Health isn’t merely the absence of disease; it’s a state of total physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing. The term “holistic” has become popular in the health and wellness arena, which describes a perspective of health that considers multiple areas as a whole.
According to Dr. Corinne Weaver, holistic doctor and clinic director at Dr.CorinneWeaver.com, optimum health revolves around a few simple yet powerful lifestyle commitments. Prioritizing sleep, movement, deep breathing and even forgiveness soothes the body, mind and spirit – the true definition of “holistic health.”
While living a holistic lifestyle means something different for everyone, incorporating the following fundamental practices and principles into your life will contribute to better health and increased vitality, no matter your age, gender, geography, or lifestyle.
Drink More Water
“Water is a bare necessity, yet it is amazing how many people get it indirectly in the form of sodas and other beverages. Water affects your entire being. It is, in many ways, the very definition of “holistic,” says Caleb Backe, the health and wellness expert behind natural products company, Maple Holistics.
It’s important to aim for a minimum of 8 ounces of water a day, but it’s also beneficial to plan a “detox” period consuming only water for a set period of time. “A week, two weeks, 40 days, 90 days, whatever it is….do it, and watch how it affects you.”
Make Movement Part of Your Daily Routine
Many of the cultures with the longest living people in the world don’t go to a gym every day to get exercise; they simply experience natural movement throughout their day that helps keep their bodies strong and minds sharp.
“Reassess how much you are moving,” advises Caroline Topperman, Pilates instructor and writer at Style on the Side, as the first place to start.
“You can do whatever makes you happy and increases your heart-rate but if you aren’t used to working out regularly, start with a twenty-minute walk in the evening, stretch and then give yourself some quiet time to meditate. Gradually start adding more exercise like Pilates or yoga which both help strengthen your mind-body connection while helping you get stronger and fitter.”
Get More Sleep and Keep a Consistent Schedule
“Sleep is one of the most fundamental aspects of wellness, but it’s often overlooked. Getting an
adequate amount of sleep helps to fight diseases like diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Plus, studies show that healthy sleep patterns improve mood, increase productivity and boost memory,” says Dr. Sal Raichbach PsyD from Ambrosia Treatment.
Since sleep is already a part of your daily routine, the goal is to optimize the time you spend in bed. “Make sure that you’re dedicating the recommended 7-9 hours for bedtime, free of distractions like smartphones. Getting on a consistent sleep schedule is also helpful. When you’re consistent with falling asleep and waking up at the same time your body will naturally learn when to power down.”
Maple Holistics’ Backe agrees with starting a sleep schedule.
“Focus at first not on when you go to sleep, but on when you wake. Strive to wake up at the same time every day. Go to sleep when you are tired, and get up on time. It won’t be the same hours each night, but if you pull this off, your body will adapt to your schedule, and not the other way around.”
Adopt Uplifting Affirmations and a Positive Mindset
To achieve true holistic health, you must think of the body, mind and spirit as connected systems. Try to incorporate something that benefits each of these vital areas every day.
“For the mind, that includes positive messages and meditation,” advises Anita Perry, author, educator, yogi and blogger behind YogaAnita.com. “This can be as simple as a suggestion, i.e., I am going to have a great day today! always focusing on I statements, (and) not trying to change another.”
Additionally, consciously try to reduce the amount of negativity in your daily life, from conversations to visual consumption.
One way Backe from Maple Holistics achieves a negativity detox is to “stop consuming news all day. You subject yourself to some pretty harsh and gut-wrenching things when you watch/read/listen to the news. And it has become so people are way too desensitized for their own good.” Decide on an amount of time, be it a week or two, and unplug from all news sources.
“Let that FOMO slide right off. You may experience some withdrawal, but it is the price
you need to pay for being better.”
Dr. Weaver adds, “Breathe deeply throughout the day and especially at night to help calm your nervous system and relax from the stress of the day.”
Choose Natural Remedies Over Synthetic Options
“Acupuncture, massage, herbal elixirs, essential oils and several other remedies can be used to create a holistic life,” says Stephanie Beveridge, Fitness Guru at Stephanie Beveridge.com. “Having the option of trying something natural first is a great way to feel empowered at home while allowing your body to heal itself naturally.”
Pilates instructor Topperman also believes in the power of whole foods over processed alternatives. “Reassess what you are eating and focus on adding more organic whole foods into your diet. Increase the amount of vegetables and fruits you are consuming. You can do a natural detox by reaching for green tea which provides anti-oxidants and keeping your sugar intake to a minimum.”
Health Starts from Within
Living healthy doesn’t need to be hard. By incorporating some or all of these practices into your day-to-day life, you will begin to experience better health and a confidence boost as a result.
“Living well means acknowledging your insufficiencies, and gathering the
strength and courage to become better despite those shortcomings.”
“Start with your own mind and your own words,” suggests Backe. “If you don’t believe in yourself and in what you could be, why should anyone else bother to do so?”
If you want to find natural ways to enhance your wellbeing that extend beyond kratom, the following safe and non-habit forming herbs can provide similar effects.
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Also known as Blue Egyptian Lotus and Blue Egyptian Water Lily, Blue Lotus is a lovely water lily with a history as old as ancient Egyptian and Mayan civilizations. Blue Lotus is still grown on the Nile river today, and is cultivated for its ability to reduce discomfort and provide a mild euphoric feeling.
Kanna is a succulent plant native to South Africa that is used as a natural remedy for relieving discomfort, boosting mood, reducing anxiety, suppressing appetite, and providing stimulation. Kanna was first discovered by colonists in the 7th century in Africa when they found a tribe called the Hottentots who used the herb for its many medicinal properties.
Native to the exotic lands of Hawaii, Polynesia, Fiji, Tonga, and other tropical islands, Kava is a plant that has been traditionally used as a ceremonial drink and prized for its relaxing, euphoric, social and mood boosting properties.
Akuamma is native in western African countries and has been used for many years as a natural solution for discomfort relief, improved sleep, and better relaxation. The seeds come from the Akuamma tree, which can be used in pure form or as a powder, and are extracted from the fruit.
Mitagyna Hirsuta is a great alternative to kratom because it offers similar effects. Native to southeast Asia, this plant grows naturally and is known for being relaxing at higher doses and energy-boosting at lower doses.
Muira Puama is an all natural aphrodisiac with the nickname “potency wood.” This plant is native to the Amazon rainforest in Brazil and can boost libido, provide temporary discomfort relief, and boost energy naturally.
Sakae Naa is a tree that comes from Southeast Asia and has been popular in Thailand for many years as an alternative to kratom after its banning. The leaves are plucked fresh from the plant and are used for their discomfort-relieving, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties that can help with pain and provide a mild euphoric feeling.
Shop at Kratora for the highest quality herbal kratom alternatives that can help you achieve your health goals.
Petition by the National Kratom Coalition.
This petition is in response to the approved Senate Bill 282 that would list mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine as Schedule 1 controlled substances. Both compounds are found in a natural-growing plant commonly called kratom. A ban on kratom will have an immediate and detrimental impact on the health of thousands of Kansas citizens who have chosen kratom as an all-natural, safer alternative to the prescription drugs they would otherwise be forced to take for their medical conditions.
It is my belief that scheduling kratom will result in the deaths of many Kansans whose medical conditions are properly controlled by the use of kratom. Making kratom a Schedule 1 narcotic would force many of these people back onto prescription drugs that may not be effective for them. Many others will refuse to return to those drugs because of the side effects, addiction potential, and long-term health effects that come with their use. They will exchange those conditions for chronic pain, and many other terrible afflictions. Still others who have used kratom as an effective treatment for addiction to heroin, alcohol or prescription opioids will likely relapse and return to those drugs. The consequences of this will also spike the numbers of deaths related to suicide and overdose. That is an outcome that can be diverted, as kratom does not pose a significant threat to the health of the public.
Click HERE to sign!
A Look at the Science Community and the AKA Response to the FDA Announcement Calling Kratom an Opioid
The American Kratom Association (AKA) is speaking out on the heels of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) February 6, 2018 announcement that its latest research suggests that kratom (mitragyna speciosa) is, in fact, an opioid. But a group of scientists have issued a letter to Acting DEA Administrator Robert Patterson and Presidential advisor Kellyanne Conway, urging them to disregard the FDA’s latest batch of information.
The nine scientists wrote, in part, “We believe strongly that the current body of credible research on the actual effects of kratom demonstrates that it is not dangerously addictive, nor is it similar to ‘narcotics like opioids’ with respect to ‘addiction’ and ‘death,’ as stated by the FDA in its November 14th Kratom Advisory.
“Equally important, four surveys indicate that kratom is presently serving as a lifeline away from strong, often dangerous opioids for many of the several million Americans who use kratom. A ban on kratom that would be imposed by CSA Scheduling would put them at risk of relapse to opioid use with the potential consequence of overdose death.”
AKA Board Chairman Dave Herman also came down on the FDA and its PHASE Modeling System, stating that, “The FDA wants the DEA (U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration) to accept the ‘novel scientific analysis and computational model’ theory that if kratom ‘binds’ to the opioid receptor in the brain just as opioids do, then it logically must have the same respiratory suppressing effect on users as opioids do, ergo, kratom must be an opioid.”
He added, “The problem is that their conclusion is completely and utterly wrong!…It smells of desperation because they know they are losing the battle of real science, so they made up ‘novel’ new science.”
Researchers and the scientific community as a whole agree that kratom appears to impact the brain’s µ-opioid receptors or MORs. The FDA ran kratom through its proprietary PHASE modeling system in order to arrive at this conclusion. But opponents such as the AKA point out that µ-opioid receptors activation is not the only criteria for defining and identifying an opiate. One must also examine the substance’s effects, amongst other properties.
In fact, AKA Board Chairman Herman highlighted this fact in a very adept manner in his formal written response to the FDA’s announcement. Herman pointed out that there are other non-opioid substances—such as naloxone (sold under the brand name Narcan)—have the ability to bind to and activate the brain’s µ-opioid receptors. But critically, naloxone is not considered an opiate.
Approved by the FDA in 1971, naloxone is included on the World Health Organization’s (WHO) List of Essential Medicines and it is widely regarded as one of the safest and most effective medications in existence. Naloxone does have the ability to bind to MORs, but it lacks other key properties of an opiate, such as the tendency to induce respiratory suppression. It’s an opiate’s respiratory suppression properties that make this type of substance so potentially dangerous.
Naloxone is routinely used worldwide to treat patients who are suffering from acute opioid overdose. In fact, naloxone is credited with saving thousands upon thousands of overdose patients who would otherwise succumb to respiratory failure. High doses of opioid drugs can depress respiratory function to the point whereby the patient ceases to breathe, ultimately resulting in death. But naloxone reverses the opiate’s effects by acting upon the very same receptors in the brain.
“The ‘novel scientific analysis and computational model’ would be stumped to explain why naloxone is not dangerous but kratom is because both substances bind to the opioid receptors in the brain,” Herman explained, adding, “Kratom does bind to the opioid receptors in the brain, but it does not suppress a user’s respiratory system any more than naloxone does. That is why there are no deaths that can be classified as ‘caused’ by use of kratom….But the FDA claims that the new data produced by their ‘whiz-bang’ new computer model ‘provides even stronger evidence of kratom compounds’ opioid properties.’”
In fact, Herman points out that kratom “…does not suppress a user’s respiratory system any more than naloxone does. That is why there are no deaths that can be classified as ‘caused’ by use of kratom.”
The FDA went on to cite a total of 44 deaths that were allegedly “associated with the use of kratom.” But In the AKA’s formal response to the FDA’s announcement, Herman wrote, “…the FDA admitted that ‘many of the cases reported could not be fully assessed because of the limited information provided.’ The FDA is not claiming that there are 44 deaths caused by kratom use. They are claiming that 44 people died from a range of causes—including just being completely unexplainable (sic)—while also using kratom. Those people who died likely also drank water, a soda, or used hair shampoo in the shower that day.” Yet none of those other substances were formally “associated” with the deaths.
Notably, the FDA has never successfully banned a substance because it supposedly held the power to be dangerous when mixed with another substance. But that’s precisely what kratom proponents say is happening here.
Herman explained, “The FDA properly gives guidance on the contraindications of using drugs and other substances concurrently. But it does not ban one substance because it might create a death if used concurrently with another substance…the FDA makes the huge leap to conclude that kratom is not ‘just a plant—it’s an opioid.’
He called upon the FDA to keep the American public’s best interests in mind, urging the agency to rely upon solid, scientific research and not hype, conjecture, or computer-generated “trick plays.” Herman also urged the DEA to ignore what he categorized as the FDA’s latest attempt to get kratom scheduled as a controlled substance.
Kratom captured the attention of the FDA back in 2009, when it made headlines in Sweden where a total of nine people died in connection with a mix of drugs called Krypton. Krypton contained kratom and what was found to be a toxic dose of o-desmethyltramadol. O-desmethyltramadol is the active metabolite found in tramadol, a commonly-prescribed pain medication. In fact, the o-desmethyltramadol dosage was officially cited as the cause of death in those cases.
“The FDA is well aware of the true cause of death—based on [research performed by] highly credentialed scientists—was from that active metabolite of tramadol,” Herman added.
Notably, the DEA had previously considered an emergency scheduling that would have placed kratom’s key alkaloids—mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitagynine—in the same category as highly dangerous drugs such as heroin and cocaine. While that emergency Schedule 1 status did not ultimately proceed, the future of kratom remains uncertain in the U.S. A number of U.S. states have already banned kratom, including Wisconsin, Indiana, Vermont, Rhode Island, Washington D.C., Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas and a handful of additional counties in states such as Florida and Illinois.
But the proposed emergency scheduling did have one positive impact: it prompted thousands of Americans to come forward and share their personal anecdotes to depict precisely how kratom has improved their quality of life. The American Kratom Association is a non-profit organization that is committed to sharing these stories on their website, AmericanKratom.org.
Kratom continues to come under fire, most recently with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issuing a kratom “advisory.” With such an uncertain future, it’s now more important than ever before for kratom enthusiasts to speak out in support of mitragyna speciosa!
The American Kratom Association (AKA) has drafted an open letter to acting U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Director Robert W. Patterson, urging the agency to conduct its own 8-factor analysis of kratom and its properties. The study would “test the credibility of the scheduling recommendation submitted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.”
Why is the AKA Promoting an Independent 8-Factor Kratom Study?
Kratom proponents argue that an objective scientific study will make it clear that kratom is a safe botanical; one that holds great potential for use as a treatment for a wide variety of ailments and conditions. Enthusiasts often point out that this botanical that has been used for generations by native Southeast Asian cultures to treat everything from insomnia and anxiety, to pain, lethargy, and depression. This stands in sharp contrast to the FDA’s claims that suggest kratom is a “gateway drug ” or substitute for opioids.
“In its enactment of the Controlled Substances Act, Congress has wisely required the DEA to do its own independent review on scheduling recommendations submitted by the FDA to provide a second opinion on important substance scheduling issues. That second opinion is desperately needed in the evaluation of kratom because the science directly refutes the FDA claims,” the AKA’s open letter states.
The AKA and countless kratom enthusiasts are calling for this independent analysis due to what they believe is a woefully inaccurate representation by the FDA. For instance, the FDA suggested that kratom has “narcotic opioid-like” potential for abuse. It was also stated that the substance is primarily used to “get high.” But heaps of scientific evidence and thousands of personal anecdotes suggest that kratom is, in fact, a rather poor opioid substitute—particularly for anyone who is seeking a high. This is just one contradiction that has thousands of kratom consumers concerned.
Notably, the DEA has already been supplied with an independent 8-factor kratom analysis performed by Jack Henningfield, Ph.D. Henningfield is regarded as one of the nation’s leading experts on issues surrounding substance abuse, addiction and substance safety.
The AKA is also encouraging the DEA Director to consider four additional studies that “clearly demonstrate the harm that will be done by any scheduling order on kratom.”
As many recall, the DEA previously sought an “emergency” scheduling for kratom which would have placed the plant in the same category as heroin and cocaine. This led to tremendous outcry amongst kratom enthusiasts, who came out in droves to sign petitions, write letters and—most importantly—share their personal experiences with kratom. Thousands came forward to detail how kratom had positively impacted their lives. Ultimately, the emergency scheduling was halted.
How Can You Help Keep Kratom Legal?
But kratom’s legal status still remains uncertain. Several states have already banned kratom, including Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wisconsin. What’s more, the FDA is actively detaining many kratom shipments to the U.S., which is clearly a concern for those who favor and support the sale of kratom.
For this reason, we encourage you to take a few minutes to sign and share the American Kratom Association’s open letter to DEA Director Robert W. Patterson.
You can also make a difference by writing to local and federal lawmakers. Share your positive experiences with kratom and how it has transformed your life. Also, encourage legislators to support an additional scientific investigation into kratom and its effects. Many believe that this hard scientific evidence is the key to maintaining kratom’s legal status.