MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information
THE BALANCED BODY
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BALANCED BODY TOPICS
BODY BALANCE DESCRIPTION
We all experience times when we feel sick, and generally we recover, though sometimes it is clear that our body's resilience has been worn down by life events, inner conflict, or poor diet. However, the specific pressures and stresses that led to the breakdown of our defenses are not always so obvious.
"Homeostasis" is the process of achieving mental and physical harmony and well-being. To maintain it requires caring for both mind and body.
CAUSES OF IMBALANCE
The body consists of three interdependent realms, the biochemical, the structural, and the psychological, which work together to maintain "homeostasis" - the stable internal environment that sustains life. When faced with a physical or mental challenge, the body adapts to this stress by drawing on its resources in each realm. Generally, the body adapts well to infrequent bouts of stress, but adaptation to persistent stress requires so much energy that it steadily depletes the ability to maintain homeostasis. Long-term adaptation and strain can cause health problems in any of the three realms. For example, a biochemical disorder such as nutritional deficiency or food intolerance may lead to a psychological effect such as depression. A psychological problem could cause loss of appetite and nutritional problems, while a structural problem might cause physical pain that leads to relationship difficulties. In the 1950's, researchers of stress described three stages of adaptation as the body copes with stress over a sustained period of time.
REALMS OF THE BODY
The body consists of three interdependent realms; biochemical, structural, and psychological. An imbalance in one realm can cause health problems and affect the working of the other two realms.
How cells, organs, and body systems, such as respiration, digestions, and the lymphatic system, work to keep the body's processes balanced. If biochemical processes such as diet or elimination of toxins, are poor, psychological problems like fatigue and depression can follow. Biochemical processes can be adversely affected by poor diet; for example, high fat intake can harden the arteries.
How thoughts, feelings, actions, or relationships can help or hinder the body's ability to cope with life. Psychological strain, such as anger or fear, can lead to muscular tension and poor posture, inhibiting structural function. Psychological problems such as depression can cause loss of appetite and impair biochemical processes.
How structural elements, such as muscles, bones, nerves, and blood vessels, support body systems such as circulation and digestion. Structural upper body tension can increase anxiety and psychological strain. Structurally narrow arteries can restrict oxygen supply to tissues and impair cell biochemistry.
HELPING THE BODY COPE WITH STRESS
It is evident that the body has some ability to heal itself: wound repair and the renewal of cells are examples of the continued process of breakdown and buildup in the body. For complementary practitioners, all recovery and cure is self-healing - treatment simply mobilizes the body's own resources. A complimentary practitioner will treat the realm she believes to be the most important in order to sustain the body's capability to cope. However, more research is needed into the self-healing process to determine whether and how complimentary therapies can increase the body's adaptive energy and prevent the breakdown of well-being.
Holistic medical systems, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, share similarities with this view of how we become exhausted. Through centuries of observation, these systems have recorded the changes that occur as the body and mind struggle to adapt to prolonged stress. These insights can help practitioners determine which physical and psychological processes are undermined and need to be supported to restore health. In Eastern systems of medicine, especially Chinese and Indian, these theories and treatments are highly developed; in Western systems, such as herbalism or naturopathy, they are less complex but are based on similar principles.
The most common method of conventional medicine is to target specific drugs at the biochemical aspects of a disease once the damage has been done, rather than to build up the ailing person's ability to adapt and maintain well-being. But a new approach may be possible as mainstream medicine learns more about how to trigger the restoration of good health or how to build up resilience and resistance. It is worth noting that the sort of advice health care providers now give, about coping with stress and the importance of diet and exercise, closely resembles the approach naturopaths were promoting at the turn of the century.
CHALLENGES TO THE BODY
Small, moderate and big challenges affect the coping capacity of the three realms of the body in different ways.
Small: May be within the body's ability to adapt, but still accumulate to affect its capacity to cope.
Job Stress Air Pollution Minor Injury
Moderate: May accumulate beyond the body's capacity to cope and impair the body's functioning.
Bereavement Poor Diet Repetitive
Large: Can be too great for the body's capacity to cope and may even cause death.
Poisoning Severe Injury
1. The body's first reaction to a challenge, shock, or stress is the alarm or "fight-or flight" response. Stress hormones such as epinephrine are produced, tension builds around the head, neck, lower back, chest, and abdomen, thoughts focus on escape or attack. If the stress is removed, the body returns to normal functioning.
2. If the stress continues, the body copes by maintaining resistance or "adapting." Although the body begins to feel normal again, and may have adapted to deal with the stress, the process drains energy from the structural, biochemical, and psychological realms of the body. Over time, this will affect the body's ability to function efficiently.
3. If stress is long-term, the body becomes exhausted. Reserves needed to keep adapting to ongoing stress are depleted, and one or more of the body realms breaks down. The body becomes run down and fatigued, with recurring minor illnesses and psychological burnout. Symptoms may worsen and disease may develop, depending on the organs or symptoms affected. Eventually, even if the stress is withdrawn, the body may be irreversibly damaged.
AROMATHERAPY: ESSENTIAL OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Allspice Leaf Oil Angelica Oil Anise Oil Baobab Oil Basil Oil Bay Laurel Oil Bay Oil Benzoin Oil Bergamot Oil Black Pepper Oil Chamomile (German) Oil Cajuput Oil Calamus Oil Camphor (White) Oil Caraway Oil Cardamom Oil Carrot Seed Oil Catnip Oil Cedarwood Oil Chamomile Oil Cinnamon Oil Citronella Oil Clary-Sage Oil Clove Oil Coriander Oil Cypress Oil Dill Oil Eucalyptus Oil Fennel Oil Fir Needle Oil Frankincense Oil Geranium Oil German Chamomile Oil Ginger Oil Grapefruit Oil Helichrysum Oil Hyssop Oil Iris-Root Oil Jasmine Oil Juniper Oil Labdanum Oil Lavender Oil Lemon-Balm Oil Lemongrass Oil Lemon Oil Lime Oil Longleaf-Pine Oil Mandarin Oil Marjoram Oil Mimosa Oil Myrrh Oil Myrtle Oil Neroli Oil Niaouli Oil Nutmeg Oil Orange Oil Oregano Oil Palmarosa Oil Patchouli Oil Peppermint Oil Peru-Balsam Oil Petitgrain Oil Pine-Long Leaf Oil Pine-Needle Oil Pine-Swiss Oil Rosemary Oil Rose Oil Rosewood Oil Sage Oil Sandalwood Oil Savory Oil Spearmint Oil Spikenard Oil Swiss-Pine Oil Tangerine Oil Tea-Tree Oil Thyme Oil Vanilla Oil Verbena Oil Vetiver Oil Violet Oil White-Camphor Oil Yarrow Oil Ylang-Ylang Oil Aromatherapy
Healing Baths For Colds
Using Essential Oils
AROMATHERAPY: HERBAL & CARRIER OILS DESCRIPTIONS & USES
Almond, Sweet Oil Apricot Kernel Oil Argan Oil Arnica Oil Avocado Oil Baobab Oil Black Cumin Oil Black Currant Oil Black Seed Oil Borage Seed Oil Calendula Oil Camelina Oil Castor Oil Coconut Oil Comfrey Oil Evening Primrose Oil Flaxseed Oil Grapeseed Oil Hazelnut Oil Hemp Seed Oil Jojoba Oil Kukui Nut Oil Macadamia Nut Oil Meadowfoam Seed Oil Mullein Oil Neem Oil Olive Oil Palm Oil Plantain Oil Plum Kernel Oil Poke Root Oil Pomegranate Seed Oil Pumpkin Seed Oil Rosehip Seed Oil Safflower Oil Sea Buckthorn Oil Sesame Seed Oil Shea Nut Oil Soybean Oil St. Johns Wort Oil Sunflower Oil Tamanu Oil Vitamin E Oil Wheat Germ Oil
HELPFUL RELATED MOONDRAGON NUTRITION BASICS LINKS
MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Amino Acids Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Antioxidants Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Enzymes Information MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Herbs Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Homeopathics Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Hydrosols Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Minerals Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Mineral Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary & Cosmetic Supplements Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Dietary Supplements Introduction MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Specialty Supplements MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Vitamins Introduction
NUTRITION BASICS ARTICLES
MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: 4 Basic Nutrients MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Foods That Contain Additives & Artificial Ingredients MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Is Aspartame A Safe Sugar Substitute? MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Guidelines For Selecting & Preparing Foods MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Destroy MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Foods That Heal MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: The Micronutrients: Vitamins & Minerals MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Avoid Overcooking Your Foods MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Phytochemicals MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Increase Your Consumption of Raw Produce MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Limit Your Use of Salt MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Use Proper Cooking Utensils MoonDragon's Nutrition Basics: Choosing The Best Water & Types of Water
RELATED MOONDRAGON HEALTH LINKS & INFORMATION
MoonDragon's Nutrition Information Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Therapy Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Analysis Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Diet Index MoonDragon's Nutritional Recipe Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Therapy: Preparing Produce for Juicing MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Additives Index MoonDragon's Nutrition Information: Food Safety Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Index MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Articles MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Back Pain MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Labor & Birth MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Blending Chart MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Essential Oil Details MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Links MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Miscarriage MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Post Partum MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Childbearing MoonDragon's Aromatherapy For Problems in Pregnancy & Birthing MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #1 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Chart of Essential Oils #2 MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Tips MoonDragon's Aromatherapy Uses MoonDragon's Alternative Health Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information Overview MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Touch & Movement Therapies Index MoonDragon's Alternative Health Therapy: Touch & Movement: Aromatherapy MoonDragon's Alternative Therapy: Touch & Movement - Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Alternative Health: Therapeutic Massage MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 1 MoonDragon's Holistic Health Links Page 2 MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Nutrition Basics Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy Index MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Massage Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Hydrotherapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Pain Control Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Relaxation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Steam Inhalation Therapy MoonDragon's Health & Wellness: Therapy - Herbal Oils Index
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