Dr Akilah – Celestial Healing Wellness Center

The Natural Health and Holistic World According to Dr Akilah

Tag Archives: relief

How To Relieve Constipation Naturally

What is Constipation?

Constipation is one of the most common digestive complaints in the United States. The normal frequency of bowel movements varies widely from person to person, from once or more a day to three times a week. In general, however, you are likely constipated if you pass a hard, dry stool less than three times a week.

Constipation can also make you feel bloated and uncomfortable and you may find yourself straining during bowel movements.

Although constipation can affect anyone, it’s more common in women and in people over age 65.  It also tends to occur during pregnancy, after childbirth or surgery, with certain medications such as opioid pain relievers, and with some conditions such as multiple sclerosis.

Natural Remedies for Constipation

1) Fiber

A diet low in fiber may play a role in constipation. Insoluble fiber, which passes through the body almost unchanged, gives stools bulk and a soft texture, making them easier to pass.

Foods that are high in insoluble fiber include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Try wheat bran, brown rice, or whole grain bread.

Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance in the intestines. Prunes and figs can be added to breakfast or eaten as a snack.

Another option is to sprinkle one teaspoon of ground flaxseeds over any meal. They can be found in packages at the health food store or some grocery stores. They have a mild, nutty taste.

Fiber supplements are also available, the most popular being psyllium husk supplements such as Metamucil.

Add fiber to your diet gradually to avoid bloating and gas. Also, be sure to drink enough water otherwise fiber can have the opposite effect and be constipating.

2) Fluids

Making sure you drink enough fluids such as water may help some people with constipation. Fluids make bowel movements softer and easier to pass.

Watch your consumption of alcoholic beverages and caffeinated beverages such as coffee and cola drinks, which can be dehydrating.

3) Stimulant Laxatives

Many herbal laxatives and “dieter’s teas” are called stimulant laxatives, or anthranoid laxatives. They include herbs such as:

  • Cascara sagrada
  • Rhubarb
  • Aloe
  • Senna
  • Buckthorn

Some of these herbs, such as senna, are approved as over-the-counter treatments for constipation. Although they are meant to be short-term treatments, in reality, people can become dependent on them and use them for weeks, months, or even years at a time in order to have a daily bowel movement.

They should not be used for longer than a week unless under medical supervision. Prolonged use may cause the bowels to lose the ability to move on their own, and has been linked to chronic diarrhea, potassium depletion leading to muscle weakness and potentially dangerous irregular heart rhythms, and kidney or liver impairment.

4) Probiotics

Probiotics, such as lactobacillus acidophilus, are live microbial organisms that are naturally present in the digestive tract. Some of the ways they are thought to promote health include suppressing the growth of potentially harmful bacteria, improving immune function, enhancing the protective barrier of the digestive tract, and helping to produce vitamin K.

There is some preliminary evidence that probiotic supplements may improve constipation. For example, one study looked at the effect of a probiotic beverage containing a strain of beneficial bacteria called Lactobacillus casei Shirota (65 milliliters a day) or a placebo in people with chronic constipation. The probiotic drink resulted in significant improvement in severity of constipation and stool consistency.

Another study examined the effectiveness of another strain of probiotics on constipation in children and found no effect. Eighty four children between two and 16 years of age with constipation took lactulose (a laxative) plus a probiotic supplement containing lactobacillus GG or lactulose alone. After 12 and 24 weeks, lactobacillus was not more effective than lactulose alone at treating constipation.

5) Acupressure

Acupressure is a traditional healing practice that involves the application of finger pressure to specific acupuncture points on the body.

A point that is often recommended by acupuncturists for constipation is Large Intestine 4. Although it hasn’t been studied for constipation, it is a simple home remedy that may work for some people. The point is at the highest spot of the muscle between the thumb and index finger when they are brought close together. Caution: do not use this point if you are pregnant.

With your thumb or middle finger at a 90 degree angle to the skin, apply gradually increasing pressure. Hold for three minutes. The pressure should not be painful or uncomfortable.

6) Magnesium

A deficiency of the mineral magnesium may contribute to constipation. Magnesium is found naturally in foods such as green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains and in supplements.

Magnesium is needed for normal muscle function, including intestinal muscles. One recent study examined the intake of magnesium with constipation in 3835 women. Low magnesium intake was associated with constipation.

Other Tips

  • Engage in regular physical activity. Not getting enough physical activity can lead to constipation.
  • Don’t put off the urge. The longer you delay when the urge to have a bowel movement strikes, the more water gets absorbed from stool and the harder it becomes to have a bowel movement.

.

Google

.

Akilah M. El, N.D. is a Naturopathic Doctor and board-certified Master Herbalist with a private practice in Atlanta Georgia and Berlin Germany. Join Dr Akilah El on Facebook and Twitter

For More Health Tips Like This Check Out Our Health Tips Page

The harmfull effects of stress on the body

We never seem to have enough time to get done in one day that which needs to get done. Sound familiar? It is this perception of not having enough time that leads us to believe we are not getting anywhere. And it is this perception of not getting anywhere in our life which causes us to become anxious and stressed-out.

For some this is only happens occasionally but for others this thought process and feeling happens on a daily basis, year in and year out. The effects this kind of stress has on the body is dangerous and can lead to serious illness.

Effects of stress on the mind
While the effects of stress on the body are generally thought of in the physical sense, they can also result in mental strain. Symptoms of stress on the mind could be impaired judgment and indecisiveness. Forgetfulness and memory lapses are also common and on the extreme end depression. The mental effects of stress can be frightening.

Effects of stress on the body
Symptoms of stress can sometimes result in chest pains, insomnia or a person losing or gaining weight drastically. Other physical effects of stress on the body people can experience are (but not limited to):

  • High blood pressure
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Constant Headaches and Migraines
  • Stomach ulcers and digestive problems (nausea and diarrhea)
  • Loss of sex drive

Over an extended period of time the effects of stress can include more frequent illness due to a reduction in the efficiency of the immune system. More concerning though that prolonged stress on the body can lead to anxiety and panic attacks and in extreme cases, heart attacks. 

What you can do to combat the effects of a stressful lifestyle
Well, whether you like it or not there are no surprises here when it comes to taking care of the incredible vehicle we all tend to take for granted. One of the best ways to keep the physical symptoms of stress at bay is to adhere to a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables which are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants help to repair the damage stress can cause on the body and the added benefits are more energy and mental clarity.

Daily exercise is another good way to manage the muscle tension and mental effects of stress on the body. Just thirty minutes of walking, biking or swimming can make a huge difference on how you cope with the strain and pressures of modern day living.

You don’t have to let the negative effects of stress on the body ruin your life. Develop a consistent healthy lifestyle. Exercise your mind and body effectively so you can adapt better to challenging situations and enjoy the benefits of all your hard work.

More Helpful Tips On Relieving Stress

Visualization can be a powerful tool to help you improve your life circumstances, but it can also serve as a handy technique for transforming stress and anxiety into peace, happiness and confidence!

Stress and anxiety can quickly become a vicious cycle that keep you feeling powerless and frightened. The more stressed you get, the more your thoughts and emotions will move toward the negative side, which only makes you feel more stressed!

Using visualization to transform these feelings can stop the cycle by switching your focus to something more positive and uplifting.

First and foremost, it’s helpful if you can remove yourself from the stressful environment and engage in some relaxation techniques like meditation or deep breathing before you begin your visualization, because your mind will be more receptive if you’re calm and centered.

Once you’ve moved yourself into a more relaxed state, bring to mind a scene that soothes and calms you. You can choose a natural setting like a beach or forest, or imagine a place that is representative of relaxation such as a spa or temple. Imagine yourself being in this place, feeling balanced and calm.

Rather than simply “seeing” the images in your mind, make an effort to mentally transport yourself to this calm setting and engage as many of your senses as you can. Imagine that you can smell the fresh air or incense in the temple; imagine that you can feel the rich earth beneath your feet, hear the roar of ocean waves or bird song, and feel the cool breeze moving through your hair. The more you can involve your senses, the more “real” the scene will seem to you, and the more effective it will be in calming you.

One of the more fascinating measures taken for stress relief can be had with an art therapy. With so many different forms of therapy today it’s tough to know which are the most effective for which condition, but art therapy enjoys great success in helping people suffering from a collection of conditions that are both physical and mental. If you are looking for an exciting method for relieving stress, art therapy is a good option.

An art therapy session will help you show others how art can lead to self awareness and understanding, as well as how soothing it can be to engage in the creative process. Taking the time to focus on a piece of art alone can make a tremendous difference in how we live and think and can reduce stress amazingly. Art therapy also helps people to discover things about themselves based on what they draw.

www.healingpowerhour.com

.

.

Ready to relieve stress and take back control of your emotional state of mind? Click here to receive your FREE emotional therapy stress releases exercise.