As we embrace the winter season, our bodies are supposed to be preparing to "hibernate" in a way. The yang moves inward and down to the nourish and strengthen the kidneys, adrenals and bone marrow.
All creation is designed with a similar pattern. As we see the trees and plants drop their leaves, we understand their yang energy is moving into their roots for winter. The same holds true for our fur babies.
However, this is hardly a season of "hibernating." Rather, it is one of the busiest times of the year. This time of year can initiate serious stress.
No one is immune to the stress that comes at this time of year, including our pets.
Not all pets (especially our furry feline friends) enjoy loud noises, groups of people and/or the chaos that goes with the gathering of friends and family.
It is vital that we nourish the adrenal glands and immune system during this time or the body will crash unexpectedly. This is especially true for any of our patients that have chronic issues. Please pay special attention to their needs and feed foods that nourish the kidneys and yin.
These foods include:
- Our all time favorite, BONE BROTH
- Stews or stewed meats
- Root vegetables
- Kidney beans and other beans
I have also comprised a list of supplements that can be used in times of stress for both you and your pet!
The Adrenal Glands:
These glands are our "fight or flight" glands. When unbalanced,you or your pet may feel "tired but wired"( I like to call this "empty anxiety") or severe draining or fatigue. Herbs that protect these glands are called adaptogens. The goal is to protect our favorite stress organs from seasonal holiday STRESS!
- Glandulars : Standard Process Adrenal Dessicated, Drenamin, Canine/Feline Adrenal support
- Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Holy Basil : Adrenal Resilience and Adrenal Life Force, Cortisol Blocker contain some combination of these herbs
- Eleuthero, Ginseng and/or Astragalus : Four Gentlemen is a gentle formula containing astragalus
- Reishi Mushrooms : great for stress and immune support
The heart is a major distributor or blood and qi throughout the body. It is a pump that moves 5-7 liters of blood a minute and up to 2,000 gallons of blood in a day. When the heart is under stress you or your pet may feel anxiety, uncontrolled excitement and/or depression, phobias, sweating without reason, weakness and/or the desire to take naps during lunch time, 11:00-1:00 pm.
We have listed a few chinese herbal preparation that can balance the heart during times of stress.
- Blood and yin tonics : Shen Calmer -This is best for separation anxiety. This may occur if the pet is left home alone and/or brought into a new environment with unfamiliar faces. I keep this in my travel kit for Poncho and I. This is a great formula for restless nights of sleep or periods of "over thinking" or worrying.
- Fire cooling herbs : Zhen Xin San- This formula is best for the wild and crazy young pup that cannot control themselves around crowds of people. We call this the ADD herbal.
- Yin tonics : Er Yin Jian -This formula is best for the pet with phobias and/or reactivity to loud sounds like thunder and fireworks.
This organ is responsible for producing and distributing important neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, histamine, GABA,glutamate, norepinephrine and epinephrine. These neurotransmitters are responsible for maintaining a healthy mood. GABA is particularly helpful in reducing fear and anxiety. With our bioscan testing, we have detected imbalances of this important neurotransmitter in approximately 50-60% of our patients. An
imbalance of GABA can be linked to poor gut health.
We have also detected deficiencies in L- tryptophan. This amino acid is important in the production of serotonin.
L-theanine is an amino acid found in green tea that is beneficial in treating anxiety and high blood pressure.
Below we have listed several supplements that are beneficial for any type of stress and can be taken by any pet without a specific Chinese Medicine diagnosis.
- GABA support: Zen 200mg - this is a combination of L-theanine and GABA. This comes in liquid Click Here! or capsule form. Click
- GABA support: Serene - this is a combination of GABA, Valerian root and melatonin. This comes in capsule form. Click Here!
- L-tryptophan support : Nutricalm - this is a combination of L-tryptophan, L-theanine, Valerian root and Ashwaganda. This comes in a liquid Click Here! or capsule form. Click Here!
- Sedation support: Solliquin -this is a chewable tablet containing L-theanine, magnolia/phellodendron and whey. This formula is very sedating. Click Here!
- Calming support : Hemp Rx - organically grown hemp oil available in liquid Click Here! or chewables. Click
Other adjustments you can make to reduce stress:
- Create a calm environment : diffuse essential oils to help you and your pet during this time. Best oils to use, lavender, chamomile, vetiver, ylang ylang, bergamot orange are just a few.
- Play calming music - Wholetones is based on calming frequencies that are designed to reduce stress
- Create a safe and quiet place in your home for your pet to retreat to
- Consider taking your pets favorite toys, bed and even his/her own crate if you plan to travel. This will bring your pet some familiarity in a strange environment
- Emergency herbal kit - we are happy to put herbs together for our patients to reduce stress, nausea, tummy upset, etc especially if they are traveling.
We hope you and your pets transition gently into this holiday and winter season!