Approximately 4 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with anxiety, also referred to as GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder). The prevalence of anxiety in this society is definitely on the upswing. Anxiety is very real to those who experience it, ranging from mild and a simple annoyance to extreme. Symptoms include feelings of helplessness or hopelessness, vulnerability, suppressed or overt anger, pessimism and low self esteem. It is a state of over-worrying, expecting the worst to occur. It is fear-based, and that fear becomes the controlling factor. It can be triggered by countless events, both known and unknown. Sometimes a sound, an odor, an impending event or ruminating about a past event can trigger an “attack”.
There are many factors that predispose an individual to anxiety, and an equal number of things you can do to work towards resolution naturally. Those that seek out the services of an alternative health clinic do so because they either don’t like how they feel on the medications prescribed, or realize that the medications are simply dulling the anxiety and not getting to the root cause. They generally help, but don’t heal. Many people have tried to stop the medications on their own and find that the anxiety symptoms return full force and they are forced to go back on them. This is because the underlying issue was never addressed. The advantages of non-drug treatment options is that they achieve lasting changes and long-term relief.
While short term medication use has its place, because they work by reducing brain activity, most people feel like their emotions are dulled and their thinking feels foggy. They feel sedated, not alive and certainly not clear-headed. Most will deal with that because it beats the feelings of anxiety that can sometimes overtake their world.
Getting to the root cause means taking responsibility for and making the changes necessary that provided the foundation for anxiety to occur in the first place. This means taking a look at dietary factors – those things that are in the diet that exacerbate anxiety, and those things missing from the diet that prevent the person from getting well. It means taking a look at the lifestyle factors that can provoke an “attack”, or that keep anxiety stirred up.
While there are several helpful natural remedies for anxiety, nutrition and acupuncture are two of the most effective remedies available today. There are many herbs that can be taken, but again, although helpful, they too don’t really get down to the cause and remedy it from the foundational level. Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to help resolve a variety of emotional maladies such as depression, stress, obsessiveness, mood swings, and of course, anxiety. By addressing many different systems responsible for emotional balance, acupuncture is quite effective in supporting natural healthy emotional responses.
© 2010 Holly A. Carling, O.M.D., L.Ac., Ph.D.