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Stress Protocol


Everyone knows the feeling of being stressed out. It’s caused by not having control of life’s situations, of other people’s behavior, of work schedules, and of time itself. Sometimes the feeling is caused by something real, and sometimes it is a result of the way life is perceived to be.

Feeling stressed activates the body’s “fight or flight” response — the same response that would be triggered by confrontation with a mortal threat, such as a tiger. When the fight or flight response is activated, all resources in the body are directed toward managing eminent conflict — reflexes quicken, vision becomes more acute, heart rate increases, muscles tense, and glucose is mobilized to power muscle contractions.

A little stress every now and then is okay, but when the tiger never goes away, the body starts breaking down. All systems of the body suffer, with immune system functions possibly suffering the most.

While you can’t always make stress go away, you can learn to live around it. Part of that is about how you go about life, but natural supplements can give you an edge that makes dealing with the stress of modern life more comfortable.

Vital Plan offers two supplements, each designed to help with different aspects of stress.

HPA Balance for times when stress just won’t go away. The unique blend of ingredients in HPA Balance will improve daily tolerance to stress by balancing adrenal hormones and improving brain focus and concentration. This formula is nonsedating, making it perfect for everyday use.

Pure Calm for occasions when stress comes up from behind and catches you off guard. Pure Calm is a sedating formula that can smooth out a rough day and help you sleep better at night when stress gets in the way. Pure Calm is generally saved more for intermittent use.

Both can can be taken together for optimal stress management — HPA Balance on a daily basis and Pure Calm added with something extra is needed.

Dr. Rawls' Formulation Notes:

HPA Balance was the very first Vital Plan supplement. In my medical practice, I had found that the adaptogenic herb, ashwagandha, was very useful for managing stress, metabolism, and menopausal symptoms. Studies supported ashwagandha’s adaptogenic qualities of balancing the hypothalamic functions. It had also been found to support normal thyroid hormone secretion and optimal cognitive function.

Some people, however, had a mild stimulation with ashwagandha. For those individuals, I had them also take Relora, a patented herbal combination of magnolia and phellodendron with mildly sedative properties. Relora works by balancing adrenal functions. The herbs combined showed greater benefits than the herbs used independently.

About that time, I was exploring applications of l-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea. L-theanine has the unique properties of counteracting stimulating neurotransmitters in the brain. Studies showed that l-theanine improved focus and concentration, along with providing a calming effect, but without being sedating. L-theanine is why green tea is less stimulating than coffee. These were definitely properties that complimented ashwagandha and Relora, so I started having people take all three supplements together.

The results were remarkable. Virtually every person who took HPA Balance started feeling “normal again.” This is the ideal response from a supplement — not to cover up a symptom artificially, but to promote normal wellbeing.

Because this combination was so popular, I explored having it made with all three ingredients combined. I researched supplement manufacturers and finally chose one that met my quality standards. I insisted on use of the very finest ingredients available. This set a precedent for all Vital Plan supplements that followed. HPA Balance continues to be one of the most popular Vital Plan supplements.

I realized, however, that sometimes people need something with specific sedating properties, especially is sleep is being disrupted by an unusually stressful day. That led to formulation of Pure Calm.

There are many herbs with sedating properties to chose from, but most of the ones commonly used in natural products also have side effects. Valerian and hops can potentially adversely affect liver functions. Kava is potentially addictive and and also can adversely affect liver function. I wanted only herbs that were “clean” in my formulas.

After much study, I finally arrived at a combination of three herbs that met my standard. Bacopa is an herb from India that was traditionally used for stress and improved sleep. It is side effect free, but has also been found to enhance brain function. Studies have shown that bacopa enhances mental clarity and focus in subjects ranging from college students to elderly individuals with mental decline.

Bacopa is complemented by passionflower. Passionflower is another “clean” herb with few known side effects. Beyond sedative properties, it also offers muscle relaxing properties.

The formula is rounded out by motherwort, another “clean” herb with sedative properties that are slightly different than the other herbs. These properties also make motherwort useful for reducing palpitations sometimes associated with stress.

Together these ingredients provide a calming effect that is free of side effects or the potential for habituation. My personal experience, and that of most people who use Pure Calm, is that it works as well as any natural supplement on the market, only smoother.

Natural supplements are not designed to treat out of control stress associated with anxiety and depression. See your healthcare provider for management of these conditions.

*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult your qualified healthcare provider before beginning any diet or program.
Vital Plan Products
herbal blend to support recovery from physical stress
180 capsules
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herbal blend for improved calm and sleep quality
60 capsules
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herbal blend to calm stress and support focus
120 capsules
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