Acupuncture for treating Anxiety and other natural treatments
Anxiety is a natural reaction to stressful situations and is actually a physical mechanism that has helped humans survive for thousands of years. Every person occasionally experiences anxiety, tension and mental stress combined with physical symptoms or movement in the nervous system. Anxiety starts to become a problem when it interferes with daily functioning because of anxiety attacks, or when it lasts for a long time in a chronic manner. The modern medical treatment for anxiety is through pharmaceutical drugs that chemically affect the brain. Sometimes they decrease the anxiety, but they most often also create a variety of side effects and sometimes a dependency on drugs. Treating anxiety naturally such as using Acupuncture for anxiety or working with the subconscious patterns such as with Recall Healing, might be a better option for you to explore.
There are many discussions in the medical world about the effectiveness of the psychiatric drugs. In most cases, the drugs do not heal the condition, but only relieve the symptoms. Therefore, many people turn to the world of alternative medicine looking for a more natural approach to not only treat the symptoms of their anxiety but also to heal their condition. This article aims to organize and deliver the best methods for treating anxiety naturally.
What is Anxiety?
Anxiety is the body and brain’s natural reaction to emergency situations. Everyone sometimes experiences certain levels of anxiety, such as before an exam, speaking in front of an audience or in stressful situations, but usually the anxiety is temporary and does not impair one’s quality of life.
In certain instances, the anxiety is reoccurring and becomes a part of life and then there is damage to the quality of life and treatment must be sought. Anxiety expresses itself both physically and mentally such as with increased heartbeats, perspiration, shaking, together with feelings of fear, worry, tension and hopelessness. Because of this, sometimes it can be confused with other diseases, for example; in the emergency room there are often patients who arrive with complaints about a heart attack that turns out to be an anxiety attack. In this article we will also provide information about different types of anxiety and phobias.
Alternative Medicine for Treating Anxiety Naturally
There are several primary methods of alternative medicine to treat anxiety. It is recommended to work with one or two simultaneously and conduct a series of sessions. Due to the nature of anxiety attacks, the onset of an attack can be sudden and take place even during the course sessions, so it is recommended not to despair and give the therapy time to take effect.
In treating anxiety, the patient must develop the ability to openly “receive” the anxiety attacks as they come, and not to fear the next attack, as this fear might produce the next attack which forms a vicious circle. So, after you have done the appropriate research and chosen a method of treatment and a therapist, it is advisable to trust the therapeutic procedure until an improvement occurs.
Acupuncture for Treating Anxiety
According to ancient Chinese medicine, the “spirit” that is reflected in our mind,
thoughts and emotions resides in the heart, but in addition, every organ in the body has its own “spirit”. When a person has anxiety or a mental condition such as insomnia, depression or chronic stress, the “spirit is disturbed,” and healing will arrive by “calming the spirit”.
According to Chinese medicine, the “spirit” can be disturbed by physical factors like blood deficiency, phlegm, fever and more, or by mental factors like disturbing thoughts, emotions and so on. When a person suffering from an anxiety attack comes for Chinese Medicine treatment, he undergoes a thorough diagnosis by the therapist. The acupuncturist has to find the source of the anxiety disorder, the physical and mental factor that causes the anxiety. According to Chinese medicine there are a number of causes for anxiety disorder. Several organs might be involved including, the heart, spleen, liver, kidneys with different syndromes of Qi deficiency, blood deficiency, Yin deficiency, Qi or blood stagnation, fever, phlegm and more.
In Chinese medicine, a diagnosis to differentiate between the various types of anxiety or related illness is done by questioning the patient, checking the pulse and the tongue and examining any other symptoms.
The significant difference between the Chinese medicine and the Western approach and treatment, is that we are actually trying to treat the source of the anxiety and not just looking to relieve symptoms. This provides for a long-term, holistic solution without drug dependency.
Acupuncture therapy is done through needling points in the body to stimulate Qi flow (life force energy). In Balance Method Acupuncture we have different combination of needling for anxiety, that usually bring the body and mind to Balance and relaxation. Usually the needling is not painful, but for a patient whose anxiety is also related to a fear of needles, then other Chinese medicine tools might be helpful such as Tui na, Shiatsu and medicinal plants, or other methods suggested here.
Case Study of treating anxiety with Acupuncture
Angela suffered from anxiety attacks for four years. The attacks were accompanied by accelerated pulse, perspiration, chest pressure and an inability to think clearly or to function optimally. The attacks would occur once a week or sometimes every day depending on her mental state. The fear of attacks was so great that she would not go out for any activity unless she had to.
The fear of the next anxiety attack intensified the pressure in her mind that actually causes the next attack, and a vicious circle of attacks was created. “I don’t sleep well at night, I’ve become a nervous, stressful person; my husband and children are really suffering because of me,” she says.
Through a diagnosis based on the principles of Chinese medicine, it turned out that Angela has blood deficiency and a build up of heart heat. According to Chinese medicine, the heart is where the spirit resides and the blood in the heart protects the spirit and cools/calms it down. In a state of blood deficiency, the spirit cannot relax and that is why there are anxieties. Angela’s therapy included Balance Method acupuncture and medicinal plants, as well as self-relaxation techniques.
After two weeks of therapy her condition started to improve; the anxiety attacks decreased in frequency and intensity and she started “sleeping like a baby” as she put it. The therapy lasted about three months and after the therapy ended, she continued with the relaxation exercises. In times of increased stress due to lifestyle factors, she comes in for maintenance therapy, to prevent the onset of an attack.
Read more about Balance Method Acupuncture
Recall Healing treating the Emotional cause of Anxiety
Recall Healing is an effective method in addressing anxiety, and is essentially a process that takes place through conversation. In comparison to traditional forms of psychotherapy and counselling which can often take a long time to produce a change in the patient; Recall Healing typically takes three to six sessions to resolve a conflict or issue.
In the Recall Healing method, we examine the patient’s subconscious, directly looking to address the emotional trauma behind an issue. The causes of the anxiety are embedded in the person’s life and sometimes in what happened to him in early childhood or to someone in his genetic lineage.
Anxiety according to Recall Healing is a memory of something that endangered the person’s life or family. The anxiety may occur a short time after the stress or much later according to the person’s life cycle. One example of a cycle is dividing the person’s age by two.
For example, for someone is experiencing anxiety attacks at the age of twenty; in looking at their past, it was found that they suffered a trauma at the age of ten and the impact of this was embedded in their subconscious, only to reappear later in their life. In this way, recall healing looks at cycles in one’s life and will look at the past as one method of finding the root cause of the anxiety.
Patterns can be passed on to the next generations and occur among the descendants of that person. For example, someone who is experiencing anxiety at the age of twenty, may find that a trauma took place in the life of an ancestor, such as a grandfather being at war at age twenty. This is why some patients who find some experiences or situations to trigger an intense anxiety in them; don’t understand why and cannot make a reasonable association to an event in their life. When these causes are identified and released, the person can be freed of the anxiety.
The subconscious makes up more than ninety percent of our brain and certainly most of the source of the anxiety causes are in the subconscious. When the conscious brain identifies the causes of anxiety, for example; “I have anxiety at the moment because of something bad that happened to my grandfather in a similar age.” The brain understands that the anxiety it experiences is not real, something in the brain relaxes and agrees to accept the situation as is. According to this approach, the anxiety is not a “bad” thing, it is actually an attempt made by the brain to keep us alive and to adapt.
Case study – Recall Healing applied to Anxiety
Julia has been experiencing anxiety for about ten years. The anxiety has to do with being overly concerned about her children as well as her husband, fearing that something bad will happen to them. The anxiety started after the first birthday of her eldest son. Julia and her family started their life in a new county, in Canada, away from their friends and extended family. Naturally, Julia experienced a feeling of disconnection and isolation for a short period of time. Of course, after ten years in Canada the economical and social situation is excellent, and there is no apparent cause for anxiety, but the anxiety keeps appearing.
After reviewing events in the family lineage, it turned out that Julia’s grandmother lost two children in a fire while they were sleeping. We do not have many details about the story, but we can understand that her grandmother carried a feeling of responsibility, guilt and sorrow.
Julia has worked her entire life in insurance and always searched for a feeling of security that is based on the external situation. After we brought up those topics and allowed awareness to come to what she felt inside in discussing it, Julia’s anxiety decreased significantly. She understood that she was carrying genetic fears that are triggered in her when she has a feeling of insecurity and loss of control over reality.
With the help of Recall Healing, Julia was released from the main anxiety cause which she had inherited. Since her behaviour has been formed around anxiety for many years, as part of the process, Julia learned how to create a feeling of inner security by creating support mechanisms in her life such as relaxation, nutrition changes and acceptance of not being able to control everything.
Read more about Recall Healing
Manual Therapy for Treating Anxiety Naturally
Shiatsu, reflexology and Tui-na are all therapies than can be very helpful to treat anxiety. Gentle work with the body calms the body and mind. In Shiatsu and Tui na, work will be done on acupuncture points and the meridians combined with working on relaxing the muscles. The reflexology treatment – a massage on points on the feet, works by mirroring pressure points in the legs on the relevant areas to treat the anxiety. These sessions can be combined with, acupuncture, Recall Healing or medicinal herbs.
Medicinal Herbs for Treating Anxiety Naturally
The world of medicinal herbs is generally divided into Chinese medicine medicinal plants and Western medicinal plants. The Chinese medicine medicinal plants are given as a formula of a number of plants and are personally tailored in formula makeup and patient dosage. In many cases, the acupuncture therapist can combine the treatment with medicinal herbs for anxiety therapy.
Naturopathy Treatment and Nutrition for Anxiety
The Naturopath Doctor works with Western medicinal herbs, vitamins and minerals. After the diagnosis, the naturopath will adjust the medicinal plants and vitamins suited to treat anxiety. Nutritional treatment for anxiety is also very important as nutrition plays a big role in keeping balance in the body. One very important example is maintaining the sugar levels in the body. In many cases, Hypoglycemia might create a feeling of anxiety or the feeling of being dysfunctional. Nutrition rich in carbohydrates and sugar creates a tendency for anxiety attacks in times of low blood sugar, so a diet that maintains the right sugar balance and by eating regularly can help a lot. Additionally, nutrition that is based on fats like paleo or ketogenic diets can help in cases where the anxiety has to do with low blood sugar.
Homeopathy for Treating Anxiety Naturally
Homeopathy therapy is a very adequate anxiety treatment. In the beginning of the anxiety therapy, the patient is given a questionnaire that helps the homeopath adjust a remedy, a homeopathic medication for the anxiety. The medication is adjusted in terms of its ingredients and dilution for the patient himself. The homeopathic therapy also works on treating the inner source that caused the anxiety and not just for relaxation. There are also pre-made homeopathic formulas like “Rescue” (Bach Flowers) that are used for relaxation, but they do not heal the cause of the anxiety.
Bach Flowers Therapy as Anxiety Treatment
Bach flowers is a method that originates from homeopathy. Bach Flowers therapists specialize in a variety of mental and emotional problems. As mentioned above, the Rescue formula is a general remedy for relaxation, but specific formulas for patients can be made following a diagnosis. The patient receives a flower extract blend, which treats the anxiety or any emotional problem that is connected to it.
NLP as Anxiety Treatment
NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) is a method that works by using neural (perceptual and behavioural) and communication (linguistic) techniques to make it easier for people to modify their thoughts and actions. NLP enables the “reprogramming” of the factors – usually thoughts, beliefs and behaviours, that create the anxiety in an individual. In addition to specific language techniques such as embedded commands and presuppositions; guided imagery is an important method in NLP. Guided imagery is effective in treating anxiety, as a means of relaxation and as a means of reprogramming painful places in the subconscious.
Different types of anxiety and phobia
Anxiety is divided into a number of main categories, all of them can be treated with Natural Medicine.
Anxiety attacks are also called panic attacks. The meaning of the name stems from a reaction of intense fear and alarm within an individual that occurs over and over again with no realistic, objective danger. People who suffer from anxiety attacks, experience instances of alarm that make them feel as if they have a heart attack or they are about to go crazy or die, with no apparent reason. The symptoms include heart pounding, pain or chest discomfort, perspiration, shaking, prickling sensation, internal burning, feeling of asphyxiation, fear of death, fear of losing control and more.
The origin of the name comes from the Greek language in which agora is the city plaza and indicates a place where the masses congregate. Agoraphobia is a fear that creates avoidance of closed places from which it could be difficult to escape when the anxiety attack takes place. Principally we are talking about anxiety regarding crowded places. In difficult situations people are scared to leave their home or to get accustomed to safe areas from which they cannot get out. The agoraphobia sometimes accompanies the anxiety attacks.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – PTSD
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a result of exposure to some kind of traumatic event such as sexual or physical assault, terrorist attack or war, car accident, exposure to or witnessing a death, etc. Three main symptoms that accompany PTSD are: re-experiencing the traumatic event (like sudden flashes and nightmares), avoidance tendencies (such as avoiding returning to trauma-related places) and loss of emotional feeling (disassociation). There are other prevalent psychological phenomena like difficulties in falling asleep, various sleep disorders and a feeling of unrest or damage to the concentration ability. In the long run there could be damage to the quality of life, work performance, family life and more.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
In O.C.D, the person is troubled by incessant (obsessive) thoughts that reflect anxiety or excessive fears. Typical obsessions relate to concern about getting infected and fears that have to do with inappropriate behaviour or violent behaviour. The obsessions might lead the individual to perform ritualistic behaviors (compulsions) like repetitive hand washing, word repetition, hoarding, checking routine activities like “did I turn the oven off?” a number of times. Sometimes it is reflected in a change of the speed at which they do things, performing the daily routine excessively slowly like organizing the closet for hours. All of these activities are meant to reduce the anxiety that is caused by the obsessive thoughts.
A phobia is the occurrence of an acute and excessive fearful reaction to a certain object or situation, that would normally not cause such a response amongst most people. The most common examples include animal phobia (spiders, cockroaches, dogs, cats), fear of heights (elevators, towers, flights), medical situations (vaccinations, blood tests, dentist visits), and more.
As mentioned, the level of fear experienced does not equate to the reality of the situation, and even those who suffer from the problem acknowledge the fact that their reaction is irrational. Phobia will be defined as when the fear of the individual disrupts his daily routine, his work, his activities and his quality of life. As long as the fear is reasonable it will not be considered a phobia.
In Recall Healing we will find the case of the phobia in the person’s life, or related to his parents or ancestors.
For example, fear of heights:
1. Can be related to a memory in the family of someone who fell from a high place.
2. Can be a memory from childhood – a baby falling from the bed.
3. Symbolically: because our brain can work with symbols, the brain can transport heights to different meanings. heights can be related to the Father, or god, so one example can be a memory of an abusive father in the genealogy of the person.
Social Anxiety Disorder
Social disorder is characterized by a radical and excessive feeling of anxiety with regard to being judged by others or a behavior that could cause a feeling of embarrassment or becoming a source of social mockery. This increased anxiety may lead to avoidance of various social situations, fear of speaking in public, fear of encountering new people, fear of eating and drinking in public, and more. The symptoms that accompany this disorder are: accelerated heart beats, weakness, tendency to blush and excessive perspiration. People who suffer from this disorder have a high level of awareness to the physical symptoms of feeling anxious and the fear that other people would notice their anxiety, judge them and have a negative impression of them.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder is characterized by excessive, unrealistic worry. Among adults, the anxiety is focused on issues like health, money, family or career. In addition to the chronic worry, symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder include physical symptoms like shaking, muscle aches, sleep problems, stomach aches, dizziness and general tension. In general, it is difficult to diagnose this disorder because it has no dramatic symptoms like panic attacks, breathlessness and so on, which sometime takes place in other anxiety disorders. A psychiatric diagnosis requires that for six months, the days on which the anxiety occurs exceed the number of days on which the anxiety does not occur.
In conclusion, sometimes after reading this article, a person may feel he has some of this and some of that, even if he is not really suffering from anxiety. Of course healthy people also have fears and anxiety, but they can handle them without letting them interfere with their way of life. The anxious person needs to learn a way of thinking that is different from that which he got accustomed to. In the end it will bring about a decrease in anxiety levels. During our lives we adopt thought patterns, behaviour manners and certain reactions that we do not even consciously choose for the most part, we just copy from the parents, friends, society, television, etc. The beliefs, the experiences and the thought patterns are in our subconscious.
Mind and Body Connection
Chinese medicine explains that physically the subconscious beliefs reside in the body – in the internal organs, in the muscles, bones, tendons and so on. According to Chinese medicine, 99% of internal illnesses are
created by emotions and thought patterns. So, every physical disease is linked to the mind and the mind is linked to the physical body. The emotions and patterns create a blockage in the energy flow of the meridians (channels in which the energy flows throughout the body) and later create pain or illness.
It is important to understand that those reactions which we have adopted can be replaced by other, more healthier ones if we only want and allow for that. There is no reason to suffer when we can change. Natural treatment for anxiety can be enormously helpful to an individual, and can be combined with a psychological treatment, or drug treatment if needed.
Treating Anxiety with Conventional Medicine
Anxiety treatment according to Western medicine is done through medication, primarily through anti-depressant drugs. The treatment might help by reducing the anxiety attacks and mostly it is done in combination with other kinds of treatment, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy and psychiatry. If a person wishes to stop the psychiatric medication, it is important to do so after consulting their physician and preferably as a gradual reduction, as an abrupt discontinuance might cause severe side effects.
We hope that after reading this article you know more about anxiety as well as the different natural therapies available, so that if you are suffering, you know there are many options for treatment. We wish you a peaceful, beautiful and healthy life.