Ayurveda (Indian traditional medicine) has a number of easily implementable strategies for reducing the impact of stress on your body and mind.
- Do a regular whole-body self massage with black sesame oil. When applied to the skin, this oil releases serotonin naturally in the body and rapidly eases the stress symptoms. You may have to do the massage daily for a week then reduce to two to three times weekly.
- Practice slow, deep breathing for five minutes, morning and evening. This activity (called pranayama in Ayurveda) reduces the activity in the mind (beta frequency >18Hz).
- Do yoga at least three times weekly for about half an hour daily. The “Moon Salute” is a powerful de-stressing sequence of yoga postures. The “Sun Salute” helps to protect the body against excessive stress and allows you to recover more easily.
- Use non-toxic ayurvedic herbs to relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of stress.These are a few well known anti-stress herbs: Ashwagandha, Bacopa Chyawanprash, Gotu Kola, Guduchi, Damiana, Zizyphus.
- Use a warm de-stressing drink every night before bed. Use half a teaspoon of grated nutmeg in a cup of warm milk. Drink this just before bedtime. If you are allergic or sensitive to cow’s milk, use soy or rice milk.
- Learn to meditate. This is one of the best long-term methods in bringing stress under control. Just 20 minutes twice daily can make an enormous difference.
This has been a contribution of Dr Anand Ramphal and Rajen Cooppan.