibes into your practice.
  • Biological based therapies that stem from plants and other biological materials, such as aromatherapy, herbal medicine and dietary supplements.
  • Massage therapy, manual manipulation of soft body tissues to enhance health and wellbeing; acupuncture, a complementary medical practice that entails stimulating certain body points to alleviate pain or treat other conditions; and chiropractic adjustments, which focus on manipulative treatment of joint and spine misalignments.
  • Energy therapies, such as reiki and tai chi, that manipulate or move energy fields within and around the body to improve energy flow, health and wellbeing.
  • An emphasis that individuals form a healthcare team when dealing with serious illness that includes at least one licensed medical practitioner along with support from other professionals, such as physical therapists, chiropractors, psychologists or nurses.

In addition to a healthy lifestyle, these steps may aid the quest to attain full body wellness:

  • Practice self-care and mindfulness to reduce stress, anxiety or frustrations. Try a few minutes of deep breathing exercises upon rising and begin your day with a sense of calmness. Stating short positive affirmations throughout the day can help to push away negative thoughts and encourage peace and harmony.
  • If you’re consumed or bothered by negative thoughts, try writing them down. Journaling can help lighten the load by ridding the mind of thoughts and feelings that don’t serve you well. Studies show that negative brain activity can lead to a weakened immune system, making one more prone to illness.
  • Declutter your home and workspace, removing objects that bring up negative emotions or don’t bring joy or a sense of calm. Eliminating body care and cleaning products that contain toxic chemicals also helps to clean up your environment.
  • Surround yourself with positive supportive family, friends and others that inspire, encourage and care for you. It’s okay to distance yourself from toxic persons who may be detrimental to your mental and cognitive health.
  • Quality sleep is necessary for overall health. Turn off the TV, dim the lights and turn on relaxing music in the last few hours before bed to aid the brain and body in winding down from the day’s activities.
  • In addition to a proper diet, consider appropriate supplementation. Even those who eat generally healthy diets can benefit from nutritional improvements to ensure better than adequate nutrition and strengthen immunity in support of holistic health and wellness.

Professional Supplement Center offers these and other high quality supplements in support of holistic wellness:

Rhodiola Rosea...Rhodiola Rosea Extract Full Spectrum™ by Planetary Herbals: This revered adaptogen provides a broad spectrum of standardized rhodiola constituents. Highly valued for increased energy, endurance, strength and mental stamina, rhodiola is known to help the body adapt to environmental, physiological and psychological stress.

HPA AdaptHPA Adapt by Integrative Therapeutics®: This powerful bend of adaptogenic herbs encourages  healthy stress hormone balance via the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis to aid the body’s response to mental and physical stressors. Non-stimulant formula includes ashwagandha, rhodiola rosea, eleuthero, holy basil and maca. Free of sugar, salt, yeast, wheat, gluten, soy, dairy, and artificial colors, flavors and preservatives. Vegan formulation.

AdaptopathAdaptopath by Energetix®: This quality, homeopathic liquid remedy is formulated for enhanced stress adaptation, nutrient absorption and oxygen utilization. Useful for symptoms of lethargy, muscle weakness and sluggish digestion. Gluten free formulation.


Adaptogen-R3™Adaptogen-R3™ by Premier Research Labs: This adaptogenic and stress support formula features premier quality nutrients to revitalize the body, moderate occasional mental and physical stress and provide support for cardiovascular and metabolic health. Features Rhodiola Pro Blend™, SynerPro Support Blend™, organic Indonesian cinnamon and CordyPro Blend™. No added excipients. Vegan formulation.

Turmeric Holistic...Turmeric Holistic Powder by Rebel™ Herbs: Utilized in Ayurveda for centuries to support whole body health, this proprietary full spectrum holistic extract provides pure, concentrated curcumin turmerones processed to ensure optimal stability and a complete compound profile. Certified Organic.

An Overview of Holistic Health: https://www.verywellhealth.com/holistic-health-4014763
Holistic Health: https://ahha.org/selfhelp-articles/holistic-health/
Why Negative People Are Literally Killing You (and How to Protect Your Positivity.) https://medium.com/the-mission/why-negative-people-are-literally-killing-you-and-how-to-obliterate-pessimism-from-your-life-eb85fadced87

Stressed? Adaptogens to the Rescue!

StressAdaptogensJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

While nearly everyone experiences stressful situations or events, the effects of persistent or chronic stress on bodily function is associated with declining health, including increased risk of stroke, depression, obesity, and heart disease. Prolonged stress, triggered by various emotional, physical, psychological or environmental factors, may ultimately result in increased levels of stress hormones, suppressed immune function, and dysbiosis. The ability of certain botanicals to produce general holistic effects on the health has been known and utilized for thousands of years in Eastern medicine. Herbs known as adaptogens have been shown to aid the body’s ability to adapt to stress, improve mental clarity, and support increased stamina, energy, and endurance.

The body’s natural ability to balance both internal and external stress is known as homeostasis. When the body is not in a balanced state, it is in a state of dysfunction that can lead to fatigue, depression, insomnia, anxiety, weight imbalance and lack of libido. Also known as “herbal pharmaceuticals,” adaptogenic herbs work at the molecular level to counteract the effects of stress. Taken supplementally these herbs help to stabilize and regulate the hypothalamic- pituitary- adrenal (HPA) axis, and also balance key mediators of the stress response. As part of the neuroendocrine system, the HPA axis controls the stress response and plays a role in regulating the gastrointestinal, neurological and immune systems. Supporting an optimal and balanced function of the HPA axis helps to maintain overall health and wellness.

Adaptogens are multitasking herbs with restorative properties that help to naturally rebuild health and vitality. They enhance the body’s resistance to stressors, manage endocrine and neuroendocrine balance, and mediate the inflammatory response. To qualify as an adaptogen, an herb must have wide ranging health benefits, be safe, non-toxic, and have no significant side effects. It must also induce a normalizing effect, improve the function of numerous body systems, and produce a total body response that increases resistance against the negative effects of emotional and physical stress.

Adaptogens have self-limiting properties that are active when the body needs them and inactive when it doesn’t. In this way, the broad-spectrum actions help to optimize the health of the entire body. Additionally, specific nutrients including vitamin C, certain B vitamins, lipoic acid, phosphatidylserine, plant sterols and the amino acid tyrosine may help to minimize the negative systemic effects of stress and aid the adaptive response.

Ashwagandha: Used in Eastern medicine for several centuries, ashwagandha is best known for its ability to reduce the effects of stress and anxiety. Ashwagandha appears to enhance endocrine function, and may help reduce cortisol levels and balance the adrenals in chronically stressed individuals. In addition to improving stress resistance, ashwagandha supports the immune response, healthy thyroid and nervous system function, and a promotes sleep cycle regulation.

Eleuthero: Beneficial for men and women and especially the elderly, eleuthero is a gentle, supportive adaptogen that is suitable for long-term daily use. It helps to normalize overall body function, aids restful sleep, and supports mental acuity and optimal immune response.

Holy Basil: Known in India as the elixir of anti-aging and utilized in Ayurvedic medicine for more than three centuries, this powerful adaptogen helps the body to function optimally during times of stress by enhancing the body’s natural response to both physical and mental stressors.

Panax Ginseng: The most well-known adaptogen, panax ginseng helps rejuvenate and invigorate the body, and provides a sense of overall wellbeing. Research has shown that this Asian herb strengthens the ability to withstand mental, physical and environmental stress.

Rhodiola Rosea: This well researched adaptogen helps to relieve anxiety, alleviate mental and physical fatigue, suppress cortisol production, and increase levels of stress-resistant proteins.

Astragalus: This adaptogen helps to boost immunity and lessen the effects of physical, emotional and mental stress. As well, it helps to increase natural anti-stress compounds used by the body to repair and prevent stress-related damage.

Maca: Widely believed to be an adaptogen, maca is a medicinal plant that grows high in the Andes mountains of Peru. Maca is valued for supporting hormonal health and increasing libido in both men and women. It also believed to boost energy and increase exercise performance.

Schisandra: This herb appears to be most helpful for individuals with overall exhaustion and low physical and mental performance. Utilized as a general wellness tonic, schisandra appears to promote good health and balanced function.


Professional Supplement Center offers these and other fine products to support a healthy adrenal response and overall wellness:

HPA AdaptHPA Adapt™ by Integrative Therapeutics®: Formulated with five powerful adaptogenic herbs, this non-stimulant formula improves the body’s response to mental and physical stressors. Key ingredients help to improve mood, calm anxiety, support cognitive function and reduce mental stress and fatigue. Gluten, wheat, soy, dairy, yeast and artificial ingredient free.


Schisandra Extract...Schisandra Extract 500 mg by Vital Nutrients:  This adaptogenic herb helps to improve energy, endurance, and the stress response, and supports liver, immune and nervous system health. Independently tested for potency, purity and toxic substances.


Adaptogen Support...Adaptogen Support Complex by Professional Complementary Health Formulas: Traditionally known to support balance under stress, these encapsulated single herbs provide phyto-synergistic support to enhance the body’s ability to resist the effects of stress. Gluten and soy free vegetarian formulation.


Maca-3Maca-3 by Pure Encapsulations®: Long considered the ginseng of the Andes, this formula provides three synergistic maca extracts to promote male and female libido and healthy reproductive system function. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.


Rhodiola Rosea...Rhodiola Rosea Extract Full Spectrum™ by Planetary Herbals: This highly valued strengthening tonic helps to increase mental and physical stamina. Standardized root extracts provide the full spectrum of rhodiola constituents.


Nutritional and botanical interventions to assist with the adaptation to stress. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10468649
Adaptogenic Herbs: List, Effectiveness, and Health Benefits. http://www.healthline.com/health/adaptogenic-herbs#overview1
Are adaptogenic herbs beneficial to your health? http://www.healthline.com/health/adaptogenic-herbs#herbs-list3
Stress. http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/reports/articles/stress
Effects of Adaptogens on the Central Nervous System and the Molecular Mechanisms Associated with Their Stress—Protective Activity. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3991026/
12 Proven Health Benefits of Ashwagandha. http://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-proven-ashwagandha-benefits#section1