What is Vitality and Why Normal Signs of Aging are not Normal

You may have noticed that life has changed as you age. The energy you once had is not so abundant. You may experience a difficult time sleeping. Time may have introduced you to arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, or a host of other conditions. The actual energy that makes up your health is called vitality in Chinese Medicine. Here is what vitality is, how you store it, and how you use it. 

In Chinese Medicine, three things help determine the vitality you bring into this world: the genetics from your father and mother and nutrition during pregnancy. These three things set the foundation for the amount of energy you have in reserve. The reserve energy is called vitality. 

Vitality is kind of like a gas tank. Some people get a two-gallon tank, and some people get a thirty-gallon tank. The vitality gas tank is the back-up gas tank to your daily natural resources. You draw from this tank when life gets hectic, and your daily natural resources are not enough to get through.

The vitality tank is not static. You can make choices that will help you maintain and build the energy reserve. These are choices that help you take care of yourself. They can be choices like allowing yourself to get enough sleep, eating nutritious foods, so your body has the nutrients needed to function, or reducing negativity in your life. The positive emotion of love and joy almost supercharges the tank. I have an episode on my Youtube channel that identifies the Five causes of disease in Chinese Medicine. It’s these five areas that can help you donate to your vitality. 

But, the reality is life is an exciting explosion of sounds, sights, tastes, sensations, and smells. In your enjoyment of the comfort of life, you may make choices that mistreat and overwhelm your natural resources. And that is not the only way you can tax your natural resources. Life happens. Financial hardships, death, and other things can put you and your family’s survival and safety needs in jeopardy. They can take large withdrawals on your vitality.

You want to donate to your vitality, and let me tell you why. In Chinese Medicine, they say you have a limited amount of vitality. Let’s say you have 100 units of vitality. Throughout life, you’re going to make choices that change these units. 

Because vitality is more a black box than linear logic, here is a simple framework to think about vitality. Each choice you make in life either adds, drains, or keeps your vitality reserve tank equal. Throughout life, let’s say you make choices that drain 1/1000 a unit from your tank every day. This is that reserve you have to pull from to keep your body going when your body doesn’t have enough daily natural resources. An example of having to draw from the reserve is not getting enough sleep. To get through that day, you chug coffee and mentally push yourself. The coffee stimulated your body to use more energy than was available. That additional energy came from your reserve tank. 

Then one day, the tank is empty. You don’t have a back-up plan. When you overdo something, you no longer have a stash of energy or vitality to assist your daily natural resources. You feel like you hit a wall. 

You notice this landmark event because that is the day when you start to have significant health issues. That is when you try to push yourself through the day with coffee and just can’t. You find yourself tired all the time and unable to do much more than get up, go to work, and go to sleep. This exhaustion starts pouring into other areas of your life. Too tired to cook, you swing by a fast food restaurant and grab dinner, lunch, or whatever. Receiving none of the necessary ingredients you need to fix and repair your body, you end up more tired. Because sleep takes energy, your sleep starts to deteriorate. The list goes on and on. 

And when the reserve tank is empty, it feels like you hit a wall. It’s incredible how much we use and take for granted this reserve. And let’s be real, most people are a little hard-headed. Hard-headed in the sense that you’ve been doing these things your whole life and never had a problem. Why can’t you do them now? So, you keep on doing them, thinking you’ll get a different answer or stubbornly demanding you get a different response.

But when that tank is empty, the wall is an emphatic “no.” No, you can’t do that anymore. The more you try to do the same things, the worse things become. Your daily resources have less and less to help you overcome whatever it is you are doing. You find a negative health cascade starts to happen. You start packing on the weight. It’s more challenging to sleep. You wake up to go to the bathroom. You’re tired all the time. Your blood work starts showing abnormal changes. 

Doctors and many people believe all these things are the normal progression of aging. If it is a normal aging progression, nothing you do will improve the situation. All people would have these symptoms. 

Now some people have maintained a healthy lifestyle their whole life and have always kept their tank full. As they age, nothing shows up. Or, they came into this world with a pretty big tank. So, even though they’ve played hard, they still do well. They still bounce back. 

That alone is the first clue the aging symptoms you are experiencing are not normal signs of aging. Instead, they are a typical sign of exhausting your vitality. 

Chinese Medicine has a very different focus from Western Medicine. Where Western Medicine focuses on suppressing the symptom to enable you to continue doing what you are doing, Chinese Medicine focuses on identifying the weakness, targeting behaviors you can modify to rebuild and improve your health. 

One of the foundational pillars of Chinese Medicine is Daoism. Longevity is a critical part of Daoism. When I read about Daoism and longevity, the focus was on how to live in balance with your environment. Your environment is your body. So, how to live in harmony with yourself to enhance and prolong your health. Nature was a resource to better understand how to live in harmony. Ancient China created all the herbal formulas, acupuncture, nutrition, meditation, and exercises to support the end goal of keeping your body in harmony to prolong your life. 

You usually realize there is a problem when your older, when your tank has been emptied, and now you have a decision to make: do nothing or do something. I have an episode on my Youtube channel, “Why Walking is a Good Thing.” It goes into more of the challenges you face trying to rebuild your health as an older adult. It also goes into a little of the mental mindset you need to rebuild your health when you’re older. Another episode, “Consciously Helping Your Heart Stay Healthy,” shares more wellness coaching tips on what it means to get healthy when you’re older.

The bottom line is getting healthy when you’re older is not about “getting in shape” like losing a few pounds or exercising more. Getting healthy when you are older is about rebuilding your vitality and getting some reserve resources back so you can start enjoying life again. 

To give an example, you can do those quick hit things like a fad diet. The minute you lose weight, you stop the diet and start gaining the weight because you didn’t retrain yourself. So, in essence, you gained nothing. And when you’re younger, usually only one part of your health is compromised to the point where it needs attention. When you’re older, multiple aspects of your health need attention, and it is not slightly compromised where a quick week-long fad diet will correct it. 

This means you can start rebuilding your vitality by changing something in any of the five causes of disease where losing weight is only useful if you change your diet. And you can’t do this short week or month-long thing and go back to business as usual. Rebuilding your vitality is about taking the time to make the lifestyle changes.

You have two choices. If you’re out here, you’ve usually made a choice to do something. That is the critical thought, “do something.” You don’t have to do everything. So, watch that episode on The Five Causes of Disease in Chinese Medicine and do something in one of those categories. Because the significant change when you are older is your getting healthier lies in each of those changes categories instead of just one. 

So, that’s vitality in Chinese Medicine and why normal signs of aging are not normal.

Thanksgiving – What Do I Have to be Thankful For?

What a year. I reflected on the year because I’m not sure how I ended up at the end of the year. It seems like January was just an hour ago, which is weird because every day seems to last three days.  

The last time I remember feeling like days lasted forever while the year seemed to race by was when I was a kid. I remember waiting for Christmas. The Christmas tree would go up. My elementary school would have us practice for the Christmas program. Each day seemed like an eternity, and Christmas seemed so far away. But, the year, well, the year was just fine.

I guess I’m waiting again. I guess me and the rest of the country are waiting. Each day feels like an eternity, while the year feels like a flash.

So, I decided to think about why I was thankful. I have much to be grateful for. I am grateful for my husband and our life together. I’m grateful that where I’m weak, he is strong. 

He has better survival instincts than I do. We had planned to spend Thanksgiving in a rented apartment on the beach. He didn’t think it was a good idea. I just canceled. He has excellent survival instincts.

That brought up the pain of the pandemic. This pandemic is going to last as long as it is going to last. My husband and I have spent the last eight months at home. We’ve done take-out food a couple of times. But, other than the grocery stores, we haven’t been out. No vacations to the beach or the desert or the mountains. No splurges on clothes we don’t need. No expensive restaurants – our absolute favorite. And no movies.

I’m pretty proud of us. We’ve done it. We’ve learned a lot about ourselves. Who we were before the pandemic and who we are today are different people. I think we’re better. 

Before the pandemic, we were pathological consumers. Before the pandemic, I was always busy with nonsense. I had no time because I wasted time doing nonsense things. And, everything had to be so wonderful. I had lost pleasure with the simple things in life. 

The pandemic has forced time on me. It’s been painful, but my expectation of life has been returning to “normal” where I can see and appreciate the simple things in life. I stopped my pathological spending. I spent time reaching even deeper into Chinese Medicine. I’ve stepped up my meditation. All this means self-discovery is on overdrive. The simple living experience and the pleasure of a chilly fall morning or a crisp winter day have been reawakened.   

I don’t think I would have ever gone this deep into the medicine or myself without the pandemic. And sure, now it feels like I accidentally stepped on a slide and am on a wild ride. Yet, the ride is impressive.

Do you know what else happened? The pandemic gave all of us permission to wear face masks and make it normal. When this is over, I’m wearing a face mask during flu season because the flu has become so virulent and difficult to overcome. 

We may have gained another positive from the pandemic. When you are feeling sick, you might feel justified in staying home. Remember how frustrated you would get that a co-worker came in snotting and coughing all over everything. Two days later, you would have the flu, and it lasted for eight weeks. 

People may be more willing to stay home. And with the advent of work-at-home, businesses may be more supportive of keeping the sick home.

In Australia, this year, with masks and social distancing, Australia’s flu season was a tenth of the 2019 season, and total deaths from the flu were 34.   

I have to thank my clients. Without them, I wouldn’t have a business. With them, they have made a problematic year survivable. So, thank you for being there for me. And I got to meet new clients this year who were terrific and filled with new stories and new lives. 

Most importantly, my husband and I have managed to keep ourselves and our friends safe. I’m incredibly grateful for that. 

What I’ve come to realize is this year is not a normal Thanksgiving. It is a significant season marked by thanks and grace. This is a year where I’ve been introduced to heroes every day. Every essential worker, the grocery worker, the food processor, healthcare worker, and the civil servants that worked so others can stay home and safe, I am grateful to you. This year has reawakened my midwestern values of family and community. And this year has made me aware that nothing can be taken for granted, and I’m so grateful my family is safe.

There is still a road ahead of us. From the past eight months, my husband and I know we can make the next six months.

My wish and prayer for you is that you can keep yourself, your family, and your friends safe. Have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving.

Genetically engineering vaccines to fight COVID19 – the mRNA vaccine

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With the prospect of either Moderna or Pfizer bringing their mRNA vaccine to market, I’ve had clients question me on what is this technology? In my episode on “The biggest healthcare challenge facing you today,” I talked to why it is so important to be or have a patient advocate. One of the functions which a patient advocate is able to complete is the initial research so you can start to figure out what works best for you and to allow you to have a more in-depth conversation with your medical provider.  

The coronavirus is insanely risky.  In the last two weeks, more and more people are comfortable talking about their infection and the lasting ramifications of the virus. Twitter is probably one of the more vocal platforms. As celebrities and influencers talk about their positive test for Covid19, more and more people are tweeting about some of the lasting health impacts of the disease. Asthma or some other impaired lung function is the most popular post I read about. But, I’m also reading about issues with brain function and dementia, post viral heart attacks, and just a slew of other things. 

And pre-election, it was really hard for me to find this information. I really wanted to understand what my risk was if I survived an infection and prior to two weeks ago no one was comfortable talking about it. Nor were they posting pictures of their loved ones who had passed. The weird thing is the pictures I’m seeing are not 80 year old seniors in a healthcare facility. These people look like they are in their 40’s or 50’s, healthy and vibrant. These people were me. 

That pushed me to produce the episode on “Coronavirus Update, 4 medications in Your Medicine Cabinet” and their positive impact on Covid 19.  

But now we are going to have another decision facing us. What do we do when the vaccine becomes available? Right now, Moderna and Pfizer are leading the pack with their mRNA technology. Johnson and Johnson was working on an adenoviral vector vaccine that was pulled in the last few weeks due to an adverse incident. 

So, what are these technologies? mRNA vaccine technology is one of three genetically engineered vaccine technologies. The three technologies are: 1. DNA vaccines, 2. mRNA vaccines and 3. adenoviral vector vaccines. There are over 200 hundred vaccine candidates worldwide. There are companies in each of these categories. Inovio has a DNA vaccine in clinical trials. Pfizer and Moderna have mRNA vaccines.  Johnson and Johnson has an adenoviral vector vaccine.

And this is just focusing on the genetically engineered vaccines. 

Let me tell you, in concept, I like the concept of genetically engineered vaccines because it takes out the variability of life in vaccines created through naturally occurring processes. And this risk really came to light back in 2009 with our flu vaccines. We’ve used chicken eggs to create the flu vaccine for over 70 years. So, it’s a stable platform with a hitch. Every vaccine would have a mutation. These mutations didn’t pose a concern because the vaccine was really about making our immune system sensitive to one protein on the virus – the only protein our immune system could target. In 2009, the mutation happened on that protein hiding it from our immune system. Back in 2019, I produced an episode on this phenomenon “Research Updates Flu Vaccine 2019.”

The episode goes over the research that was happening and some of the short term solutions of addressing the problem. Now, none of the short term solutions fixed what caused the problem in the first place. In fact, they had the potential for making that problem even worse because the problem was diversity in nature coupled with non-human DNA and injecting it into humans. I’ve been really curious how science was going to address the problem with the random nature of life. Out of the three genetically engineered vaccines, it appears that mRNA may have the potential to address this problem. 

All three of the technologies have been around for 20 to 30 years. None of the technologies have an approved vaccine for human use. So, let’s look at what each of the technologies does have approved. First, DNA vaccines have two approved veterinary vaccines in the US. The West Nile Virus vaccine for horses and melanoma vaccine for dogs. Second, the mRNA technology has no approved vaccines for humans or animals. The third technology, the adenovirus vaccine has one vaccine approved for rabies in wild animals. 

I would highly support reading the Chemical and Engineering article, “Adenoviral vectors are the new COVID-19 vaccine front-runners. Can they overcome their checkered past?” Well written and explains the adenoviral vaccines in clear, easy to understand language. It highlights the risks with these vaccines. It sounds like the concept is valid, but when you try to implement it, you can’t. 

With the DNA vaccines, I hesitate when you inject something into our DNA. I just don’t think that is a good idea. And the  West Nile virus vaccine was causing so many adverse events in horses, that I stopped using it. I stopped following this vaccine when I stopped using it. Although, I can say I don’t hear the same outrage that I heard with the initial vaccine where birth mutations were common, sudden death, reproduction concerns – just all sorts of weird DNA issues. That’s just me, and I’m sure science would be more than willing to help me understand how naive my position is. 

Obviously there have been improvements in the technology. Back in 2003, there was a review on DNA vaccines. One of the problems was reaching enough cells. According to a review initiated in 2015 and finalized in 2017, that is still the problem in humans. I’ll be curious to see how Inovio is going to overcome this obstacle. 

Which leaves us with mRNA vaccines. What I liked about this concept is it is synthetic. So, the risks involved in using chicken eggs to grow the virus and injecting the virus into the body are avoided. What I also like is the limited function of mRNA in the body.  mRNA is a recipe or instructions our cells read to make a protein. And this vaccine is only delivering instructions to create one protein and has no other instructions.  What I also like is mRNA degrades overtime so it won’t be floating around your body. It has a natural termination date. 

On the other side, the biggest concern with the Pfizer mRNA vaccines is the need to keep them cold…really cold until use. That will create a logistics problem. Moderna does not need to be kept cold. That alone would make it a natural front runner over Pfizer. The other thing that is going to be tough with these vaccines is it is new technology.  I know there was some concern that the data wasn’t available before the elections. There weren’t enough infections before the elections to open the data. And I still question whether 90 some infections is enough to make a determination in a population of 30,000 to 45,000 because we just don’t know what we don’t know. And that article in Chemical and Engineering news highlights what we learned about the adenovirus technology as we started trying to use it. It was identified that people who have immunity to the adenovirus used in the vaccine had no protection. In some people, this technology caused a significant inflammation response that could cause death. The researchers also found that after the first injection,  the body mounts an immune response to the adenovirus vaccine. So, you couldn’t use it a second time. 

So, right now, I like the concept of genetically engineered and I like the mRNA technology the most of the three available. But this is really preliminary. I thought I had read somewhere that Pfizer will open their trial data towards the end of November to allow researchers to peer into the data, but I can’t find that information anywhere. If you want to see the study design here is a link to it. https://www.pfizer.com/science/coronavirus

CNBC did a great overview of the process of getting a COVID-19 vaccine to market and mRNA vaccines called, “ What is an mRNA coronavirus vaccine.” It goes into more depth on the speed these are coming to mark, the phases of the trial, and emergency use approvals. 

O.k. that is the introduction to the genetically engineered vaccines. Good-luck you guys and stay safe. 

FOOTNOTES

Erman, Michael Mishras, Manas (2020, October 27). Pfizer says no COVID-19 vaccine data yet, could be a week or more before it reports. Reuters. Retrieved on November 15, 2020 from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-pfizer-results-idUSKBN27C1GT

Cross, Ryan (2020, May 12). Adenoviral vectors are the new COVID-19 vaccine front-runners. Can they overcome their checkered past? Chemical & Engineering News. Retrieved on November 15 2020 from https://cen.acs.org/pharmaceuticals/vaccines/Adenoviral-vectors-new-COVID-19/98/i19

 Cuffari, Benedette. (2020, September 25). What is a DNA-based vaccine?. News-Medical. Retrieved on November 15, 2020 from https://www.news-medical.net/health/What-is-a-DNA-based-vaccine.aspx.

Liu, M.A. (2003, March 21). DNA vaccines: a review. Journal of Internal Medicine. Retrieved on November 15, 2020 from https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1046/j.1365-2796.2003.01140.x

Li L, Petrovsky N. Molecular mechanisms for enhanced DNA vaccine immunogenicity. Expert Rev Vaccines. 2016;15(3):313-329. doi:10.1586/14760584.2016.1124762

Beasley, Deena (2020, November 9). Inovio expects FDA decision on COVID-19 trial start this month. Reuters. Retrieved on November 15 2020 from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-inovio-pharma-idINKBN27P2UW

November is Caregivers Month! 2 Gifts Caregivers Really Need

Wow, it’s November and it’s National Family Caregivers Month. I was watching CBS News this morning, and they were showing suicide statistics. During this pandemic, caregivers have the second-highest suicide rate.  

Caregiver Survival GuideI remember being here last year with my book “Caregivers Survival Guide, How to Eliminate Stress in 30 Minutes and Other Useful Tools.”

I don’t know how a whole year has passed. It hasn’t helped that this year has been a time warp of events that have pretty much made no sense. What has made this year incredibly challenging for caregivers is the pandemic. As the number of people testing positive for Covid-19 increases, the challenges increase. 

To caregivers, I want to acknowledge you for opening yourself up to one of the most potent experiences this life will offer. Every caregiver must navigate the diversity of emotions and energy caregiving takes. Here are two things you can do to help anyone who is a caregiver. 

Caregiving is filled with love, joy, exhilaration, beauty, pain, and sorrow. This creates a rollercoaster of emotions. It’s the emotional rollercoaster that caregivers need help processing. 

If you are a friend of a caregiver, one of the best gifts you can give them is time…time to listen and talk with them. Just like new mothers sometimes need a break from baby talk and cherish the ability to have a normal grown-up chat, caregivers need that break, too. If you can be a friend who allows a caregiver to unload some of the pain of caregiving, you would be genuine gold. Being that friend can mean the difference between surviving another day when the s**t got really real or having a breakdown. 

I have a great friend who is that true gold friend. I would be upset and she would listen to me and sympathize because even though you love people, it doesn’t mean it will always be sunflowers and roses. A normal relationship will have conflicts. Caregiving can be more surreal than other relationships. What I noticed happened for caregivers is that there will be one story of frustration playing out repeatedly. 

You’ll hear the same story not because they can’t get over it. You’ll hear it repeatedly because caregivers are in the middle of a crisis with other people who are also in the middle of a crisis. It’s not the best time to think they will go through an in-depth self-discovery. It would be best if you were amazed that they are not self-medicating, screaming at the top of their lungs, and checking out.

Caregivers need someone to tell their story. Talking is one of the critical ways people process and release stress. A 1988 study found talking about your problems and sharing negative emotions in a safe environment was profoundly healing. This type of interaction not only reduced stress, but it also strengthened the immune system and reduced physical and emotional suffering (Pennebaker, Kiecolt-Glaser, & Glaser, 1988).

To be a person with whom a caregiver can share their worst moments and most difficult emotions in a safe, non-judgmental way is one of the biggest blessings you can give a caregiver. Everyone living in a caregiving situation will have a story they need to share with others. Even though they have negative stories about people they love, realize they still love that person and are in a challenging situation. Maybe the whole point of service to another is to be vulnerable.

But there is even a bigger blessing you can give a caregiver. For caregivers who have their loved one at home and are experiencing 24×7 caregiving, the opportunity to have two to three hours for themselves is a golden gift. Caregiving has no time for yourself.  

There was a 2009 report which found caregivers commonly experience social isolation. Due to the unique time requirements of caregiving, caregivers often lacked social contact. Caregivers found they had to sacrifice their leisure pursuits and hobbies to take care of the person they loved. Caregivers may be in a situation where they have to sacrifice their future earning potential by reducing their employment. (Brodaty, Donkin, 2009) 

You remember raising the kids and how you felt you had no time for yourself. There was a difference with that. With each day, the kids gained more independence. One day they went to school, and you had the day to yourself. One day, they went to college. 

Each day, they became more and more their person. With caregiving, it goes in reverse. Each day they become more and more dependant, and each day you can lose more and more of the person you once knew. 

Before caregiving, you spent your time taking care of yourself. During caregiving, more and more of your time is taking care of someone else.  

So, the second-best gift you can give a caregiver is a bit of time for themselves. Offering to help watch their loved one even though the offer doesn’t always work out can be a windfall for the caregiver. Sometimes it doesn’t work out because the caregiver is in a situation where the age of their loved one makes it more challenging to have a third party watching them. Their loved one may find unfamiliar faces scarier and scarier, or their behavior may have become problematic due to social norms becoming more optional as you age. Offering to sit and visit with their loved one while the caregiver is in the house still gives a great break.

To be willing to give your time to a caregiver to listen to their stories or help out for a couple of hours is two of the most precious things you can provide a caregiver. It’s great to have a month that helps bring awareness to the growing responsibility and growing population of caregivers.  

Pennebaker, J. W., Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., & Glaser, R. (1988). Disclosure of traumas and immune function: Health implications for psychotherapy. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 56(2), 239–245. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-006X.56.2.239

 Brodaty, H., & Donkin, M. (2009). Family caregivers of people with dementia. Dialogues in clinical neuroscience11(2), 217–228.

Traveling Without Your Anxiety Supplements? 3 Lifesavers In the Grocery Store to Tide You Over

I’ve been caught a few times forgetting to bring my favorite formula for stress or anxiety when traveling. Being in a new environment without your mattress or perfect pillow can mean a sleepless night and an exhausting day. Just facing the prospect of a sleepless night can have your anxiety levels ticking upwards. What do you do? You’re going to be home in a couple of days, but you have to get to sleep tonight.

Most of the time, I’m traveling in an area with access to whole food stores. I like shopping at these food stores because they’ll usually have a section of products that will include essential oils, homeopathic medicinals, and various herbs. In these aisles, I can generally find things to help with stress and anxiety. 

When looking for products, my primary requirement is to improve my situation in the next half hour. That means I have to choose herbs that don’t have the loading times like Western pharmaceuticals where you have to take them for a week or longer before you feel the effects. A second requirement I have is the product can work for many people. Many products out there can help with anxiety and sleep, but many of them only work on a small subset of people. One product that fits the category of only working on a small subset of the population is Melatonin. So, what are three different things you can find which will quickly help and have a good chance of working for you? 

The first one is a consumable lavender oil. The actual ingredient is called Silexan, and multiple companies use Silexan to create a consumable lavender oil. The product I like is by Integrative Therapeutics called Lavela WS 1265. 

Silexan promotes calmness and relaxation. The product does this without promoting changes in cognition. It also improves sleep and does this without any sedative side effects. So, you’re not going to wake up groggy from taking a Silexan supplement.

Each capsule of Integrative Therapeutics Lavela WS 1265 has 80 mg of Silexan. Research was done with either 80 mg and 160 mg doses. Both doses were well tolerated. Side effects were rare, and the side effects were nausea, burping, or upset stomach. 

All of this makes Silexan my first great quick hitter product because it works quickly, is easy to purchase over the counter, and works fast. 

Another herb I’ll look for is Chai Hu or Bupleurum. This herb is excellent for irritability or edginess that can come from being exhausted or a bit overwhelmed. You can’t find this herb as a stand-alone herb. It is always in a herbal formula. To find this herb, you’ll have to look at the ingredient label. The best way to see this herb is by searching for herbal formulas that focus on the liver or stress. 

This herb is another herb that promotes calmness and quickly helps you decompress. Bupleurum differs from Silexan in one way. While Silexan will help make you sleepy, Bupleurum will relieve the symptoms of edginess and irritability and return you to a relaxed state without making you tired. 

Bupleurum is another herb that will work quickly. Because of its impressive efficacy at relieving stress and the research indicating the herb has protective qualities for the liver, you’re finding it more and more on retail shelves.

That makes Chai Hu or Bupleurum my second quick hitter solution when traveling and needing a quick adjustment. 

What is the last product you can look for when trying to find something to get you through the next couple of days? Well, this is one that everybody seems to be walking around with today, consumable CBD oil. To learn more about the technical details of CBD oil, check out my video for low back pain

CBD oil is great for reducing anxiety. This one seems to work for most people. Like Silexan or Bupleurum, it has mild side effects and causes relaxation without distorting your perception of the world. Due to the popularity of CBD oil, you can find it everywhere. 

There are a couple of things I noticed about CBD oil in the clinic. All this is anecdotal evidence, which is why this is still part of my quick-hitter list. For some of my patients, prolonged use of a month or two changed their response to CBD oil. Some people found it increased their nervousness with more extended use. Others found no benefit at all. I discovered that both Silexan and Bupleurum appear to have a higher acceptance level with users. It seems like about 30% of the people who use CBD oil find it doesn’t work for them. Compare that to Melatonin, where about 70% of the people find it doesn’t work well. So, CBD oil still has a high success rate. Anecdotally, CBD oil acceptance doesn’t appear as high as Silexan or Bupleurum.

I’m one who gets nervous on CBD oil. But, if I haven’t used it for months, I can use it for a couple of days and get some relief from stress or anxiety.

So why do I use these products as quick-hitters and not everyday use? I use these products as a quick-hitter and not for everyday use because some over the counter herbal supplements will not have gone through GMP or other quality control measures to ensure the product’s accuracy and efficacy. I’m not going to figure out which products these are in the brief time I have. But, medical providers will use researched and quality-controlled products. When I get back home, I know the products I have in the office are medical-grade supplements.

O.k. good luck with your mental health, and what are some of the products you’ve used when traveling to help with stress and anxiety?