Physical recovery from stress of any kind is essential to surviving and thriving. Without efficient recovery and restoration, the body breaks down under the influence of physical stress. The detrimental effects of prolonged stress include muscle loss, reduced cellular and systemic energy, poor physical and mental performance, poor/slow recovery from illness, decreased immune responsiveness, hormone imbalance and accelerated aging. Whether for athletes in heavy training who are competing at the highest levels, for patients who are undergoing surgical procedures, for cancer patients receiving oncological treatment, or for our aging population, the body’s capacity to recover and return to homeostasis is of vital importance.
During strenuous exercise, our muscle fibers are damaged, and during the process of recovery, they are made stronger. Without recovery, the damaged fibers do not rebuild, and we do not get stronger. When we push ourselves past the point of recovery, and do not give our bodies ample rest and support, we enter a catabolic dominant state that is depleting rather than strengthening. Over-training is one of the most common pitfalls that high performance athletes face. Due to a heavy load of training, and an inability to fully recover from workouts, high performance athletes often succumb to illness at the peak of their pre-competition training. During chemotherapy, dividing cells (both cancer and normal) undergo DNA damage that leads to apoptosis (a type of cell death). Because the formed elements in our bone marrow are some of the most rapidly dividing cells in our bodies, they are damaged more heavily by chemotherapy than most other cells. If our bone marrow does not recover, we cannot continue to receive treatment, and we are susceptible to infection.
With the use of powerful combinations of botanical and nutritional agents, our ability to recover from stress can be significantly enhanced. A number of ecdysterone rich plant extracts have been shown to shorten recovery time, while also enhancing physical performance. Many of these ergogenic aids have been employed for the improvement of physical performance and are also ideally suited for recovery from illness or for the prevention of aging related sarcopenia. Some of my favorite botanical agents for enhancing recovery include: Rhaponticum carthamoides, Panax ginseng, Epimedium sagittatum, Shilajit, and Tribulus terrestris.
By combining anabolic (building) enhancing and catabolic (breaking down) inhibiting botanical agents with ergogenic nutritional aids such as: branched chain amino acids, L-Arginine and L-Citrulline, Creatine bound to magnesium, Glutamine, and others, we can protect the body from the deleterious effects of stress, enhance the body’s restorative pathways, and shorten recovery time.
At Jade Mountain, we help our patients adapt to stress and recover more effectively by bringing together a custom combination of botanical, nutritional, dietary, lifestyle, and physical forms of medicine including: acupuncture, cupping, moxibustion, Asian bodywork therapy, structural integration, Qi Gong, and related therapies. Using a comprehensive approach that is tailored to each patient, our goal is to help our patients successfully achieve optimal health, no matter what challenges they face.