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Buddhist Retreats

Overview

Buddhism is sometimes mistaken for simple meditation, where practitioners focus on their peace of mind and inner quietness. However, Buddhism is much more than that; it is spiritual development and requires constant study of the true nature of life. Buddhist retreats have recently become a popular way of experiencing Buddhist practices, guided by a guru who may help you to spiritually disconnect from daily responsibilities. To help you get started, we have reviewed the best Buddhist retreats where beginners may learn the basics of this faith, or advanced practitioners can upgrade their practises.

What are the best Buddhist retreats? 

These are 4 of the best Buddhist retreats available to people from around the world:

The Buddhist Retreat Centre, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

This Buddhist retreat is located in a valley near the Umkomaas river in KwaZulu-Natal, and is surrounded by forests and rolling hills. For over 20 years, practitioners of all religions have visited this place to experience tranquility and explore nature. The 300-acre property contains various paths through nature including walks through pine trees, past ancient cycads and assegai-sharpening stones, and among rocky outcrops. Beyond that, the retreat is a bird-lovers paradise, with over 160 species of rare birds currently living there, including the Blue Swallow. The impressive biodiversity of this Buddhist Retreat Center even led to it being declared a Natural Heritage Site by former President Nelson Mandela. 

This Buddhist Retreat Center offers both lodges and cottages for a variety of durations. Facilities include dining room, office, shop, art and lecture studio, and library, as well as a meditation hall for daily practices. 

The center offers a variety of retreats, including Investigating Buddhism, which teaches the philosophy of this religion. Other retreats include ones featuring birds watching, photography, pottery, drumming, and cookery workshops.

Highlights:

  • Located a 90-minute drive from Durban, between Pietermaritzburg and Ixopo.
  • The Buddhist retreat center is staffed by former monks, Hatha-yoga teachers, master transformation life coaches, psychotherapists, ex-trauma counselors, and psychologists.
  • The center offers retreats, self-retreats, and daily visits to explore nature.
  • Prices range from R850-3300 per night. If staying for 10 days or longer, you get a discount of 10%. If staying for 20 days or longer, the discount is 20%.

Dalai Lama’s teachings, Dharamsala, India

The Dalai Lama is a spiritual leader of the Tibetan people. When he teaches in India, thousands of spiritual practitioners gather in Dharamsala for at least 1 week. Accommodation for the teachings period can be found in a guesthouse run by the Dalai Lama’s brother, Shantum Seth, a Zen priest. This retreat best fits those who want to discuss and learn Tibetan culture. 

Advance registration is not available and starts only three days before the teaching. Instead, you are required to visit the Tibetan Branch Security Office in McLeod Ganj. Foreigners should bring their passports, while Tibetan or Indian citizens should bring a photo ID. Registration does not cost anything except a donation of 10 Indian Rupees. All visitors should make sure to bring a cushion, a cup, and a sun hat with them.

As the Dalai Lama teaches in Tibetan only, translators are available in designated areas who translate  into Chinese, English, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese. 

Note, electronic gadgets are not allowed at this retreat.

Highlights:

  • These Buddhist teachings are held annually in Dharamsala.
  • The teachings last for one week or so, and are initiated by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. 
  • These teachings are free of charge, however, you may make a donation to monks and nuns.

Esalen Institute

According to the founders, Michael Murphy and Dick Price, the Esalen Institute is neither church, spa, inn, nor monastery, but a combination of all of the above. This institute is a 27-acre estate, located along a scenic and remote stretch of California’s coast, around 12 miles south of Big Sur, with views of both mountains and sea. The institute accommodates 20,000 people a year, who come to learn life-changing practices and explore nature.  

This institute hosts workshops in many disciplines, and helps individuals to manage stress and psychological crises, practice art-making, and experience yoga with gurus. They teach many topics, including body and mind, science and mysticism, meditation, and the history of the East and West.

Depending on availability, you may book a place on the Buddhism retreat at Esalen, where gurus teach mindfulness meditation in addition to 5 Rhythms dancing.

Highlights:

  • Located on California’s central coast.
  • Staffed by life-coaches, yoga gurus, psychotherapists, and artists, among others.
  • They offer a variety of workshops including Buddhism, yoga, art, writing, relationship classes, personal reflection, social/political change, and many more.
  • The cost includes accommodation, meals, experiential program classes, and use of the baths as well as other facilities available for chosen workshops. The price for weekend workshops ranges from $850 (sleeping bag) to $3180 (Point House Plus-Double). Five-day workshop costs start from $675 to $6525. Seven-day workshop cost starts from $1095 to $9432.

Spirit Rock Meditation Center

Spirit Rock is a meditation center  located on the 411-acre oak woodlands in the hills of West Marin County in California. This center is staffed by teachers and volunteers, who help retreatants to experience freedom and joy of life.

Spirit Rock offers a variety of  Buddhist based retreats and workshops, including Dharma, yoga, and meditation. They also offer non-residential drop in sessions and daylong events. For those who are unable to visit the Buddhism retreat or other classes, Spirit Rock offers online programs. 

Highlights:

  • Located approximately 45 minutes northwest of San Francisco, 60 minutes west of Oakland, and 12 minutes from Fairfax.
  • Spirit Rock is staffed by residential and visiting teachers who have years of practice in meditation and other life-coaching programs.
  • The programs offered are retreats, family classes, Dharma meditations, yoga training as well as online classes.
  • The cost for programs starts at $105 per day. Furthermore, there are volunteer programs that allow you to serve the center while attending most of the classes for free. There is a limited scholarship for non-residential programs as well.

Further to these 4 centres, many cities have Buddhist centers, which offer sittings, dharma talks, as well as residential and day retreats. We suggest visiting your local Buddhist center’s website for more information. 

What is Buddhism? 

Buddhism is a faith developed more than 2,500 years ago in India by Siddhartha Gautama, most commonly referred to as the Buddha. Today, it is believed to be followed by 535 million people in the world. This faith is based on spiritual practices and development which help to uncover the true nature of reality. Buddhist followers practice meditations in order to develop kindness, wisdom, and awareness. They do not worship a creator as a God but learn to understand that every action has a consequence, that changes are possible, as well as that nothing is fixed or permanent. Buddhism does not divide people per race, nationality, caste, or gender. Buddhists learn to transform their life experiences and live life responsibly. The teachings of the Buddha show the way how to escape from suffering by living freely. If people learn how to release their attachment to desire and the self, they are able to achieve the state of Nirvana.

There are three forms of Buddhism:

  • Theravada Buddhism – Sri Lanka, Burma, Cambodia, Thailand
  • Mahayana Buddhism – China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan
  • Tibetan Buddhism – Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan

Buddhism has many followers who organize retreats or build centers to promote this spiritual culture. Buddhism may be practised anywhere, at a temple, dharma centers, dedicated retreat centers, as well as in a cave. Some retreatants practice alone.

What are the 3 main beliefs of Buddhism? 

The three main beliefs of Buddhism are called three universal truths:

  1. Nothing is lost in the universe
  2. Everything Changes
  3. The Law of Cause and Effect

What are the 5 rules of Buddhism? 

Buddhism followers should comply with the following rules.

  1. Do not kill. You should live without harming someone as well as have no violent intentions, even in your mind.
  2. Do not steal. In today’s reality, it may be referred to as the avoidance of fraud as well as economic exploitation.
  3. Do not lie. This concerns gossiping as well.
  4. Do not misuse sex. Monks and nuns should follow complete celibacy. Other Buddhists should not be involved in any sexual harassment or exploitation.
  5. Do not consume alcohol or other drugs. No intoxicants should cloud the mind.

What can I expect at a Buddhist retreat? 

Buddhist retreats may occur in various settings including open territory, dedicated retreat centers, temples, monasteries, as well as caves, and may differ in length of time. Some may consist of a few hours of meditation, while others may last weeks or months. Buddhist retreat may be in the form of self-retreat, when an individual dives into a meditation journey, or in a group setting, where many people engage in spiritual practices together.

Buddhist retreats require participants to be quiet during the meditations, and some may also forbid the use of gadgets. For example, at the Dalai Lama’s teachings, you are not allowed to use gadgets, even for translation. However, some retreats may encourage conversations between the participants to share their experiences or life stories.

Short spiritual practices fit beginners who need to learn the basics, while longer retreats of weeks or months are a good choice for advanced practitioners. As well as  meditations, you may be given assignments, including cooking, gardening, art-making which are considered a part of the practice.

Not all Buddhist retreats focus solely on meditations, with some centers incorporating the study of liturgy practice or chanting. Individuals may also participate in these practices for free by helping the centers. Volunteers may clean, cultivate plants, and take care of the environment in return for visiting most of the classes, workshops, or sessions, often at no cost.

During the Buddhist retreat, you are most likely to live in designated rooms with other people. You will share the food, bathroom facilities, and help with the cleaning while you stay there. However, there are many Buddhist retreats that allow you to book a single room or house. You should contact your preferred center to learn the cost of this.

We wish you peace of mind and complete immersion with your inner tranquility.

Disclaimer: This website does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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Energy & Holistic

Medicinal Mushrooms

What are medicinal mushrooms?

Medicinal mushrooms are edible macroscopic fungi occasionally used for the prevention and alleviation of many medical health conditions, as well as adjunct to a healthy diet for balancing the nutrition. Medicinal mushrooms are usually taken in powder and are not intended for consumption in raw condition. 

Medicinal mushrooms have been around for thousands of years. The researchers found that the first references of certain types of fungi used for healing properties have been linked to Chinese, Indian, and Japanese Medicines. Indian texts dated 5,000 years highlighted the mushroom’s medicinal properties used in ritual drinks, while Japanese folklore featured the Shiitake as a cure for cancer-ridden monkeys in the fables.

Nowadays, these fungi may be found in plenty of popular health and dietary supplements which are usually added for boosting the efficacy of the supplements themselves and their active ingredients. Furthermore, some manufacturers prefer to add these fungi to tinctures, teas as well as processing them for further intake as foods.

The most popular uses of medicinal mushrooms include immune support, relief for difficulty sleeping, mental health conditions, and promotion of weight loss among others. These fungi are also believed to benefit cancer treatment, however, more studies have to be conducted. 

Beyond that, there is a comparison that  “medical mushrooms may act as nootropics”, as per Dr.Michele Ross, former addiction researcher with PhD. in neuroscience. — “and enhance cognitive function”.

Despite this favorable profile on medicinal fungi, they are not considered to be the first-line treatment to one’s medical health conditions. Speak to the doctor about their applicability to your particular case.

Medicinal Mushrooms 1

What are the different types of medicinal mushrooms?

There are 7 medicinal mushrooms known for healing and supporting health properties including:

  • Lion’s Mane

The main benefit of Lion’s Mane is the support of cognitive function and nervous system. They are rich in beta-glucans in charge of blocking the tumor growth, immuno-modulating antioxidants as well as neuroprotective chemicals. Lion’s Mane are believed to protect individuals against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

  • Reishi

Reishi are most well-known for promoting healthy sleep and boosting the immune system. One may also use them to alleviate stress. Due to the presence of beta-glucans in Reishi, these fungi have liver-protective, and anti-cancer properties. Furthermore, they aim to balance blood- sugar levels. 

  • Cordyceps

Cordyceps are medicinal mushrooms used for an energy boost, as they have the ability to affect and increase Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) compounds responsible for nourishing the propagation of the cells which then enrich people with energy. Beyond that, Cordyceps are known for anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, antibacterial effects, lung-support during asthma or other respiratory conditions, and their analgesic properties.

  • Chaga

Chaga is a fungus used for antioxidant effects. It may support liver and brain functioning, and strengthen the immune system. Chaga is also related to anti-cancer properties and may enhance the digestion. As for beauty effects, this medicinal mushroom is believed to clear skin. 

  • Turkey Tail

Turkey Tail also improves immune function and digestion. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), this fungus has been found to be used for lung disease treatment, while Japan used Turkey Tail to manufacture the drug PSK which is prescribed for cancer treatment alongside standard treatment protocol. This fungus contains one of the highest amounts of beta-glucans among other medicinal mushrooms.

  • Shiitake

Shiitake is beneficial for the immune system, liver functioning, and cardio health due to the active compound — Lentinan. The major benefit of Lentinan is its ability to fight infection and diseases. Shiitake was believed to be the elixir of life back to the Ming Dynasty in China. Beyond that, this fungus is fully edible and many people use it for cooking. Shiitake is rich in B-vitamins that help to control blood sugar levels and provide anti-inflammatory effects.

  • Maitake

Maitake is known to control blood pressure and boost the immune system. It is an edible fungus. Maitake is also believed to control cholesterol levels, and help with obesity and diabetes.

Medicinal Mushrooms 2

Why use medicinal mushrooms?

There are myriad benefits of medicinal mushrooms. Chinese and Japanese Medicines may occasionally incorporate them into the treatment of many diseases like cancer, while modern applications, thanks to the assortment of health supplements with medicinal fungi in the composition, allow to boosting health, and strengthening the functions of organs. Some fungi may be also used for wellness to clear and moisturize the skin and provide an anti-aging effect among others.

The benefits of medicinal mushrooms include:

  • Antifungal, antibacterial, antioxidant properties;
  • Analgesic effect;
  • Nourishment with vitamins and minerals including Vitamine B and D;
  • Fiber depot, as fungi may be incorporated to diet plan aimed for weight loss; 
  • Beta Glucan support for the immune system;
  • Polysaccharides which provide anti-cancer, antibiotic properties among others.

Medicinal fungi are not fully discovered in all their beneficial properties on the human body, so many of them may vary in effects and may also cause unwanted sensations when taken as not directed.

What type of medicinal mushrooms are best for anxiety and stress?

Reishi are known to reduce stress and provide anxiolytic effects. Their mechanism of action is not fully understood, however, they are believed to regulate the body functioning and bring it back to the balanced state. Furthermore, Reishi provide peace of mind by promoting healthy sleep. They soothe and relax the brain as well as unwind persisting stress which contributes to difficulty sleeping.

What types of medicinal mushrooms are best for brain health?

Lion’s Mane is the best for brain boost and health. It is believed to promote nerve growth and then protect individuals against Alzheimer’s. Also, it contributes to the reparation of neurons, and affecting neurotransmitters in charge of memory, concentration, mood, learning among others. Beyond that, Lion’s Mane is known for eliminating brain fog.

What types of medicinal mushrooms are best for sleep?

The beneficial properties of Reishi are also related to sleep difficulty. They work by affecting the neurotransmitters in charge of stress which then promote healthy sleep and calming effect on the nervous system. Reishi may be used alongside sleeping aids for the highest efficacy and/or prevention of insomnia.

What types of medicinal mushrooms are best for the immune system?

Typically, all the above-mentioned medicinal fungi are known for their effects on the immune system and function. Cordyceps aim the immune system when they are incorporated into the treatment programs for infections including HIV, hepatitis. Maitake increase the activity of white blood cells such as macrophage which is a natural killer cell. Lion’s mane stimulates nerve growth factor production that is vital for immune function. Turkey Tail contains polysaccharide PSK which is in charge of inhibition of sarcoma formation. Reishi by stimulating macrophages aim to develop an anti-tumor property. Chaga is rich in antioxidants, melanin, and zinc that all support the immune function. Finally, Shiitake contain much Vitamin B and D, amino acids, niacin, and selenium that all nourish the immune system as well.

What types of medicinal mushrooms are best for energy?

Cordyceps are considered one of the best for energy. They are believed to work by helping the system utilize more oxygen, increase Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) compounds, and enhance blood flow which then enrich individuals with energy. They fit professional athletes as well as those who lack endurance.

What types of medicinal mushrooms are best for cardio health?

Reishi are effective for the heart and cardiovascular system. They may prevent coronary heart disease, hypertension as well as high blood pressure. The triterpenes such as acid F and S found in the composition of Reishi help to protect the blood vessels against hardening which then prevents blood cell clotting.

What are the best brands for medicinal mushrooms?

  • Paul Stamets’ Fungi Perfecti

Fungi Perfecti is a family-owned company that promotes the cultivation of medicinal fungi as well as gourmet fungi. It was founded in 1980, since that time Fungi Perfecti carries the mission to make people aware of all the favorable properties of medicinal mushrooms. Beyond that, they are dedicated to attracting more organically minded growers who will support and carry the industry into the next century.

The founder of Fungi Perfecti is Paul Stamets who is a speaker, mycologist, and medical researcher. He shares his knowledge on production, medicinal use of the fungi, and widens the respect for these organisms among people. Mr. Stamets lectures on how fungi can help the health of people and the planet. He is the author of several books including Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save The World, Growing Gourmet and Medicinal Mushrooms, and Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World.

The assortment of Fungi Perfecti is huge, and one may find syrups, capsules, tea, powders, extracts, sprays made of medicinal mushrooms alone or in conjunction with other herbs including Elderberry, California Poppy, Passion Flower among others.

Highlights:

  • The price for Fungi Perfecti products vary between $19-$31;
  • They offer discounts for extracts, capsules, and powders. One may save up to 25%;
  • Fungi Perfecti offers for sale grow accessories, and the actual fungi for cultivation;
  • There is an assortment of books and gifts for mushroom-lovers.

What are the risks associated with taking medicinal mushrooms? 

Medicinal mushrooms are not all edible and are typically sold in the form of supplements, powders, tea, capsules among others. One should not take them without consulting the doctor. 

There is lack of research on their efficacy and/or safety for certain medical health conditions. Beyond that, medicinal fungi are not usually well-tolerable by pregnant and nursing mothers. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, ensure to speak to your doctor before taking medicinal mushrooms.

The most common side effects when taking these fungi include:

  • dryness of the mouth;
  • upset stomach;
  • allergic reaction;
  • nausea;
  • liver toxicity.

If you experience any side effects after taking medicinal mushrooms, stop the intake immediately, and address this concern with the doctor. 

Disclaimer: This website does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911

Categories
Energy & Holistic

Melatonin for Anxiety

The Bottom Line 

  • Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by the pineal gland.
  • Available in the OTC supplement form.
  • Used for managing anxiety symptoms caused by imbalanced sleeping, jet lag, and surgeries.
  • Helps with sleep work disorder.

What Is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone produced in the brain by the pineal gland that regulates sleep processes. It controls day and night cycles, cardiac rhythms. Its peak efficacy is found at night when it is produced in large amounts allowing one to fall asleep faster. During the day, the Melatonin level is reduced to keep a person awake. 

Melatonin for anxiety is an over the counter (OTC) supplement used to treat sleeping disturbances. Extensive evidence exists to effects on anxiety treatment. Melatonin is believed to work by improving the quality of sleeping, sleep/wake scenarios, and sleep onset. Melatonin for anxiety shows progress in reducing anxiety symptoms such as nervousness, complicated breathing, extreme tiredness based on improved quality and amount of sleep. 

As per the FDA, Melatonin for anxiety is classified as a dietary supplement. It does not fit for long-term treatment but shows efficacy of short-term application after trauma or depression episodes that could cause sleep disturbances. It is used to affect sleep work disorder. Some uses are directed to manage jet lag anxiety, a feeling of tiredness acquired from changing the time zones during travels.

Melatonin is a derivative of the amino acid tryptophan. It allows the retina to detect and synthesize light. Photoreceptor cells of the retina alert the hypothalamus in the brain about the light phase, and it initiates the adjustment of body temperature, respiration rate and emotional state to promote fast and healthy sleeping. 

Melatonin for anxiety supplement is available in various forms. 

Can Melatonin Be Taken for Anxiety?

Melatonin for anxiety is an off-label supplement. It is believed to help with anxiety by improving the quality of sleep. 

Is Melatonin FDA Approved for Anxiety?

Melatonin for anxiety is a dietary supplement under the Dietary Health and Education Act. Dietary supplements are not regulated by the FDA. Accordingly, Melatonin is not approved for anxiety treatment by the Food and Drug Administration. 

What Research Supports Melatonin for anxiety? 

There is evidence in clinical studies, research on the use of Melatonin for anxiety.

  • Melatonin for depressive symptoms and anxiety was studied in 240 patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS). The application of Melatonin during 3 months has shown efficacy for depressive symptoms, sleep, cardiac issues, and anxiety. It was recommended as the first-line therapy for senior patients aged over 55. It proved an anxiolytic and analgesic effect with low toxicity properties. The overall study showed its safe application and relevance in ACS patients. 
  • The response of Melatonin for sleep anxiety and major depressive disorder (MDD) was found in the application of 25mg dosages of agomelatine (melatonin agonist). It improved neurogenesis in patients who have suffered from a stroke. It showed the efficacy of behavioral improvement. The studies were also directed to check animal neuroprotective activity after ischemic stroke. They resulted in low toxicity and suggest Melatonin for human stroke treatment in the future.
  • Melatonin was checked for efficacy in reducing anxiety scores and fear of surgery in patients. The scores were reduced from 5 to 3 during the surgery. And, 5 to 0 after the surgery.

What do experts say about Melatonin for anxiety?

MD, Ph.D., a board-certified integrative medicine physician says

"Your body creates melatonin on its own, but some people just don't make enough, and that can lead to issues sleeping and relaxing as well as general anxiety issues... Luckily, melatonin products are available to supplement your body's natural production. And that, in turn, can ease those anxiety-related feelings, improve sleep, and even help regulate your circadian rhythms."

What Are the Possible Side Effects?

Melatonin help for anxiety has mild side effects. 

  • Headache;
  • Nausea;
  • Drowsiness;
  • Agitation.

The medication is responding safely with short-term treatment. The long-run application for anxiety treatment may reduce the body’s natural ability to produce this hormone. If you drive machinery or operate hazardous equipment, abstain from Melatonin intake due to the drowsiness outcome. It is contraindicated for use in patients with autoimmune diseases. Don’t take it if you are allergic to Melatonin and other ingredients found in the supplement. It is accepted for use in children over the age of 4. Pregnant women should speak to their doctor about the possibility of application. In some animal studies, Melatonin led to low birth weight.

Does Melatonin Have Interactions with Other Medications?

Speak to your doctor about taking the following medications for anxiety treatment alongside Melatonin. They may interfere with or alter the efficacy and cause side effects.

  • Sodium Oxybate;
  • Blood thinners;
  • Anticoagulants;
  • Blood pressure drugs;
  • CNS depressants;
  • Contraceptive and diabetes medications.

The interactions with these medications may possibly lead to bleeding, dropped blood pressure, additive sedative effects, increased sugar levels. 

How to Take Melatonin?

The anxiety treatment with Melatonin is not clear in terms of the best doses. Speak to a physician to adjust it based on your health condition. As per clinical studies, patients have been successfully treated with 3-10mg doses prior to sleeping. Start with the low doses only. The higher doses for anxiety relief may lead to overdose or side effects such as vivid dreams. A tablet can be cut in half. Take it with or without meals. 

For insomnia and anxiety. The medication is used 30 minutes to 1 hour prior to sleeping. 

For jet lag. It is suggested to take Melatonin 4 days straight after traveling 30 minutes before bedtime.

Please, take it as directed. Melatonin absorption differs in patients and may require certain precautions with the application. Don’t abruptly stop the intake. Some people become addicted to melatonin and after discontinuation find it hard to fall asleep. It is not safe to interact with alcohol.

Are There Alternatives to Melatonin? 

Prescription medications as Alternatives to Melatonin for Anxiety

Melatonin for anxiety is an OTC supplement for reducing anxiety symptoms such as nervousness, complicated breathing, extreme tiredness based on enhanced rates of sleeping. 

  • Klonopin

  • Buspirone

  • Lexapro

  • Prozac

  • Paxil

  • Xanax

  • Valium

  • Inderal

  • Cymbalta

  • Tofranil

  • Hydroxyzine

  • Zoloft

There are various alternatives. If you’d like to learn more about whether Melatonin, another medication or treatment modality is right for you, we recommend that you speak with a licensed psychiatrist. Here are the best online psychiatry platforms so you can speak with someone right away!

Therapy as an Alternative to Melatonin 

Learn more about different therapy options for anxiety  here

Energy & Holistic Modalities as an Alternative to Melatonin 

Learn more about different energy & holistic modalities for anxiety here

Tech & Devices as Alternative Treatments to Melatonin

Learn more about tech & devices for anxiety  here

Disclaimer: This website does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911. 

 

Categories
Energy & Holistic

Crystals for Anxiety

Why use crystals for anxiety?

For centuries, shamans and wisdom teachers have claimed that crystals (or worry stones) can ease a variety of ailments. In our modern world, though, this knowledge has been largely replaced by rational thought. Well, except maybe for with Miranda Kerr, right? Could these healing stones actually be effective at relieving anxiety? And what are the best crystals for anxiety? Pharmaceuticals certainly can be used to camouflage the symptoms of anxiety and depression, but according to alternative medicine practitioners, good crystals for anxiety have the ability to address the underlying causes of the condition.. 

 

The benefits of worry stones and their healing, vibrational energies are obvious. Over the years, I’ve come to rely upon them for their beauty and calming influence.

As I travel quite a bit for work, I used to have to drink a glass of wine to even get on a plane. But knowing the best crystals for travel anxiety (hint: it’s Lapis lazuli), I’m many years sober and happy as a clam on a plane.

 

And did you know that the color and texture of a crystal is determined by the composition of minerals in their atomic structure.? Every worry stone has unique properties and underlying, hidden attributes. These esoteric attributes affect not the stone’s outward appearance, but their inner essence as well.

 

The unique molecular shape of a crystal is succinctly described by Stanford University’s website: “If you could shrink yourself to the atomic scale and walk inside a perfect single crystal, everything would look, more or less, the same in every direction.”

 

Let’s take a deeper dive into the inherent, ancient wisdom possessed by these beautiful worry stones for curing anxiety… They might just be able to alleviate anxious disposition, change your attitude, and result in a worry-free mentality.

What type of crystals are best for anxiety? 

Yeah, let’s get down to basics: What’s the best worry stone for anxiety?

 

Of course, the best type of crystal for you depends on your own unique physical and mental state. It can vary from person to person. Based on my own experience, It’s important to trust your intuition in choosing the right healing stones for your anxiety.

Here are some general points to keep in mind when making the choice to try out different worry stones…

Best worry stone for calming the racing mind: Blue Lace Agate

Blue Lace Agate is perhaps the best precious crystal for anxiety and panic attacks. For nervousness and stress alleviation, Its periwinkle coloration emanates a distinct quiet. These anxiety-mitigating vibrations convey a deep serenity and can help enable you to unwind. Imagine taking a long, hot bath surrounded by these stones — that’s what we’re going for here.

Rock-shop enthusiasts and holistic health practitioners note that even holding these precious stones can really assist with calming your nerves and decreasing your anxiety. 

In the event that you are one of “those people” — myself included — that experiences tension constantly, consider wearing a bracelet made of Blue Ribbon agate or keeping one of these worry stones in your pocket. In the event that you feel overwhelmed, just reach down and rub one of the best sorry stones for anxiety and stress… as the stone moves between your thumb and forefinger., you might just feel a little something special!

Highlights:

  • Blue Lace Agate is universally-lauded to provide solace for chronic anxiety. 
  • The blue trim variety is another great option and has traditionally been used to calm hyper or aggressive pets.

Good crystal for calming the body: Black Jasper

Many people use Black Jasper as protection against negative vibrations. Its grounding energy can also help you to connect to higher realms of experience. This healing stone for anxiety is also known to be useful for those dealing with chronic pain conditions and various other ailments. This is the worry stone you want around when the crazy ex-boyfriend pops up, the cancer comes back, or your business is dissolving. 

I’ve had all there happen — at the same time — and I had a pocketful of Black Jasper the entire time. I can attest that it’s a very powerful, healing crystal for alleviating anxiety. It has been “continually rediscovered” by many of my friends and said to have identical properties.

Highlights:

  • It’s gorgeous color reflects a translucent, ephemeral glow that is unmistakable.
  • A century ago, it was thought to have negative effects and was associated with certain charlatans of the spiritualist movement.
  • Depending on the polish, it can appear rough, striated, or extremely smooth.

Best healing crystal for calming aggression and anger: Amazonite

Amazonite is balancing and harmonizing for the whole body-mind system. Advanced yoga practitioners, contemplatives for all traditions, and shamans all agree: the spiritual benefits from its unique qualities are undeniable. 

Amazonite has long served as a “true antidote” to anger and the symptoms within the body caused by stress.

Highlights:

  • It is very helpful for working with the throat and the heart chakras.
  • The deep green color is mesmerizing to contemplate.

Best worry stone to get restful sleep in times of stress: Lepidolite

One of the best gems for uneasiness and agitation is Lepidolite. It actually contains lithium inside its structure, which as you may be aware, is frequently utilized in Western medicine to treat Bipolar disorder and nervousness in general. Interfacing with this healing stone for anxiety can bring balance during times of pressure and tumult. 

 

For me, Lepidolite is superb to use during meditation. By holding it above your third eye or placing it in one of your hands, you  can quickly and effectively bring about peace and serenity. Any meditation technique that utilizes the third eye or works with the Crown chakra can be enhanced by Lepidolite as well.

 

Highlights:

  • Lepidolite helps with the dissolution and reorganization of old behaviors and psychological patterns, gently promoting change.
  • It is a relatively low frequency gem, meaning its effects are subtle and generally safe.

Best crystal for protection from anxiety: Black Tourmaline

Similar to Black Jasper, Black Tourmaline is also often used for protection. It’s especially effective at riding the psychic space of your home against harmful emotional pollutants and other negative energies. Some panic-attack sufferers believe that it reduces their frequency, intensity, and duration of anxiety. I can personally attest to this. Clinically diagnosed, I consumed pharmaceutical based-sedatives — at relatively low doses — for years to function. Tourmaline allowed me to transition away from psychiatric medication, slowly, under the care of my psychiatrist — and with confidence.  

Highlights:

  • Some people use Tourmalines as protective shields from radiation emitted from electronic devices like laptops and smartphones. There is an enormous body of evidence to support the amazing properties of these healing stones.
  • This semi-precious stone was once renowned by Cherokee as an effective contraceptive. 

How to use crystals?

You can use crystals in a variety of different ways. 

Just by placing them in the rooms of your home, there can emerge an immediate effect in the body, mind, and heart. In the bedroom, they can help you fall asleep faster and have a deep, restful night’s sleep. In the kitchen, they can help you raise your awareness of the flavors, odors and tastes of the food that you have prepared.

Many of my friends — many of whom are alternative medicine practitioners —  wear crystals as jewelry. In addition to their beneficial, anxiety-relieving properties, they can also add just a touch of earthy glamour to any ensemble. 

Besides, if you’re looking good, you’re probably feeling pretty good, too!

The traditional places crystals are placed include:

  • On the human body, usually above or below a chakra
  • Around the body during meditation
  • Within the home to stabilize energetic flows
  • As a protective border around a doorway
  • Work secretively, hidden within clothing
  • Placed in gardens or outdoor spaces

Some crystals can be used to enhance your meditation practice. Within the Vajrayana Buddhist tradition, crystals of various types have been used for over a thousand years to create beautiful prayer beads — called malas — that are said to assist with achieving higher states of consciousness. 

A relatively new method for utilizing crystals involves placing them in beverages. You can put them into your drinking water and let the water absorb the special qualities of the stones. Another similar, but distinct method, involves placing the rocks underneath your pillow at night. I’ve found this to be just as effective as drinking crystal-infused beverages for relieving my anxiety, dissolving stress, and enhancing my mood. 

Another option I’ve tried recently is to buy a grab back at your local rock shop for $5 dollars. You will get a little bit of everything. Then, you just leave one stone a day where it’s certain someone will find it. Maybe it’s at the office, a park, or someplace in your neighborhood. You can include a small note, saying, “This will bring you good fortune,” or place it in a small, recyclable container. This allows the recipient to understand it was placed there for them specifically and they’re not stealing anything.

Creative use of crystals 

There are virtually limitless possibilities to work with crystals and derive benefit from their use. When practicing, allow yourself to come up with novel and untested ideas about how you can use them for benefiting yourself and others.. 

 

The true magic emerges when you let yourself become sensitive to the atmospheric density of the different crystals and experiment. Make sure to explore and hypothesize with all kinds of different shapes and sizes — and see how you can make them work for you!

 

Disclaimer: This website does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.