Turning the Tables on Stress

News Note

By Lara Evans Bracciante

Originally published in Massage & Bodywork magazine, August/September 2003.

Stress may not be the result of how much you have to do so much as what you have to do. According to Donald A. Tubesing, author of Kicking Your Stress Habits, stress becomes overwhelming when the tasks consuming your time are not aligned with your values.

On the other hand, if your days are busy with commitments that are important to you, stress is manageable. Consequently, simply viewing a job differently may minimize stress levels. Rather than deeming grocery shopping as just another chore, see it as an opportunity to focus on your love for your family. This simple practice of creating love and joy in the daily tasks of life can become habitual and ease the pressures that otherwise close in on you.

If your stress level is too high, the following list of adaptogenic herbs — general tonics to help achieve wellness — may help you. Before taking any herbs, consult an herbalist or healthcare professional.

Herb: American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolium)
Suggested dose: 100-600 mg/day in divided doses; 4 weeks on, 2 weeks off
Contraindications: Renal failure, acute infection, pregnancy and lactation, MAO inhibitors, hormonal therapy, stimulant medications, hypertension

Herb: Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus)
Suggested dose: 100-200 mg twice daily; 4 weeks on, 2 weeks off
Contraindications: Stimulant medications, hypertension, active bleeding such as ulcers, anticoagulants (aspirin, NSAIDs), surgery

Herb: Shisandra (Shisandra chinensis)
Suggested dose: 100 mg twice daily
Contraindications: Pregnancy, calcium channel blockers

Herb: Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Suggested dose: 450 mg 1-2 times daily
Contraindications: Pregnancy and lactation, hemachromatosis, narcotic analgesics, sedatives

Herb: Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosacea)
Suggested dose: 50 mg twice daily
Contraindications: Pregnancy and lactation