HERBS FOR HEALTH MANAGEMENT

Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE IMPACTS PSYCHOLOGICAL HARDINESS

Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.

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ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…

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Dynamic stretching before a workout or sport prepares the body for the exercise. Static stretching is not good before exertion but is very beneficial afterward. It relieves pain, extends and relaxes muscles and creates looseness in the body. Static stretching at the end of your workout can actually reduce both the intensity and time of your muscle soreness. This allows you to return to your workout or sport with less discomfort and more readiness to tackle your fitness goals.

DYNAMIC VS. STATIC STRETCHING

ANGELA S. HOOVER

Angela is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

more articles by Angela s. hoover

movements of your exercise. This allows blood to flow to your limbs in those areas before you begin. Dynamic stretching warms up your nervous system’s motor skills while raising your body temperature in preparation for high levels of exercise. It’s not ballistic stretching – bouncing in and out of a stretched position; this can lead to injury. Dynamic stretching has no bounces or jerky movements; it consists of controlled leg and arm swings that take you gently to the limits of your range of motion.


Dynamic stretching significantly improves agility performance as compared to static or no stretching. It’s best to perform sets of eight to 12 repetitions. Be sure to stop when and if you feel tired. Tired muscles have less elasticity, which decreases your range of motion. Continuing to exercise when you are tired serves only to reset the nervous control of your muscle length at a reduced range of motion and will cause a loss of flexibility. Once you attain a maximal range of motion for a joint in any direction, stop doing the movement during that workout. Tired, overworked muscles won’t attain a full range of motion and the muscle’s kinesthetic memory will remember the repeated shortened range of motion, which you will then have to overcome before you can make further progress.

The purpose of any type of stretching is to prevent injuries and enhance performance. Just as there are different types of flexibility, there are also different types of stretching, and each has its own purpose.


With static stretching, you elongate your muscle to its fullest – usually until you feel slight discomfort – and then hold that position. This includes touching your toes or pulling your arms across your chest to stretch your shoulder. Basically, you reach the point of tension and hold the stretch in that state. Static stretching increases static flexibility by engaging the tension receptors in your muscles, which results in looser and elongated musculature. While it’s initially uncomfortable, it relaxes the muscles.


An elongated, loose and relaxed muscle is not ideal for beginning physical exertion. Research has shown static stretching can be detrimental to performance and does not necessarily lead to decreases in injury. Static stretching has also been shown to decrease muscle strength by up to 9 percent for 60 minutes following the stretch. It also has been found to reduce peak force by 5 percent and the rate of force by 8 percent.


Dynamic stretching, on the other hand, involves movements that replicate those you’ll be doing during your workout or sport. The idea is to repeatedly extend your body in motion to mimic the