We can all recognize the familiar feelings that come with anxiety.
Have you ever felt apprehension and worry about an upcoming job interview?
Maybe you’ve felt the all too familiar “fight, flight, or freeze” response when you see a stranger approach you on the street?
Anxiety is a normal physiological response to stress. It can help us to work harder or evaluate potentially threatening situations.
However, living with an anxiety disorder is different. The constant worry and fear can be a debilitating barrier to leading a fulfilling life and can be connected to a variety of health conditions.
Keep reading to find out how natural treatments for anxiety can improve your health and help you to manage anxiety-related symptoms.
What Is an Anxiety Disorder
Anxiety can be uncomfortable and can cause us moments of worry and fear. It’s normal for us to have some stress in our lives.
However, people living with anxiety disorder experience it differently.
Their heightened sense of anxiety can lead them to socially isolate and avoid social situations, people, or objects out of fear.
Anxiety becomes an anxiety disorder if you’ve:
- Experienced it for 6 months or more
- Live with persistent worry, and fear
- Had anxiety negatively impact your life
Anxiety disorders can cause a host of co-morbid physical issues that are triggered by the hormonal and chemical reactions to stress.
They include chronic fatigue, digestive problems, tight muscles, and more.
These can greatly impact your ability to cope with the curve balls life throws at you.
What Are The Different Types Of Anxiety Disorders?
The term “anxiety disorder”is an umbrella term used to describe a group of different mental health conditions.
If you have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, you could have one of these disorders:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
People with GAD often experience chronic anxiety and worry which can be extremely difficult to manage.
Panic disorder is when you experience unexpected and constant fear that can lead to panic attacks.
During a panic attack, you may feel increased sweating, racing heart, and palpitations.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
If you’ve experienced or witnessed a traumatic event, you may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Those with PTSD can experience nightmares, have vivid flashbacks, and live with severe anxiety.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
If you have obsessive-compulsive disorder, you have intrusive thoughts and fears about small issues.
These thoughts generally don’t subside until you self-soothe by performing repetitive or compulsive behaviors.
Social anxiety disorder
Also known as social phobia disorder, social anxiety disorder can leave you with overwhelming anxiety in social situations.
How Do I Know If I Have an Anxiety Disorder?
While each person has different experiences, all anxiety disorders can share some of the general symptoms:
- Trouble focusing or concentrating
- Difficulties with falling asleep
- Issues with anger or irritability
- A heightened sense of fear or worry
- Cold/sweaty, numb/tingling hands and feet
- Heart palpitations
- Breathing irregularities such as rapid breathing or shortness of breath
If you experience any of these symptoms for more than 6 months, and it impacts the quality of your life, than you could be experiencing an anxiety disorder.
What Causes Anxiety Disorders?
There is no one single cause of an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety can affect anyone, regardless of race or socioeconomic status, although women tend to experience it more than men, however, this may be because men don’t speak to their healthcare practitioners as often about their anxiety
In general, though, anxiety disorders have been linked with traumatic life experiences, genetics, and even environmental stress.
Keep reading to learn more about natural solutions Mahaya Health can provide to treat your anxiety-related symptoms.
Natural Solutions for Anxiety
It can be overwhelming to understand exactly what the root cause of your anxiety is, and how your physical symptoms are connected to your mental health.
At Mahaya Health we treat the person as a whole, and we can help you put together a complementary and alternative treatment plan that is designed to help you get some relief from your anxiety symptoms.
Continue reading to learn about the services Mahaya Health can offer you:
Acupuncture is a key component of traditional Chinese medicine therapy that involves inserting fine needles into pressure points throughout your body.
The traditional therapy has been around for over 2000 years, and there is more research showing that it is an effective treatment for a wide range of health conditions.
In an of itself the experience of receiving acupuncture can induce a state of relaxation.
For people who experience chronic anxiety, the positive effects can release endorphins and help to manage stress hormones such as cortisol.
Acupuncture can also help with a variety of health issues that are connected to anxiety, such as chronic pain, insomnia, and stress.
2. Registered Massage Therapy
Registered massage therapy has been shown to have beneficial results for people who have anxiety.
It can help to reduce stiffness, muscle tension, and promote feelings of calmness.
Your massage therapist will focus on the manipulation of soft tissue to help relieve your muscles of discomfort, pain, tightness, and can work to reduce your cortisol levels.
By reducing cortisol levels, we can help address the “fight, flight, or freeze” feelings that can keep your central nervous system on alert.
A 2016 study conducted on 20 women, showed that massage therapy decreased their systolic blood pressure, pulse, and respiratory rate.
They found that massage therapy was helpful in decreasing the signs and symptoms associated with anxiety.
3. Naturopathic Medicine
Anxiety can be connected to several medical conditions including diabetes, digestive issues, chronic pain/fatigue and asthma or COPD.
If your anxiety disorder is linked with one of these, a naturopathic doctor may be able to help.
Depending on your unique needs, your naturopathic doctor may use one or more of the following:
● Acupuncture – The stimulation of certain points of our body to with very fine needles.
● Homoeopathy – Using natural substances to help the body stimulate healing processes.
● Lifestyle counselling – Helpful to educate people to make healthier choices.
● Botanical medicine – Comprised of using plant-based substances to treat illness.
● Clinical nutrition – Aims to provide nutritional balance through nutrients.
Having someone to talk to can really help us work through our issues.
Psychotherapy can help us address our mental health issues, which in turn, can help to provide a less stressful state of mind and help us with our overall well-being.
If you live with an anxiety disorder, you may need help to understand the underlying processes that cause your anxiety.
For example, if you’re anxious about certain people, places, or things, you might avoid them which can lead to social isolation.
Psychotherapy can help you develop coping strategies, help you identify the reasons behind your behaviors, and give you the tools and techniques to help you reduce stress symptoms.
5. Osteopathic Manual Therapy (OMT)
Osteopathic manual therapy (OMT) is a non-invasive technique that works to manipulate your joints and tissues to release any tightness that could be impacting restricting your nerves and range of motion.
During a session, your osteopathic manual practitioner (OMP) will place their hands on your fully clothed body and examine you for issues.
By doing different movements, stretches, and exercises, they’ll assess you for any signs of restriction in motion.
In an observational cohort study it was found osteopathic manual therapy can decrease pain, anxiety, and mental health issues.
At the same time, study participants showed improvement in their self-care.
The central idea of OMT is to align all the body’s components – our mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical parts of us – and bring them into balance and create an optimal level of health.
Book an Appointment With Mahaya Health
When you experience anxiety in your body, it can lead to serious life-impacting health conditions.
Mahaya Health Services will work with you to provide a personalized integrative healthcare plan to help you care for the body and mind and get back to living a life you feel good about.
Contact Mayaha Health Services to book an appointment today.
Yours in Health,
Mahaya Health Services
2 College St., Suite #105,
Toronto, ON M5G 1K3
Mahaya Health Services is an integrative naturopathic clinic in Toronto. With a variety of practitioners each drawing on their own modalities, you’ll find a well-rounded team that can help you with your health concerns.