• Natalie Gibson

Anxiety and How Naturopathy Can Assist


With R U OK week last week I thought now would be the perfect time to discuss anxiety and what naturopaths can offer to assist in reducing symptoms.

Anxiety or generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is described as people with an unpleasant feeling of excessive worry, nervousness, apprehension and fear that something bad is happening or about to happen.

Majority of the clients I see experience or have experienced in the past some form or level of anxiety and for some this can be quite debilitating and can affect their quality of life.

Symptoms of Anxiety:

Anxiety is experienced differently for everyone but some of the common symptoms may include:

Physical:

- shortness of breath

- Heart palpitations

- sweating

- tightening of breath

- Feeling restless

- Panic attacks

Psychological:

- catastrophising

- recirculating thoughts

- obsessive thinking

- worry

- apprehension

- nervousness

- fear

Behavioural:

- avoiding certain situations that make you feel anxious

From a naturopath’s perspective, these are horrible symptoms to experience and we aim to reduce these symptoms in our clients!

How can a naturopath assist?

As a naturopath, I aim to support the following:

- reduce anxiety, worry and other symptoms

- support your adrenal axis and stress responses

- teach ‘worry management’ techniques

- encourage stress management practices

- improve the diet to reduce stimulants and provide nutrients for the nervous system

- prevent relapse of anxiety

So what does this mean?

After taking your case, I will discuss with you the most appropriate ways to assist in managing your anxiety. Herbal medicine works incredibly well in reducing anxiety symptoms and supporting an adaptation to stress.

Nutritional supplementation, diet and lifestyle amendments are also critical in the ongoing support:

- Diet changes - reducing stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol and inflammatory foods from the diet and adding foods that are beneficial for supporting the nervous system and ensuring you have the building blocks for neurotransmitter production

- Reducing sleep disturbances and optimising sleep because studies have shown that the appropriate amount of sleep can lessen the effects of anxiety

- Looking at ways to manage stress and to increase relaxation and doing things you enjoy throughout the day

- Breathing techniques and also the use of herbs and flower essences when you feel an attack coming on

- Encouraging slow and calming forms of exercise as exercise has been shown to reduce stress and also anxiety

- Look at supporting the gut to reduce the effect of the gut-brain axis

- Looking at implementing some form of mindfulness technique into someone’s day whether it be through an activity (adult colouring in, reading a book) or through a meditation - my favourite is Progressive Muscle Relaxation as it involves moving as well as being mindful

- Looking at co-managed care with acupuncture and also a psychologist for support in lowering stress and also finding techniques to reduce anxiety

Want to seek support for your anxiety?

Please hit the Book Now button above to have a chat.

#anxiety #mood #stress #worry

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