Balance is a complex thing...
rather it can be a complicated thing to prioritise with all the demands life puts on us.
Homeostasis is any self-regulating process which takes place in the body in order to maintain stability which will allow for an optimal state of being and existing in this world.
When successful homeostasis can be described as a ‘dynamic equilibrium’ in which change is continuous yet the waters are able to remain still. This balancing function in the body responds to external stimuli, and processes this information through a process called feedback control – through this an integration and coordination takes place through various systems within the body such as the nervous and endocrine systems.
One of the most basic forms of homeostatic regulation in humans is one of body temperature which remains at around 37 °C almost irrespective of external stimuli. Various factors which impact bodily temperature such as the elements, disease, hormones and the metabolic rate are controlled through the hypothalamus in the brain – this incredible part of the brain has the ability to regulate our body’s temperature though receiving all necessary data from the bloodstream. It then reacts to this with the physical manifestations we all know well such as breath rate, blood-sugar levels, metabolic rate, perspiration or shivering.
While seemingly basic – something as small as a shiver or a bit of a sweat is the body signalling and attempting to find balance , this incredible survival mechanism all happening on the autonomic level, without a thought in place.
However when it comes to our voluntary activities – that is the choices we make – if we allow for and open up to more homeostasis promoting and balancing habits and choices in life, there is naturally less stress placed on the body and mind, making space and way for optimal wellbeing and in turn more time for resting in the parasympathetic nervous system space of rest-digest-heal.
A Balancing Practice – the wellness wheel
A wellness wheel is a relatively well known practice used amongst holistic wellness practitioners – it is a basic personal development exercise which aids in brining about balance when looking at a mind-body-spirit approach (which is where the healing all takes place).
In application this wheel is a sort of self assessment in which we get a overview of our lives and the areas in which there is and isn’t balance – the results are simple and easy to understand through reconnection to the self and identifying the areas of life which require some shifts in order to realign to the balance we seek. It was developed in the 1990’s as a result of research done in individual psychology, this study sought to correlate health, quality of life and longevity (Myers & Sweeney, 2004). This academic and creative understanding allows for the space for reflection, intuition as well as logic and understanding , thus allowing for applicable and felt means which will allow for holism and balance in life.
This not only applies to lifestyle but when looking at common symptoms such as acne – utilising this tool may aid you in understanding the source of it – be it food, exercise etc, thereby allowing for health to manifest in a broader spectrum of life.
Dimensions of the wellness wheel
- Physical – the physical body, nutrition, movement, rest
- Emotional – mental, and psychological wellbeing
- Social – sense of connection, support and belonging in relationship circles
- Mental – creativity, challenges, gaining skills and knowledge
- Environment – immediate environment such as home life, workplace etc but also can represent greater community environment
- Spiritual – greater sense of connection in the world, the feeling of being interconnected, interwoven and part of something immense
- Recreation – the things which bring you joy, hobbies, creativity, hiking etc
This model allows for clarity – scoring the different areas of your life between 1-10 there is the opportunity to clearly see the ways in which your life needs adjustment and balancing, and more specifically the areas in which these imbalances are, therefore allowing for a clearer understanding of where to go next.
Onto the herbs:
Ashwagandha root - also known as Indian ginseng in the Ayurvedic system of medicine is a powerful rejuvenating herb, adding to life longevity, it is also an immensely powerful adaptogen or rasayana.
- Reduces levels of cortisol
- Aids in mental health
- Supports nervous system, gastrointestinal tract and cardiovascular systems
- Immune support
Sea moss is a form of algae or seaweed which grows in the rocky coasts of the Atlantic ocean between North America and Europe. It has become a modern phenomena - and for good reason, jam packed with minerals and vitamins this seaweed has a plethora of healing benefits.
- High in nutrients, vitamins and minerals
- Thyroid support
- Gut health
- Endocrine support
- Immune support
“Reishi” is the most studied and widely used variety of medicinal mushrooms in The World, not only does it have a rich history but it’s benefits for uplifting our health are numerous:
- As an adaptogen and tonic medicine it supports overall health and wellbeing
- It aids in relaxing the nervous system and calming the mind
- An amazing immune supporter, up-regulating immune functioning
- Has cytotoxic effects on various cancer morphologies
- Supportive of the respiratory system, dilating the alveoli of the lungs allowing for better breathing
Triphala, literally translating to ‘three fruits’, is one of the oldest and still most used medicines in the ayurvedic medicine practice.
- Cleanses the gut
- Antioxidant rich
- Normalizes cholesterol
- Regulates digestion
- Respiratory health
Honourable mentions: Hormone balancing, Menopause, Mens health, Relax, Schisandra, Shatavari, Moringa, Eleuthero, Cordyceps, Lions mane
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Beard, C. (2022) How to hit the Reset Button On Your Life (Wellness Wheel Exercise), The Blissful Mind. Available at: https://theblissfulmind.com/hit-the-reset-button/ (Accessed: October 10, 2022).
Petite, T. (2022) The wheel of wellness can help create a balanced life - wellness wheel, Greens N Goodness. Available at: http://greensngoodness.com/wheel-of-wellness/ (Accessed: October 10, 2022).
Myers, J. E., & Sweeney, T. J. (2004). The Indivisible Self: An Evidence-Based Model of Wellness. Journal of Individual Psychology, 60(3), 234-245.