Controlling Stress with Adaptogens
Early on in my career as an herbalist I realized the core issue with just about everyone’s health is stress. It may manifest in different health problems in each individual but deep down it’s the inability to handle the constant emotional burden of modern living.
Formulating TianChi and Inner Peace came from a deep desire to help people cope and then thrive by giving them a tool for daily living. My discovery of adaptogens and learning the nuances of how they work allowed me to make formulas that can be used by just about anyone to initiate positive change in their lives.
In Chinese Herbology stress interrupts the free flow of Chi around the body, creating situations of sub-optimal health. Since energy flow involves the liver, terms like liver tension, stagnation, or liver rising are used to describe common stress related issues – PMS, heart palpitations and digestive problems. All of these problems arise from long-term nervous tension or stress. Chinese herbology is unique in painting a picture of how your body is manifesting its stress and then applying treatments to these patterns of energy disruption.
Adaptogens are unique
Adaptogenic herbs are unique because they go to the source of stress, the response itself, and the tension resulting from it. Adaptogenic herbs regulate the HPA Axis (hypothalamus, pituitary, adrenal) to allow the body to flow into and back out of a stress response. This is how it should work but most people stay in the original response way too long and the body then builds up an incredible amount of nervous system tension.
This is also how people lose energy. Being stuck in the response means your stuck in the expression of energy to meet a crisis. This is meant to last for a short while but modern stress changes the equation and you’re constantly expressing energy to meet a perceived, new crisis. Creating real energy involves moving out of the stress response and into recuperation. Only when your nervous system is relaxed can you actually take in and store energy.
It was through my experience of giving herbs to tens of thousands of people that TianChi was born. The combination of adaptogens creates an energetic environment where it’s easy to flow in and out of stress. Using a blend of adaptogen takes full advantage of the unique qualities of each herb. All true adaptogens work on the glands of the HPA axis but have a tendency to influence certain aspects differently. Dealing with stress is much more than lowering cortisol or stress hormone. That’s the easy part.
Rhodiola is amazing for regulating the pituitary and energizing the frontal lobe of the brain. Reishi affects all the glands but especially pituitary, adrenal and thyroid. Ashwagandha influences the pituitary, frontal lobe area of the brain and opens a channel connecting all the glands. Eleuthero boosts physical performance and powers up adrenal function. Schizandra functions as a Chi tonic along with clearing the mind. All of these adaptogens are powerful antioxidants.
All aspects of health
Building a formula has to encompass all the aspects of one health that is compromised by stress. Adaptogens make up the first part of the formula with an emphasis on relaxing nervous system tension and changing the energetics of the brain. Bringing the energy to the frontal lobe creates brain coherence allowing open communication between all aspects of the brain.
The second part of the formula must support the first. Kidney tonics are included to nurture the adrenals, the part of your body most affected by long-term stress. Kidney tonics are like food for the kidney adrenals and allow for the rejuvenation needed for recovery from stress.
Last but not least, the formula is rounded out with supporting herbs to enhance circulation and synergy of all the herbs in the formula. Like a good stew every last ingredient is essential to how it all flows together and creates the desired effect.
This is how TianChi and Inner Peace work. The herbal formula allows for a proper cycle of the stress response, all the way from the beginning to the phase where the body begins to rebuild and rejuvenate.