Nature’s First Adaptogen

Feeling tired? Stressed out? Not losing the weight or fitting in the exercise as you resolved to at the beginning of the year?

If so, read on….

A fascinating class of compounds called “adaptogens” help the body heal from disease, imbalances or other stressors and return to homeostasis, or a steady, healthy state.

Exactly how these compounds work is not well known. They basically can correct any problem. If you have too much of something, they help reduce and bring you back to baseline. If you have too little of something, they help increase and bring you up to baseline.

Pretty amazing little critters, aren’t they?

Most of the known adaptogens are herbal or chemical in nature. Ginseng and rhodiola are two fairly well-known examples. Gynostemma is another widely used herb for adaptability as well as anti-aging.

There are also classes of mushrooms (not the type you may be thinking about!) that are used to enhance recovery, such as athletes recovering from hard training or road warriors recovering from a tough travel schedule.

The problem with herbal compounds is that you never know for sure about the quality or amount of the active ingredient you are getting with each dose.

You have to be very careful about selecting a quality supplement from a manufacturer that is known for quality and care in creating its products.

I rarely ever plug a specific supplement or company. But I know people are curious as to what I do or what I use.

Here at the Van Ness household, we’ve been drinking Spring Dragon Longevity Tea made by Ron Teeguarden’s Dragon Herbs. It’s a broad spectrum health promoting tea with specific adaptogenic herbs. It actually tastes good (which is saying something) and can be taken in the morning to help get you started, or at night to help you relax.

I take specific supplements, such as a quality multi-vitamin and multi-mineral supplement, on a daily or every other day basis. But I also like drinking or eating many of my “supplements” because it’s a more natural way, as opposed to downing pills and capsules. Your body can mor easily assimilate the nutrients it needs from food or drink.   

Probably the most effective, and usually under-appreciated, adaptogen is the most natural one. It’s also free.

Yes, of course… it’s breathing.

A few minutes of conscious, relaxed breathing each day can smooth out the rough spots and help you to better manage stress and tension. It can energize you and help increase your stamina. It can improve your mental focus and acuity.

Added as a complement to exercise, it can even help you burn fat and lose weight faster.

If you are underweight and wish to add some healthy pounds, breathing can help you balance your energy and, along with a rational diet, gain healthy lean weight.

Even if you develop the habit of doing some deep breathing each day, you may not be sure whether you are breathing correctly.

It should be a no-brainer, right? I mean, it’s something each of us does, on average, over 17,000 times a day.

Problem is, most people have forgotten how to breathe in a healthy, natural manner. They breathe shallowly, often through their mouths. They have trouble when they have to breathe deeply, because the structures that support deep healthy breathing are out of shape.

This is one reason why I include a lesson on how to breathe completely in Volume I of the Secret Power of Dynamic Energy Exercise Course: Invigorate and Rejuvenate.

It’s also why I sequenced the exercises the way I did in the Dynamic Energy Routine – part of the Dynamic Energy Exercise Course, Volume II.

The first series of exercises combine movement with breathing to help you understand how deep, dynamic breathing should feel. The movements also help open up and strengthen the structures that support healthy breathing.   At any rate, I highly recommend at least a few minutes each morning of conscious, proper breathing. It can make an enormously positive difference in how your day starts out.

It can help you gear up and maintain higher levels of energy throughout the day…as well as better cope with the inevitable stresses and strains that go along with having a busy and productive life.

Of course, if you would like to discover some ideas and techniques to help you develop your own “best breathing” program that meets your unique needs, then look into one of the programs available through the Best Breathing Exercises website.

You Can Do It!

Karen Van Ness

“Best Breathing Exercises: Transform Body Mind and Spirit with Dynamic Energy Exercise!”

Copyright, Karen Van Ness, 2012

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