What is Amla?

What is amla?

What is Amla and what is Chyawanprash? The two questions go hand in hand since Amla (Phyllanthus emblica) is the primary “power ingredient” in Chyawanprash. First, what is Chyawanprash?

Chyawanprash (sometimes spelled chavanprash) is an Ayurvedic immune system tonic that consists of a condensed blend of nutrient-rich herbs and minerals, the main ingredient being Amla (Indian gooseberry). The Ayurvedic system (a 5,000+ year-old traditional Indian healing science that is based on balance) teaches that Chyawanprash restores depleted energy or life force (ojas) energy. It helps to strengthen the immune system while increasing vitality anti-aging benefits.

The Alma berry is the world’s richest source of vitamin C, according to the research of Rohit Sharma from the Central Ayurveda Research Institute for Drug Development. As a robust anti-oxidant, Alma’s effectiveness begins with immune-building properties but does not stop there.

Individuals who consume CP [Chyawanprash) regularly for a definite period of time showed improvement in overall health status and immunity.

Narayana DB et al. See references below.

Researchers Narayana DB, et al, reported in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology that ” […] individuals who consume CP [Chyawanprash) regularly for a definite period of time showed improvement in overall health status and immunity.” The researchers also called for further randomized controlled trials to further substantiate the immune-boosting and other benefits of Chyawanprash.

There are many manufacturers of Chyawanprash, and I’ve selected two as examples of company’s that put an emphasis on organic ingredients, the importance of process, and follow ancient Ayurvedic recipes. The first is an industry leader and was founded by Ayurvedic MDs, I have chosen RUVed® as an example of a highly reputable company that uses organic ingredients when possible and pharmaceutical-grade quality control and testing. Their processing procedures follow ancient Ayurvedic methodologies; a great product can be destroyed by overheating or other inconsistencies in the preparation process. You can learn more about this manufacturer on its RUVed® website.

Here is a list of herbs and other ingredients in Ayush’s R•U•VED® Amla Plus™ formula.

Amla-Based Triphala Plus

For people who prefer a capsule form and want to focus on building immunity through improved digestion, VPK Mapi offers another excellent option. Triphala Plus As the name implies, the focus of this product is to blend amla with digestive and detoxing herbs, including Amla.

Organic Digest Tone®Triphala Plus — Digestion Management®

The ingredients in Triphala Plus are more streamlined than the Chyawanprash blend and targeted towards digestive aid–a primary principle in Ayurvedic medicine to a healthy body.

The ingredients in Triphala Plus or Digest Tone are streamlined when compared to the Amla Plus above. Where the Amla Plus is a broad spectrum Ayurvedic herbal tonic, the Triphala Plus is more focused towards the digestive system. Keep in mind, the digestive tract plays a crucial role in our immune system health.

Why Take Amla?

“Chyawanprash, CP, [Amla is a key ingredient] is an Ayurvedic superfood and healer par excellence that strengthens the immune system and revitalizes the psychosomatic system, a superior, nutritious, and safe health tonic that is beneficial for all age groups and genders alike.”

Rohit Sharma et al. “Chyawanprash: A Traditional Indian Bioactive Health Supplement”

Researchers have reported Amla as the “wonder berry” in the treatment and prevention of cancer (European Journal of Cancer Prevention). But that is just the beginning of scientific research going on for this traditional herbal medicine.

In the following YouTube video, Neuroscientist and Integrative Medicine pioneer, Dr. Kulreet Chaudhary discusses Amla in relation to the three doshas. If you would like to find out what your dosha balance (Vata, Pitta, and Kapha) is, click here.

Chyawanprash consists of Amla/Amalaki (Phyllanthus emblica) as a base, which is considered to be a highly effective Rasayana, i.e. the specialized use of herbs, for sustaining homeostasis.

Who is Amla For?

““Amla is the most important medicinal plant in the Indian traditional system of medicine” Manjeshwar Shrinath Baliga, PhD


Amla Plus is for people who are looking for a comprehensive product that serves as a daily staple to help boost immune support and provide a plethora of benefits from high levels of anti-oxidants.

Caution: If you are pregnant or nursing, or have a pre-existing medical condition, please consult your physician before taking this or any other dietary supplement. Please consult manufacturer’s website for dosing children.

Where Can I Get Amla?

There are several ways to take Amla. I like the Amla Plus formula because it was developed by Ayurvedic physicians (MDs) who understand the intricacies of Ayurvedic and Western medicine. Instead of taking more capsules, I like to consume Ayurvedic formulas more as food rather than medicine. The Amla Plus product can be consumed as you would a jelly or smoothie ingredient.

Click Here or On Image
Click Here or on Image

How Do I Take Amla?

This manufacturer recommends taking 1 teaspoon twice daily or as directed by your physician. Amla Plus can be mixed with hot water like tea (1 tsp to 1 cup of hot water). It can also be used as a fruit spread or added to your morning smoothie.

The Organic Digest Tone (Triphala Plus) should be taken one hour before bedtime and does not need to be taken with food.


Goyal, Mandip. “Rasayana in perspective of the present scenario.” Ayu vol. 39,2 (2018): 63-64. doi:10.4103/ayu.AYU_300_18

Usharani, Pingali et al. “Evaluation of the effects of a standardized aqueous extract of Phyllanthus emblica fruits on endothelial dysfunction, oxidative stress, systemic inflammation and lipid profile in subjects with metabolic syndrome: a randomised, double blind, placebo controlled clinical study.” BMC complementary and alternative medicine vol. 19,1 97. 6 May. 2019, doi:10.1186/s12906-019-2509-5

Sharma, Rohit et al. “Chyawanprash: A Traditional Indian Bioactive Health Supplement.” Biomolecules vol. 9,5 161. 26 Apr. 2019, doi:10.3390/biom9050161

Zhao, Tiejun et al. “Anticancer Properties of Phyllanthus emblica (Indian Gooseberry).” Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity vol. 2015 (2015): 950890. doi:10.1155/2015/950890

Dr Anne Taylor

What is Amrit?

Amrit is an Ayurvedic herbal supplement that is formulated to promote immunity, health and longevity. I also wondered, what is Amrit, and want to share my research with you. Amrit comes from the Sanskrit word meaning “immortality,” similar to the Greek word “Ambrosia.” Amrit translates to an “elixir of immortality.” Yogis often meditate in the hours before daylight (4 am to 7 am) because that window of time is said to be the “Amrit Vela” or ambrosial hours.

The ancient Indian sacred texts refer to Amrit as nectar, the drink of the devas, the Divine ones. For us mortals, Amrit is a food that promotes health and vigor by nourishing and balancing our bodies and minds. Ayurveda teaches that Amrit nourishes our blood, muscles, bones, marrow, reproductive fluids, and other important body fluids.

Amrit balances the three doshas, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, and therefore tri-dosha balancing. If you would like to take a short quiz to find out what your primary dosha and dosha balance is, click here.

Amrit is considered a Rasayana, a primary method for promoting vigor and health on the physical level which also prepares you for experiencing transcendence. A great benefit for those seeking a stress and anxiety-free way of being in the world. Amrit supports your vital strength or “bala” which contributes to longevity.

“Enhancing memory and longevity; keeping body and mind limber; imparting radiance to the skin; benefiting the quality of voice and effectiveness of speech, and increasing the fortitude of the senses and intellect”

As described in the oldest existing Indian medical text, Charaka Samhita

Why Take Amrit?

As a Full-Spectrum Natural Antioxidant Herbal Supplement, this product is effective for people who want to support their brain, nervous system, and immune system. Amrit is a powerful antioxidant, which slows down the aging process by “mopping up” free radicals.

The key to Amrit’s effectiveness is in its ability to reduce free-radical damage. Think of a cut apple left on the counter; it starts to brown from or free-radical’s oxidation. That is where the term anti-oxidant comes from, that which reduces the “browning” or decaying effect.

The same can happen with your own body, oxidation causes damage to your cells, DNA, and health in general. Anti-oxidants help prevent oxidative stress from happening in the first place. Bioflavonoids are responsible for Amrit’s highly effective antioxidant power. Amrit scavenges up free-radicals which also helps keep cholesterol in check.

Also known as the “Golden Cup of Longevity,” Amrit also is said to strengthen mental retention and recall. Amrit helps you with the aging process, supports heart health and cardiovascular as well as brain health by reducing free radical damage.

Top 5 Reasons to Take Amrit

  • Improves Your Immunity
  • Brain and Nervous System Support
  • Longevity Enhancing
  • Full-Spectrum Antioxidant
  • 97-99% Organic Ingredients

Amrit is prepared from a blend of 44 herbs that are processed at low temperatures to preserve the vital nutrients. The “antiquity processing” maintains the integrity of the Amrit. When looking for Ayurvedic formulas the manufacturing process is as important as the individual ingredients themselves.

Who is Amrit For?

Amrit is formulated for people who want to improve their immune systems, health and vitality. Amrit is highly beneficial for people who want to add natural protection to help them prevent getting sick. People also love Amrit for anti-aging purposes.

The researchers who conducted studies using Maharishi Amrit concluded that “it [Amrit] contributes to the prevention of the immunosenescence.” Immunosenescence means the gradual deterioration of the immune system brought on by the natural aging process. Source: “Effects of Maharishi Amrit Kalash 5 as an Ayurvedic herbal food supplement on immune functions […]”

How Do I Take Amrit?

Ayurvedic practitioners recommend taking the Amrit Kalash Ambrosia together with Amrit Kalash Nectar as a paired and harmonizing immune system supplement. The manufacturer recommends that you consult your health care provider prior to taking any supplements, including Amrit.

Herbs work better together, they have a synergistic effect when properly combines. This is why the formulas passed down through the ages are revered in Ayurvedic medicine. Amrit formulas haven’t changed much since ancient times and the methods are passed down from one generation of Ayurvedic practitioners to the next. This is especially true of reputable producers of Amrit, such as VPK MAPI.

Three Ways to Take Amrit

What is amrit
Amrit® Kalash Ambrosia — Immunity Management®
What is amrit
Amrit Kalash Nectar Tablets
Amrit Kalash Nectar Paste | 20 oz.
What is Amrit

When Do I Take Amrit?

The manufacturer’s suggested use for Amrit is to take once per day. The nectar can be used as you would a fruit spread or put into your morning smoothie

Dr Anne Taylor

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What is Carditone


CARDITONE is an herbal Ayurvedic formula traditionally used to maintain blood pressure and support heart health. This proprietary blend of herbs and minerals is high in heart-friendly antioxidants and is reported to have calming effects. CARDITONE is one of many natural remedies for high blood pressure. Natural remedies for high blood pressure may be well suited for people who have borderline high blood pressure.

Ayurveda is the ancient science of life and seeks to balance as a way of healing and prevention. Ayurveda comes out of India and is a 5,000+-year-old science. Ayurveda is based on the principle of restoring your body’s natural balance.

  • Rauwolfia: traditionally used to maintain blood pressure and support heart health, is one of CARDITONE’s active herbal ingredients.
  • Convolvulus pluricaulis
  • Terminalia Arjuna: supports heart health
  • Tribulus terrestris: supports kidney health
  • Boerhaavia diffusa: supports kidney health
  • Magnesium: maintains cellular health, electrolyte balance

Carditone, formulated and manufactured by Ayush Herbs, is a commonly used herbal preparation designed to support healthy blood pressure levels. Carditone has been a go-to formula for naturopathic physicians and like-minded practitioners for over 25 years. 

Always seek the advice of your health care professional prior to starting any new supplement program.

Why Take Carditone?

Carditone is taken by people who want to maintain healthy blood pressure. High blood pressure requires the immediate attention of a health care practitioner and should not be self-diagnosed. For people who are borderline hypertensive a natural remedy such as Carditone may be helpful, as many people have found.

  • Carditone helps support blood pressure levels already within a normal range
  • Carditone is rich in antioxidants
  • Carditone promotes relaxation

The Mayo Clinic reports that: Rauwolfia alkaloids (a key ingredient in Cartitone) belong to the general class of medicines called anti-hypertensives. They are used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension).

The American Heart Association states that high blood pressure as 130/80 mm Hg or higher. The latest guidelines suggest that you monitor your blood pressure often. Monitoring your blood pressure at home can help you and your doctor decide if lifestyle changes or medication may be required.

Who is Carditone For?

Carditone is for people who have normal to slightly elevated blood pressure and want to maintain healthy blood vessels. Customer reviews on Amazon have been outstanding for this product. Many people have found it very helpful in maintaining normal blood pressure levels.

How do You Use Carditone?

The recommended dosage is 1 caplet once daily or as directed by your health care provider.

Scientific Validation

The following study was conducted using Carditone to determine the long-term safety of this cardiovascular health dietary supplement. The study finds that this dietary supplement is safe for long-term use in adults with early stages of hypertension. It is important to note that this was a small study and also recommends further research. Readers are cautioned to consult with their health care provider to discuss their medical history and determine if this product is right for you.

At the time of this writing, Carditone is well reviewed by over 1,300 people on Amazon.

How to relieve stress

I spend considerable time researching products that can relieve stress naturally or are closely related. I share these products with you in the hopes that they will reduce your stress and increase your well-being.

Purchases are made on external affiliate company websites. When you click on an affiliate link, the reader buys the item from the seller directly (not from HowToRelieveStressNaturally.com). Amazon, the manufacturer, or other supplier pays HowToRelieveStressNaturally.com a small commission. Prices are exactly the same for you if your purchase is through an affiliate link or a non-affiliate link.

Herbs for Anxiety

Herbs for Anxiety

Everyone feels anxious sometimes, but more and more many people are experiencing sustained levels of high anxiety. People who are looking for alternatives to medications are seeking information about herbs for anxiety. There are clinical anxieties that should be treated by your healthcare provider, however, there are increasing numbers of people who suffer from high-functioning anxiety. During in these challenging times, I recommend a multi-pronged approach for quelling anxiety and enhancing feelings of being calm and centered. We cannot always control what’s going on but we can control how we respond to life’s challenges.

Taking supplemental herbs for anxiety is one strategy that is part of a more comprehensive self-care regiment. Other examples include mindfulness practices, yoga, exercise, being in nature, high-quality sleep, and emotional self-regulation. Herbal supplementation can enhance your daily routines.  

Why Take Herbs for Anxiety?

Ayurvedic herbal formulas such as Worry-Free are powerful, synergistic, and effective blends that calm the mind down and settle your emotions. The herbs in this formula support deeper sleep, helps relieve anxiety, and provides natural relief from daily tension and stress. This formula contains the adaptogens ashwagandha and jatamansi, and other potent herbs.

The demands of today’s world are almost impossible to keep up with. There is simply more coming at us than we can handle. And if you’re prone to high-functioning anxiety it can feel like you’re on a sinking ship. You keep up, but at what cost to your health and personal life? Beginning a regime of taking herbs for anxiety can help you feel calmer while you are integrating other forms of self-care as well.

The Worry-Free formula consists of 7 herbs and 1 mineral components. 3 out of the 7 herbs are roots. These herbs have a nourishing, calming and strengthening effect on your nervous system. They “root out” imbalances and allow you to be on firmer ground. The three roots used in Worry-Free herbal tablets are Ashwagandha (winter cherry), licorice and jatamansi (Indian spikenard).

“Worry-Free is an ayurvedic daytime tranquilizer.”

Dr. Wolfgang Schachinger 

I highly recommend the Worry-Free blend because it was formulated from a lineage of ayurvedic masters in India who understood the synergy between the herbs. This formula enhances the action of any one particular herb. Quite simply, these herbs work better together. Herbal formulas are foundational to nutritional support.

When to Take Herbs for Anxiety?

Herbal supplements, especially blended ayurvedic formulas, are designed to keep your body in balance rather than merely masking the symptoms of anxiety. When your body-mind is in balance, anxiety naturally falls away leaving you more centered and calm. You may choose to maintain a consistent dosage based on your ongoing levels of anxiety. If you are on a pharmaceutical medication please do not stop! Consult your healthcare provider. The information on this website is designed to be layered onto what you are currently doing, not in place of it.

What are Herbs for Anxiety?

Many people who have some familiarity with ayurvedic herbs think of ashwagandha, a well known adaptogen (stress relieving herb). Although taking single herbs may be the way to go for some, people often overlook the synergistic value of cooperation herbs and other ingredients. The Worry-Free formula that I love has a beautiful complement of the following ingredients:

  • Ashwagandha (winter cherry)
  • Licorice 
  • Jatamansi (Indian spikenard)
  • Galangal root
  • Gotu kola (brahmi),
  • Indian tinospora (guduchi)
  • Dwarf morning glory (shankapushpi, also known as aloeweed)
  • Pearl powder from river pearls

The galangal roots fires up agni and aids the absorption of the other herbs. The pearl powder lunar energy has a calming effect on your mind-body. The other ingredients have calming and moistening effects and improves the brain fog that often goes along with stress and anxiety.

How to Take Herbs for Anxiety

The primary herb in the Worry-Free formula is ashwagandha root and this formula was developed to assist you in keeping your stress at bay, the root cause of anxiety. Many people take 1 tablet daily during low periods of anxiety to maintain calm. You may bump up the dosage to 2 tablets if you feel an increase of stress. Let your body’s intelligence guide you.

The Worry-Free herbal formula for anxiety relief instructions recommends that you take the herbs after meals. Always consult the specific instructions for use regardless of the product brand.

As always, please read the contraindications on the label and check with your healthcare provider before starting any new dietary supplement regime.

Where to Get the Worry-Free Formula?

Whenever possible, I recommend that you obtain herbal products directly from the manufacturer to ensure product freshness. VPK was founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who brought transcendental meditation (TM) to the West. The formulas presented by this company are based on age-old recipes handed down through the generations of Maharishi Mahesh lineage.

Herbs for anxiety

Frequently Asked Questions:

Anne Taylor, Ph.D.

I spend considerable time researching products that meet the highest standards that I can find. I share them with you in the hope that you will seek natural alternatives to stress-related conditions. The links in this post are affiliate links, meaning I receive a small commission if you purchase this product through these links.

If you would like to talk about your specific situation please contact me for a free 15-minute consultation. Let me know some of the essentials and we’ll set up a time to chat.

If you would like to be a part of my community, please join in. Everyone is welcome who intends to further the good in the world.

To purchase the Worry-Free formula please click the link.

AnnMarie Skin Care Product Review

AnnMarie Skin Care

I started searching for organic skincare products after being dissatisfied with the choices that were available at my local stores. I quickly found out that finding high quality, non-toxic skincare is not as easy as you might think. Just because something is labeled “natural” doesn’t mean that it is good for you. After all, arsenic may be natural but it is also deadly. And so is formaldehyde that is in many skincare products! I was happy when I finally came across an authentic product line that takes quality and sustainability seriously.

What is AnnMarie Skin Care?

AnnMarie Skin Care is an organic, wildcrafted skin care product line that was founded in 2009 by Kevin Gianni and Annmarie. Starting out as healthy lifestyle bloggers, they searched for skincare products that were truly all-natural and organic. They had great difficulty in finding any skin care products that met their personal standards.

It was not until they walked into a spa in Patagonia, Arizona that they found what they were searching for. These products, however, were not available to the public. Working with the spa owner, an herbalist and a chemist, they began to create their own unique product line that met their own high standards of quality. From the finest ingredients to the process and finally, to sustainable packaging, no detail has been overlooked. Here are a few highlights that I found about AnnMarie’s products:

  • Organic Essential Oils & Plant Extract
  • Non-toxic
  • Cruelty-free
  • Wild-crafted
  • Hand-selected
  • Palpable Energetic Vibration
  • Miron Glass & Sustainable Packaging

The AnnMarie Product Line Includes (partial list):

  • Anti-aging formulas
  • Non-toxic hair care
  • Cleansers & toners
  • Products based on skin rypes
  • Serums
  • Moisturizers
  • Essential Oils
  • More

Why AnnMarie Skin Care Products?

The clean cosmetics movement is gaining momentum as women are learning about ingredients such as formaldehyde that are contained in common cosmetics. While testing is being done on various additives to skin care products why wait until the results are in? Personally, I am researching products that don’t have suspect ingredients in the first place and I’m doing it now. It is imperative that we become proactive in learning what we are really putting on your skin. The Harvard Health blog reports that:

“The FDA passed the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act back in 1938. Yet, ingredients used in cosmetics (with the exception of color additives) are exempt from FDA regulatory practices.”

Harvard Health Blog

The Personal Care Products Council oversees the regulation of cosmetics. This is a self-regulating organization that is supported by the cosmetics industry. This sounds like the coyote guarding the chicken house, so to speak.

The chemicals that you most need to avoid are (Harvard Health Blog): irritants/allergens; endocrine disruptors (chemicals that mimic your body’s own natural hormones and interfere with normal biochemical processes); and potential carcinogens, cancer-causing agents. How does the average consumer really know how to avoid these?

For peace of mind I am limiting skin products to those whose ingredients I trust.

Who is AnnMarie Skin Care for?

AnnMarie’s Mission is to provide you with the best and most effective beauty and skin products we can — for everyone, everywhere, no matter their skin type or background.

AnnMarie Skin Care is for women who are concerned about putting toxic products on their bodies. Toxins in skin care products, and most products have them, causes oxidative stress in your body. The term “free radicals” is one most people have heard of and results in oxidative stress. We take antioxidants internally (like Vitamin C) and the same principles apply to your skin, which “drink in” skin and hair products. Manufacturers aren’t required to list certain ingredients if they fall below a certain threshold so it’s up to us to be responsible for what goes in and on our bodies.

AnnMarie products are well suited to the discriminating buyer who has the following concerns over and above the desire for quality organic products:

  • Gluten Free
  • Vegan
  • Non-toxic
  • Sensitive Skin
  • Teens & Children

How Does AnnMarie Skin Care Work?

AnnMarie Skin Care products work with your natural skin type (take skincare test) to deliver the optimal blend of ingredients to you. Her products are a blend of nature and science and can be used on your face, hands, body, and hair. AnnMarie recommends important ways to use her products:


Since your skin is a living organ it adjusts to what you put on it. Just like your body will adapt to foods you eat (for better or worse), your skin will also make adjustments as well. By giving your skin a consistent “diet” of wholesome ingredients it delivers the most radiant appearance possible.

When Showering

Cleansing your skin is part of your skin care regime and you want to start with pure ingredients, not chemical-laden soaps. When you are massaging a skin cleanser into your skin you want to make sure you’re rubbing in the good stuff, not toxins!

After Towel Dry

This is an Ayurvedic technique used for thousands of years; apply pure oil products right after drying off while your skin is skin warm and moist. Your skin absorbs the healing benefits of the herbs and plant extracts when warm and damp.

AnnMarie Skin Care

Product Pros

I’ve searched for quite a while before coming upon AnnMarie’s product line. She too had searched for a long time before finally deciding to create her own. I appreciate her dedication to creating a product line of excellence and purity. From the selection of ingredients to the processing and finally, to the packaging, every step is done with integrity. AnnMarie offers a full refund for up to 30 days, that’s pretty fair.

Product Cons

Some people find that AnnMarie’s products are priced too high. If you are used to buying mass-produced products that are full of chemicals (even if it’s not apparent from the product labeling) than yes, the price can seem high. Unless you want to take the time to research and make your own products, I would just assume pay for the quality. I view this as “cheap insurance” against absorbing products that will stress my body.

What’s Your Skin Type?

Concluding Thoughts

I think of myself as a rather frugal spender and yet I have personally purchased AnnMarie’s Skin Care products because unless I want to make them myself, I have not found any that are better. If you have found organic skin care products that you love, please share you findings in the comments below. I will read them and if appropriate I will conduct a product review on those as well.

The more toxins that we can eliminate from our lives the better. Unnecessary chemicals put undue stress on your body. The goal here at How To Relieve Stress Naturally is to take action on things we can control in our lives and surrender to what we cannot. Not only do we help ourselves but we help the planet when we favor products that come in sustainable glass rather than plastic containers. Using the AnnMarie Skin Care product line brings me one step closer to my goal of reducing my plastic to zero. I’m not there yet, it’s hard, and I appreciate products that are sustainably stored.

Anne Taylor, founder of How To Relieve Stress Naturally

Please leave me a comment if you have a question or if you found another skin care product that meets or exceeds this product in some way. I would love to hear from you. This blog contains affiliate links which means I receive a small commission should you choose to purchase this product through one of the links. My goal remains the same, to help people reduce stress naturally, and that includes oxidative stress on your body.

Moving from Fear to Mindfulness During the Coronavirus Pandemic

The Cleveland Clinic, a highly regarded non-profit academic research medical center, teaches the public about the connection among stress, your immune system, and your risk of getting sick from a virus. We are all exposed to the virus every year, and normally they result in the common cold.

We are now in new territory as the coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused a global pandemic. Fear and anxiety about the coronavirus can be overwhelming for many people. There has not been such a worldwide health crisis in recent history, and most of us have never experienced anything like this.

Store shelves are being emptied as the fears of not having enough sweeps through communities. But fear, especially sustained fear and anxiety, actually makes us more vulnerable to diseases because chronic stress weakens our immune systems.

Professor of medicine and immunologist at the Cleveland Clinic Dr. Leonard Calabrese cautions that:

“Eliminating or modifying stress factors in one’s life is vital to protect and augment the immune response.”

Dr. Lenard Calabrese

Calabreses’ scientific wisdom is critically important as we face the coronavirus pandemic because fear and anxiety is one of the few things we can control right now.  

When we experience stress our bodies respond in an effort to keep safe from danger. Our nervous system gets us ready to rise to the occasion, to fight or flee. When the “stress switch” stays on for too long it begins to wear our batteries down. Calabrese explains:

“Stress decreases the body’s lymphocytes-the white blood cells that help fight off infection. The lower your lymphocyte level, the more at risk you are for virus [. . . ].

Blood is a complex matrix and has white blood cells along with the red cells that give blood its red color. I worked in our community hematology (blood) department when I was younger and was often amazed looking under the microscope. A virtual army of white blood cells to protect us from diseases.

Your Inner Army of Defense: White Blood Cells

Image Credit: Blausen.com staff (2014). “Medical gallery of Blausen Medical 2014“. WikiJournal of Medicine 1 (2). DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.010ISSN 2002-4436.

And chronic stress weakens our inner army of white cells. Let’s change that.

Let’s Take Action on What We Can Control

While the world awaits a vaccine to control the coronavirus pandemic there are things that everyone can do right now. The World Health Organization (WHO) and has issued guidelines for organizations and the public to follow. Hand washing and social distancing are two practical means to protect yourself.

Stress, the Coronavirus Virus, and Your Immune System

In addition to vitamin C, elderberry, and other supplements to boost their immune systems, it is important to also consider your state of mind and its role in disease prevention. Chronic stress weakens our defenses and yoga and meditation help counteract the negative effects of stress and anxiety.

From the words of a Western medical expert, Dr. Calabrese recommends two tactics that are most effective in reducing stress: Meditation and Yoga.

Here is an excerpt from the Cleveland Clinic article: “What Happens When Your Immune System Gets Stressed Out: How Stress Impacts Your Immunity”:

I’m practicing this meditation every day now and will do so until the pandemic is over. This meditation is said to stimulate the nervous system which interacts directly with your immune system. Begin with 3 minutes and slowly work up to 5 minutes a day. If at any time you feel dizzy Stop. Take a few cleansing breaths and begin slowly. This is not hyperventilating.

Your body works as a system; when your emotional state calms, and you exercise the vagus nerve (with the extended vocalizations that I show you) your nervous system regains balance and your hormonal system settles down as well.

You don’t have to go it alone.

Stress-management is not something that anyone else can do for you, it is something that you must learn to do for yourself. It’s an “inside job.” But that doesn’t mean that you have to go it alone. Not sure you can do this on your own? You don’t have to. Let’s set up a time to talk. I’d love to hear about your situation, and see if I can help. Go to my contact page https://howtorelievestressnaturally.com/contact and we’ll set up a time to talk in person (free).

The Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program Review

tara brach and jack kornfield

What is the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program?

The Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification is a two-year intensive experiential mindfulness teacher training program led by two luminaries in the field of Mindfulness to be found anywhere in the world, Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield. It is an opportunity to accelerate your own spiritual path with the intention of bringing the wisdom and teachings out into your community and beyond.

This program is designed so that you will learn the following:

  • How to teach mindfulness using techniques for the body, mind, heart, and the community
  • How to teach practices of lovingkindness, compassion, forgiveness, and feelings of joy
  • Develop confidence and skills for leadership in group classes
  • Two live in-person workshop retreats to connect with other members in the program
  • Learn to apply mindfulness skills for self-compassion, relationships, trauma, and social change
  • Progress on your own spiritual path
  • Become part of an international network of vibrant mindfulness teachers
  • Professional mentoring throughout the two-year course period, individually and in group

Upon successful completion, you will become certified by the Awareness Institute and the Greater Good Science Center (UC Berkeley).

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The Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program is for anyone who has benefited from a Mindfulness practice and wants to bring the same joy and calm to others. Whether you feel called to teach mindfulness to others as a profession or more informally by weaving it into the fabric of your current work. By doing so, you help elevate global consciousness.

Our world needs more mindfulness and spiritual practitioners right now as the challenges of today’s world continue to escalate. You may wish to open your own mindfulness-based practice or join the growing number of organizations that are bringing people on board who can teach mindfulness to others.

Who is the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program for?

The Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program is for anyone who has benefited from a Mindfulness practice and wants to bring the same joy and calm to others. Whether you feel called to teach mindfulness to others as a profession or more informally by weaving it into the fabric of your current work. By doing so, you help elevate global consciousness.

Our world needs more mindfulness and spiritual practitioners right now as the challenges of today’s world continue to escalate. You may wish to open your own mindfulness-based practice or join the growing number of organizations that are bringing people on board who can teach mindfulness to others.

  • Are you currently committed to your own spiritual practice and wish to go deeper?
  • Do you feel called to move towards a life centered around teaching mindfulness to others?

The decision to apply needs to be a heart-centered choice. Ask your innermost self if this is right for you now. Then listen and trust your own inner guidance.

Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach are the creators and leaders of the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program.

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Why Consider the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program?

Mindfulness practices have become more accepted throughout the Western world, in part, because of the scientific research and validation that has proven their effectiveness. People who have had direct experience with mindfulness practices didn’t need to wait for the “proof” because there is no substitute for direct knowing.

Mindfulness practice teaches emotional self-regulation which helps to heal the nervous system and hormonal systems. Health improves as a direct result of mindfulness practice. Interestingly, other faculties also open up such as the increased ability to experience compassion; compassion for ourselves and others.

Compassion opens our hearts to allow acceptance of our own limitations and the limitations of others as we evolve on our spiritual path, the path of life.

The Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program was designed and implemented by two spiritual leaders of the world today: Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach. Together, they have selected a diverse group of advanced teachers, each bringing his or her own strength to the program. This provides a rich texture and many voices to the practice of mindfulness.  

As Thich Nat Han said, the era of the personal guru is over and the future guru is the community or sanga. A community of teachers holds each other accountable, especially when the threat of spiritual egoism looms large in many guru-based organizations.

When does the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program Begin?

The Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification is accepting early applications until March 23, 2020. Opening Event Weekend: February 18-21, 2021 in the Washington D.C./Maryland area

The previous courses have filled to capacity and so it is advisable to apply now.

How do I Enroll in the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program?

The Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification program accepts applications for the program.

You will be asked to pay a refundable deposit to hold your place while your application is being reviewed. This course is well suited to people already on their spiritual path, and you will be asked to provide a letter of recommendation from a member of your spiritual community or a counselor. You will engage in a pre-enrollment call with a program specialist.




Reclaiming Your Power

Anne Ruitberg
There has been so much emphasis in the political debates around healthcare. Who should get healthcare coverage and who should pay for it is at the forefront of every political debate. Healthcare coverage is an essential requirement in this day and age, and I wouldn’t be without it. If there is a life-threatening emergency, a diagnosis of cancer, or some other health care crisis that medicine can treat, you fall to your knees and be thankful for the help that doctors and healthcare workers provide.  

An estimated 75-90% of all doctor visits have something in common: STRESSStress is a factor in five out of the six leading causes of death— heart disease, cancer, stroke, lower respiratory disease, and accidents.[1]

”Stress is the taproot to our current healthcare crisis. Throwing money at healthcare after the fact is like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. Yes, of course, we need healthcare. But we need to get a handle on stress because it is such a pervasive root cause to diseases, rampant addictions, and violence. 

Reclaiming Your Power Over stress and for those who want to take a look at the financial impact of not dealing with our stress crisis, Peter Schnall, MD, Director, Center for Social Epidemiology, Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, writes that:“Stress has exploded to an invisible, $1 trillion health epidemic,” according to Peter Schnall’s Unhealthy Work[2]There is no pill for long term stress management without simply forcing the problem to go underground. Unregulated stress will eventually catch up with you. We have seen this with the explosion of addictions, people are simply trying to self-medicate and self-soothe in order to function. 

Stress caught up with me. And I didn’t even realize that I was stressed! As some of you know, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease, a common low thyroid condition. But what my endocrinologist didn’t tell me was that it is an autoimmune disease, and one of the major contributing factors is unmanaged stress.

That was many years ago, and through diligent research (and a bit of discipline) I learned how to get this under control along with my stress levels. Not just the symptoms, but real lasting health. Stress-management is not something that anyone else can do for you, it is something that you must learn to do for yourself. It’s an “inside job.”

But that doesn’t mean that you have to go it alone. Not sure you can do this on your own? You don’t have to. Let’s set up a time to talk. I’d love to hear about your situation, and see if I can help.

Contact me and we’ll set up a time to talk in person (free).

[1] https://www.huffpost.com/entry/stress-and-health_b_3313606 [2] https://unhealthywork.org/about-us/team/dr-peter-schnall/