Anxiety Disorders and Natural Therapies:

Anxiety Disorders and Natural Therapies:
Most of the population have experienced or will experience the feeling of panic or that anxious feeling at some stage in their lives – but what if this experience of panic becomes prolonged periods of fear or apprehension that are sudden and intense and affect the way we deal with and see the world?
Stress related illnesses and anxiety disorders have become an epidemic in our society as influences such as constant day to day stresses, a sudden trauma or illness, chemical intolerances, medications, family history of brain imbalance disorders and many other factors can trigger or contribute to this very debilitating disorder.
For people experiencing these disorders it can be very difficult to explain to others how or why they are feeling this way and it can be very hard for the sufferer to even understand it themselves.
Symptoms can often feel like you are having a heart attack, your chest feels tight, breathing may be difficult, your extremities may tingle and feel numb, you may feel hot, sweaty and flushed, you may feel you have to leave the situation you are in and feel like you are out of control. If this sounds all too familiar to you and like many other sufferers you have had a heart check, stress tests and every other possible test done by your GP but still can not pin point why you are feeling this way, then you may be suffering from panic attacks or an anxiety disorder.
It is a debilitating feeling for a person both emotionally and physically – that intensely frightening and uncomfortable feeling that puts the body into a state of distress. It affects a person’s work, school, social and family lives. Many people find medication and/or cognitive therapy can help them to manage or alleviate these attacks but there is also another alternative and that is natural therapies. (It is always recommended that you see your GP in order to find the right treatment and to rule out any other health problems that could contribute to these symptoms before you visit a natural therapists).
Natural therapies such as Massage Therapy, Meditation, Naturopathy, Hypnotherapy and many other Natural Therapies may be of benefit to those suffering from panic attacks/disorders.

Research indicates that massage can be of value in helping reduce stress, anxiety and depression. It enables the body to release more healthy mood enhancing chemicals increasing the body’s natural dopamine and serotonin levels and may reduce the stress hormone cortisol and adrenaline. Regular massage also helps with your immune system and can improve healthy function of the lungs thus helping with breath control and may aid in alleviating the feeling of not being able to breathe.

Meditation is another wonderful management tool – meditation involves watching the breath, and accepting, acknowledging and letting go of all other thoughts that attempt to enter your mind this is very helpful in teaching a person to use their breathing to override a panic attack and to also alleviate those thoughts of impending doom. Remember though that it is not a quick fix for anxiety, and requires commitment. There are many books, tapes and meditation groups available you just need to find the right one that suits you.

Naturopathy can also be of benefit to sufferers, it is a multi-faceted approach using natural supplements that help calm the nervous system and the stress hormones cortisol, adrenalin, etc and increase feel good hormones like serotonin and dopamine. It may be a case of your diet being wrong for you, too much caffeine or other toxins like alcohol, pesticides, drugs etc .Naturopathic medicine includes such therapies as special diets, herbs, vitamins, etc. A licensed naturopath may be able to assist you in assisting your body to cope with panic attacks and anxiety.

You may wish to use one or many different natural approaches in order to help you combat panic attacks – Remember you are not alone and there is always support in your community. You will find local Practitioners and Therapists on this – It’s ok to ask for help.

Written by Port Stephens Complementary Health

The Port Stephens Complementary Health Services Association are an Association of leading health care practitioners with a common vision for the ongoing education, nurture and well being of our society. Dedicated to the promotion of natural healing to enable our community to manage and enhance their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well being.