Anxiety is a common feeling that may occur alone or in conjunction with other physical or mental conditions. A sense of unease or distress stimulated by an indefinite source, differing from the fear of actual physical danger, anxiety has been theorized to have its usefulness in heightening arousal in unknown and potentially dangerous circumstances; however the human capacity for imagination can cause anxiety to be generated via simple internal contemplation. In some instances the process can be quite hard to escape because repetition has caused neural conditioning to occur.
In most instances anxiety arises from the consideration of a familiar artifact of thought concerning prior or envisioned experience. It is important to recognise the triggers for anxiety responses and to challenge beliefs and internal dialogs that stem from the triggers and serve to feed the anxiety: A simple method for dealing with them is to practice mindfulness; a technique promoted by both eastern meditative traditions and modern psychology.
Simply being aware of your thoughts can allow you to shift your focus to less provocative objects of consciousness: The more this can be done the less likely you are to feel anxious because the respective neural networks that have been fortified and streamlined through repetition will slowly diminish through disuse. Mindfulness can also provide a deep level of insight into your mind’s workings in order to change semi or subconscious cues for anxiety: A psychologist or counselor can be quite helpful in assisting you with this aspect of anxiety.
Some people find relief with frequent exercise as it increases endorphin levels and makes us less effected by physical/mental issues in the process; a perceptual/perspective change occurs that lessens care and involvement in the experience and allows one to feel more pleasure and contentment.
Addressing your nutrition with a dietitian, naturopath or nutritionist can also help your body become more resilient to stress and anxiety. Long term anxiety can cause you to feel drained and tired because of the effect of frequent adrenal stimulation; your body doesn’t get the usual amount of restfulness to regenerate and the overproduction of stress hormones uses an abundance of vitamins and minerals; for this reason, it is often important to take supplementation; B vitamins are one of the most important for effective adrenal function.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs can relieve anxiety in several ways. They can help regulate endorphin response to make you feel better in the short term, they can improve wellness, sleep and energy to improve your physical health and help you be more able to think clearly.
“Overall, there is good scientific evidence encouraging acupuncture therapy to treat anxiety disorders as it yields effective outcomes, with fewer side effects than conventional treatment.”¹
At Freedom Chinese Medicine, we have over 80 years of experience and all of our Chinese Medicine practitioners are experienced in treating anxiety with acupuncture and Chinese herbs.
Massage can also improve the treatment via facilitating deep relaxation and can also be provided here at Freedom Chinese Medicine. Give us a call if you’d like to know more on 03 9486 5966, our friendly team will help you.
Written by Dr. Daniel Gibbs
Gregory, R.L. (1987), The Oxford Companion to the Mind, Oxford University Press; Oxford
Maciocia, G. (2009) The Psyche in Chinese Medicine, Churchill Livingstone; Edinburgh