Review: HA's Stress Management Course

A Review of the Herbal Academy's Herbal Self-Care for Stress Management Course

As we all know, modern day life can be rife with stress. We’re constantly fighting an uphill battle to stay on top of work, to manage our family life, to maintain our friendships, and to keep ourselves fit and ready to face the world. While most of us have found various ways to adapt to our circumstances and perform under pressure, the constant stress still takes it toll physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Stress is everywhere and often unavoidable, so it’s important to prepare yourself and have natural remedies on hand in time of need. This Herbal Self-Care for Stress Management Course helps you do just that.

The Herbal Academy’s Herbal Self-Care for Stress Management Course is all about how we handle stress, how it affects our minds and bodies, and how herbal support can help. The course explores stress in relation to our wellbeing and then applies the holistic approach to promote wellness and better stress management. By the end of the course, you’ll understand how a combination of nutritional choices, lifestyle practices, and herbs can transform your response to stress and help you lead a healthier life.

Developed by outstanding teachers at the Herbal Academy, the course can be purchased for a flat fee of $129.00. This particular course is a bit shorter, spanning three units and covering twelve lessons in total, and is very practical in nature, so it doesn’t feel like you are stuck reading a textbook and then trying to apply it to your life without much guidance. It actually emphasizes methods, recipes, and more that you can easily adapt into your daily routine. No matter your level of experience with herbalism, this course gives you the tools and resources to effectively fortify yourself against the stress of daily life.

In Unit 1 (What is Stress?), you will first receive an introduction to the course, but also learn about the holistic approach to self-care and how to define stress from a holistic perspective. In addition, you will receive an overview of the nervous system, an overview of the endocrine system, and how the body responds to stress. This unit will emphasize the importance of maintaining balance and the effects of stress on the physical and emotional wellbeing.

In Unit 2 (Nutrition and Lifestyle), you will learn about the gut-brain connection and how stress management begins in the gut. Plus, nutritional support for physical and emotional resilience, foods and additives to avoid, ensuring proper hydration, supportive lifestyle practices for stress

management, aromatherapy for stress management, essential oils – what they are, how to use them, dosage and safety. Also, you’ll receive wonderful recipes and very informative graphics/charts that can help you remember what you’ve learned in this unit.

In Unit 3 (Herbal Self-Care), you’ll learn about the herbal approach and safety (always important!), the ultimate resource guides – the Herbal Academy’s herbal bookshelf searchable database and their Herbarium - herbal monographs for nervines, adaptogens, and sedatives, and lastly, herbal techniques.

As with many of the Herbal Academy’s courses, you will have full access to the online portion of the program for an entire year, allowing you to move and learn at your own pace. The course not only provides video and audio lessons and tutorials, but also offers printable charts for easy reference and herbal monographs to assist in your herbal education. All lessons are available for download as .pdf files for your continued use after the completion of the course, and you gain access to the wonderful Facebook group available to students. You will receive a badge of completion on your Student Dashboard when you complete this course, and you also receive the exclusive student discounts available to the Herbal Academy’s students.

My personal experience with this class was wonderful. I especially appreciate that the Herbal Academy decided to offer a transcript for each of the video/audio lessons throughout the course. It was definitely helpful, and I wish they included it in every course they offer! I am a visual learner, so by having the transcript in front of me while listening and/or watching, it is much easier to comprehend and follow along. The first course I ever took at the Herbal Academy was their Herbal Materia Medica Course, which was perfect because I was just beginning. The next one was the Introductory Herbal Course, which had a whole unit on the nervous system – which is greatly affected by stress! So it was only fitting that the course I took next one was this one! Plus, I am a continuously stressed person – mostly because I have anxiety, but also because I’m self-employed! Anyways, I found this course to be tremendously informative and helpful. I really learned a lot.

I truly love the Herbal Academy and am incredibly happy to have found it, so talking negatively about a course is rare for me. However, I personally think a fourth unit that ties everything together would’ve made the course perfect – a unit that talks about how to relax and focus your mind to help manage stress. The current units talk about how these methods help manage stress, but not necessarily how to include them in your daily routine. In my opinion, the best way to combat stress, or at least to relax for a bit and unwind, is to trigger as many of the five senses as possible – sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch. This course offers individual remedies for most of these, but doesn’t provide an explicit example of how to incorporate them together. I completely understand that sleep, diet and exercise are crucial to stress-management. However one can only manage their stress so much with these methods alone. For some, channeling their stress into an activity helps, such as meditating or kickboxing. I personally prefer to curl up with a good book and a cup of chamomile tea with some music playing in the background and maybe some diffused lavender oil wafting through the air. Occasionally, I take a nice warm bath with Epsom salts or an herbal mixture blended in. Either way, most people trigger more than one sense when doing these activities. Personally, I believe that when all, or some, of your senses are triggered, a person relaxes naturally because their body is being ‘hit’ from all ends and told to relax – plus it allows for the brain to focus on one thing – calming. Since the course doesn’t really indicate how to incorporate all of your senses at once, and since it only addresses how to help with stress without talking about how to prevent it, it feels a little lacking to me, although I still learned a lot. The Herbal Academy not only teaches, but also explains in a way that helps a person understand what they’re reading.

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