If you are like me any many other, you probably know first hand how completely paralysing this condition can be. It can completely rule your life at times.
Well, rest assured, it is my greatest passion to share with as many people as possible the ways Natural Medicine can support this condition, and in doing so, I am hopefully going to make things seem a whole lot better for you.
It was my own debilitating experiences in anxiety and from being a particularly 'sensitive soul' that led me to want to explore how to help myself and others more by using natural medicines and natural techniques.
I was so over feeling like one little incidence would create this massive wave of physical sickness within me. I was sick of being shaky, nauseous, sweaty, nervous and fidgety..
I didn't like that my heart felt as though it was going to explode out of my chest.. or that I needed to run to the toilet every five minutes when I was anxious.
While I had always been someone who experienced a bit of anxiousness here and there throughout my life, it wasn't a huge issue until I went through massive life changes (insert "motherhood, then later on divorce" here) that what was originally controllable, occasional anxiousness around public speaking or difficult conversations... was now full blown anxiety in all its ugliness.
When I couldn't control it, it permeated every single inch of my mind.
I would feel about as small and helpless as a cute puppy. Unfortunately, thinking about cute puppies didn't work either!
I didn't know at the time, which I know now, was that my brain was undergoing some massive changes. They were both biochemical AND structural. These changes, due to prolonged exposure to high amounts of stress, were creating what seemed like irreversible behaviour patterns.
So "What the F*** should I do now?" I thought.
Well, this is where some research into natural ways to support myself came in. I was already studying to be a Naturopath, so I luckily, had access to some of the most amazing natural medicine resources.
I scoured as much information as I could about what happens in the brain, in the endocrine system and the emotional self during stress; and I started to treat myself with a nutritional and herbal medicine.
Alongside this, I used techniques to help my energetic body and emotional self try to process the anxiety better and heal through the stress I was experiencing.
It is this wisdom, many many months and years of trial and error and learning at both a personal and professional level, that I wish to share as much knowledge as possible with those who need it.
Now, I will touch on some amazing and proven ways to support anxiety for you.
However, I realised that because this is such an in-depth topic and SO many people are affected,
I will be running a completely FREE WEBINAR on Friday 5th October, 2pm AEST, to cover all of this information in more detail.
I will give you so many amazing tips and tricks to navigate anxiety for up to 25 minutes and then we will have 5 minutes of Q & A.
If you miss the webinar, there will be a downloadable recording link to access later.
Sign up below......
In the Webinar, I will cover more in depth about what is occurring in the brain when we suffer from anxiety. But, loosely explained, it involves the HPA axis, Amygdala, Pre-Frontal Cortex and the Hippocampus.
All of these parts play really important roles in functions such as understanding true threat to survival, our cortisol or adrenaline response, our logical reasoning and how we interpret emotions.
The long and short of it is, that people who suffer from anxiety, have firstly - either overdeveloped and/or underdeveloped neural pathways to these parts of their brain; and secondly - an altered nutrient pool available to them to create calmer responses to stress, maintain sleep and mood etc..
What this means, is that anxiety is so very real not only to them, but also to their brain and its function.
I hated being told it was all in my head, or that I was too sensitive, or that I just needed to "let it go".
If you can relate to that, then you are probably, like I was, relieved to know that it is completely normal to experience these symptoms IF THAT IS WHAT IS HAPPENING IN YOUR BRAIN!
And if you have anxiety, then it most probably is!
SO... how do we help change this??
Well, its a multi-angle approach. We need to do the following things:
1. Support the nutrient pool available to the brain to not only improve function but to encourage long term neuroplasticity (neural pathway changes) and healing.
2. Encourage a different response to stressful stimuli with the use of both nutrients but also herbal medicines.
3. Engage in activities that will encourage the neuroplasticity changes to occur at a greater rate (such as CBT, EFT tapping, journalling, pranayama, yoga, meditation and mindfulness).
Can you do this on your own??
Yes and No.
Some things you can do on your own easily - such as attending yoga, journalling, exploring EFT tapping, practising mindfulness, eating a whole food diet that is rich in protein, essential fatty acids and nutrients such as magnesium, B vitamins, vitamin C and zinc.
You can also consume herbal teas and use high quality essential oils.
However to really get a thorough support system in place, you may need a little help.
This is where Naturopathy comes in.
While you can usually get your magnesium and other vitamins from the health food shop, you need to check their quality and you may not have access to some other nutrients that are super important for anxiety - such as glutamine or 5HTP.
Herbal medicines are available over the counter too, but watch their quality and PLEASE don't even contemplate taking anything herbal if you are taking pharmaceutical products without having a Naturopath check their safety interaction.
If it was me, I would personally see someone like myself, to get it right the first time.
What I may need is likely completely different to what the next person needs for anxiety.
Our unique reasons for developing this condition make our treatments unique.
As a Naturopath, I may prescribe some of the following anxiolytic (meaning they help reduce anxiety) herbal medicines such as Passionflower, Skullcap, Lemon Balm, Zizyphus, Magnolia, Kudzu vine.
If you are also having trouble sleeping I may use Kava, California Poppy or Jamaica Dogwood for a short period.
I may prescribe Chamomile or Lemon Balm alongside sensitive tummies that accompany anxiety.
Your HPA axis might be shot and you are also suffering from adrenal fatigue, which means I might prescribe adaptogenic herbal medicines (help the body adapt to stress) such as Withania, Rhodiola, Schisandra, Siberian Ginseng or Licorice.
If you also experience thyroid concerns or hormonal conditions alongside your anxiety that may be indirectly affecting it, then I would use different herbs again.
It can get pretty complex, which is why its useful to see a professional
and get it right from the start!
The long and the short of it is, you don't have to resort to pharmaceuticals if you don't want to.
We have so much choice with natural medicines and can tailor it to suit exactly what you need at that exact time.
Coming at it from a multi-level approach is the most thorough and effective way to support anxiety.
I have witnessed it first hand and in many of my clients.
This is why I am so dedicated to getting that information out there!
Come along to the FREE Webinar on Friday 5th October at 2pm - or listen in later to learn more about how anxiety may affect us all and what we can do to change that.
Don't ever feel as though there isn't an answer.