Drink More Water

New research is showing that dehydration affects important neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine… which can contribute to anxiety, hyperactivity, lower concentration and focus, and increased tension, headaches, and fatigue.
 Water in a glass  
Drinking more water and staying hydrated can give serotonin and dopamine a boost that helps balance brain chemistry. 
 
How much water we need is another matter because experts disagree.   You hear lots of guidelines such as:  drink eight glasses of water a day; or drink half your body weight in water a day.   I follow these two rules: 
 
 
1) If you’re already thirsty, it’s too late, you’re dehydrated
2) Urine color when well hydrated should be colorless or light yellow

Calm Anxiety with Magnesium

greatideaMagnesium is a natural soothing mineral which can help reduce stress and anxiety, as well as balance your adrenal glands.

If your magnesium is low, your adrenal glands (which require a lot of magnesium) can be triggered quite easily. This leads to adrenaline surges when you are under stress or when your blood sugar is low. If that sort of adrenaline surge happens repeatedly over time, it can contribute to anxiety attacks and panic attacks.

I take a magnesium supplement daily. I also take Epsom salt baths because Epsom salt is made of magnesium. For more information, read “The Magnesium Miracle” by Dr. Carolyn Dean. It’s amazing!

Seasonal Depression

What’s Most Effective for Seasonal Depression?

It’s January 2016… In Milwaukee that means an average of 14.5 hours of darkness per day.  I actually calculated it.

upset-stencilNaturally this is the time of year we see increases in Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which is brought on by light deprivation. 

People who do not usually experience depression at all may get SAD during the darker months.  Additionally, those who are already prone to depression can find that depression gets worse in the dark months.

I recommend 2 highly effective, non-medication treatments for seasonal depression: 
1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
2. Light Therapy

CBT for Seasonal Depression

Depression symptoms are physical, mental and emotional. 

While Light Therapy works at the physical level to help your body’s biochemical balance (see more below), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) works the mental and emotional level.

CBT is highly effective for depression because it helps reduce negative thinking, while improving mood, motivation, productivity, focus, and energy.

Research shows CBT is equally effective, or even more effective in the long term than antidepressant medication… with none of the negative side effects that come with medication.

I’ve written a lot about CBT on my blog so I’m going to focus on the Light Therapy in this article.  Check out these articles for more about CBT: 

What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?
Why Does CBT Work (for Anxiety and More)?
Cognitive Behavior Therapy (Change the Way You Think)
#1 Most Effective Anxiety Treatment: CBT

New Research: Light Therapy beats Prozac

Bright light therapy using a special light box is an effective treatment for people whose depression occurs seasonally, or whose depression gets worse in the darker months.

Because my specialty is non-medication treatments for anxiety and depression, I like keeping up on the research in this area and I found a fascinating one…

Participants in a recent study were assigned to one of four groups who got different treatments.  They didn’t know which group they were in and all were treated as if they were getting the “real” treatments. 

Four Different Treatment Groups
1. Light therapy + placebo pill (i.e. a sugar pill)
2. Light therapy + Prozac
3. Placebo light box + placebo pill
4. Placebo light box + Prozac

Check out these results:
• Less depression for those who got Light Therapy than those who got Prozac
• Less depression for those who got Light Therapy than those who got a placebo pill
• Light Therapy was more effective than Prozac
• The placebo medication was actually more effective than Prozac!
• Little to no side effects shown with light therapy
o This compares with 85 side effects of Prozac (as listed on webmd.com)

Why Does Light Therapy Work?

Inquiring minds want to know why, but I just want to know what works! 

Experts can’t say for sure why but research shows light therapy does help.  For Seasonal Affective Disorder, they think it may help correct disturbances in your internal clock which is driven by your body’s circadian rhythms.

Another theory is that light affects neurotransmitters in the brain (such as serotonin) which affects mood for both seasonal and non-seasonal depression.

Do It Yourself Light Therapy

Light therapy boxes have come a long way in recent years.  They are affordable and easy to use. 

lighttherapy-diTreatment involves sitting near the light box for 30-60 minutes daily.  You don’t have to look directly at the light so you can use it while doing other things like eating, reading, or using your phone or computer.

This is the light therapy box I use:
You can find it at http://amzn.to/1TDcND1

Light therapy can help improve your mood, reduce negative thinking and irritability, and increase energy levels.

Be sure to read the instructions and warnings for the light box you choose.  Light therapy is not recommended for those with mania or bipolar disorder, or those with various eye conditions.

Laugh It Up!

laughingoldman-stencilA whole new field of laughter/humor therapy is emerging and research shows that some good belly laughing can really improve health and well-being.

Laughter helps alleviate stress and anxiety by reducing the level of stress hormones that build up in your body, including cortisol and adrenaline. It also increases the level of “feel good” chemicals in the body such as endorphins (natural pain killers), dopamine and oxytocin. Your body and your mood can get a natural boost from laughter.

Laughter provides a good physical and emotional release. It’s a good workout for your diaphragm, abdomen, and shoulders (and even your heart!) and can leave your muscles feeling more relaxed. A good laugh can also leave you with a cleansed feeling from healthy emotional release.

Try some of these easy ways to UP the laughter in your life:

    • Watch funny movies (check out Patch Adams)
    • Laughter really IS contagious so find reasons to laugh with friends
    • Check out Laughter Yoga
    • Fake it ’til you make it (research shows that faked laughter also provides benefits and can lead to genuine laughter)
    • Have a Game Night
    • Play with little kids, puppies, or kittens

 

Want to be FREE?

We all want to be FREE…

Free to DO what we want.
Free to BE who we want to be.
Free to be HAPPY living a life we love.

Yet we often feel as if something is stopping us from truly feeling free.

This morning, despite a super busy schedule and a daunting “To Do List,” I chose freedom to take a break and admire the daylillies in my garden. This is one of my joys of summer. Their season is short and each blossom lasts for one short day. So I chose to allow myself to be FREE to enjoy and admire the blossoms of the day – even though my mind said I “should” have been handling all the things in my Inbox, or doing one of the dozens of things on my growing “To Do List.”

FreeGuess what? When you die your Inbox will still be full and you’ll still have a “To Do List.” The time to be FREE is right here and now.

So today I allowed myself the luxury of a few minutes of peace and happiness admiring my lillies – no guilt, no thinking about the Inbox. Just enjoying the moment and smiling.
For me, that felt FREE.

What do you mean by “Free?”

“Free” can be defined (with the help of dictionary.com) as: the state of being at liberty rather than in confinement; immunity from external control or interference. I think of being free as having the luxury of choice because when you choose something you feel less confined, more in control.

Here’s how freedom starts:

                              You have to WANT it
                              You have to CHOOSE it
                              You have to ALLOW it

What do you want to be FREE of?

    • Burdens or obligations?
    • Continual worry?
    • Emotional eating or excess weight?
    • Stress or anxiety?
    • Overwhelm?
    • Obsessive thoughts or actions?
    • Depression?
    • Insomnia?
    • Clutter?

Now, what do want instead?

Figuring this out is sometimes half the battle. Clients often have a hard time telling me what it is that they really want. What they think of first are all the things they don’t want. If you didn’t have those things, what would you want instead that would make you feel more free?

Once you know what you want, then you choose it. Sounds simple; actually doing it requires re-learning some of your “old” habits of thinking. Let’s start with how you think of the concept of “choice.” Choice always leads to greater freedom.

Think There are Some Things You Have No Choice Over?

I challenge you to think again, and I know sometimes it’s not easy. The problem comes in when your mind is tricked into believing that you have no choice. No choice about the responsibilities, the diagnosis, worry, anxiety, emotional eating, depression, clutter, etc.

The truth is that you always have a choice, even when it feels like you don’t. Even when you do something you don’t really want to do (like staying up late to finish that cleaning, going to the doctor, or doing that one thing that “needs” to be done), you ARE actually making a choice to do it.

You could always make a choice to NOT do it. It’s just that there would be consequences of making that choice and because of the consequences, you choose to do it. Understanding this leads to a much greater sense of empowerment than feeling like you had no choice in the matter.

Choosing is always more empowering than feeling like you “have to” or that it simply has to be a certain way. Choosing always feels better than living with something because you think you “need to” or “must.”

Re-training Your Mind: Part 1 = Choosing

The key to feeling free is to expand your awareness of your choices, and realize you are constantly making choices that are YOUR choices. Realize that there are many choices which at first may not appear to be options. This requires developing a new skill: re-training your mind to think differently and expand your choices. It takes skill, time and practice to start seeing choices where previously you couldn’t see any.

Example…

Let’s say you “have to” pick up your daughter from school immediately due to sudden illness. It really feels like you “must” do this because your child is ill and the school says you “must” take your daughter home immediately. But to do it, you’ll have to leave work in the middle of a very important customer meeting which will probably mean your company loses business from this customer (which is entirely unacceptable to your boss).

trueHonestly, you always have choices:

  • Leave and pick her up?
  • Ask someone else to pick her up?
  • Pay someone to pick her up?
  • Have a taxi pick her up?
  • Have her take the bus home?
  • Wait and pick her up after this meeting?
  • Wait and pick her up at the end of the day?

Can you brainstorm others? Your mind may have immediately discarded some of those choices and judged them as not viable. Realize you actually make split-second evaluations of the consequences of every choice. Some consequences you prefer over others. Then you choose. You don’t “have to” do any one of them. You choose one that you’ll do.

When the choice is yours, I promise you will feel more free no matter which choice you make.

Now you’re in the driver’s seat of your life, instead of letting people or circumstances or old, limited thought patterns dictate your life.

Re-training Your Mind: Part 2 = Allowing

Once your mind learns to generate more choices and to consciously choose, the next skill is ALLOWING the freedom. Like I allowed the luxury of being with the lillies without guilt or worry about what wasn’t getting done, you can re-train your mind to accept your choice. No second-guessing, no analysis-paralysis, no regret, no guilt, no worry. Simply allow your choice to be and to unfold. This re-training takes practice. Accept your choice and enjoy it as much as you can, knowing it came from your power to choose. Stay in the present moment with it as much as you can.
In the allowing is where you can really experience feeling free.

Aromatherapy

greatideaAromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils to enhance well-being on all levels: body, mind, spirit, emotions, and energy. Essential oils are highly concentrated formulas of natural substances. Look for 100% pure essential oil.

Try these essential oils which are often used for stress relief:

Jasmine: Enhances mood and can help reduce anxiety

Lavender: Helps reduce production of cortisol, a key stress hormone

Tangerine: Relieves stress and fear, and helps calm the nervous system

Chamomile: You’ve heard of the tea, but try the essential oil for increased calm, peace and patience

Bergamot Orange: Energizes and helps reduce fatigue and cortisol production

Top Five Holiday Sabotaging Thoughts for Dieters

christmasornament-stencilThe holiday season often brings real challenges for those watching their weight, and especially for those with emotional eating tendencies.

The pressures of parties, cookies, and traditions, on top of the emotional stress and anxiety that often arise at this time, can create a troublesome chain of events:

Troublesome thoughts    ==>
                 Troublesome eating    ==>
                                 Gaining unwanted weight    ==>
                                                       More troublesome thoughts…

I think you’ll find this article reprint helpful (from my colleague Deborah Beck Busis, LSW, Diet Program Coordinator at the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy):

Top Five Holiday Sabotaging Thoughts

During the holiday season, dieters often experience a variety of sabotaging thoughts that, left unchecked, can ultimately lead to significant weight gain. Here are five of the most common holiday sabotaging thoughts and helpful responses to them. We have also included sample Response Cards for each thought. If you think you’re likely to have this type of thought, consider making a similar Response Card and reading it throughout the holiday season.

We have to do it this way; it’s tradition.” During the holiday season, it’s important to examine your traditions to see if you necessarily have to keep all of them, or have to do each one exactly as it’s been done before. Just because you’ve always done things a certain way does not mean that you have to continue doing them in the same way. If, for example, you traditionally bake 10 kinds of Christmas cookies with your family, and then wind up eating way too many and gaining weight, what would be the advantages of changing this tradition? Perhaps instead of 10 different cookies, you could agree to bake 2 or 3 kinds. That way, you’ll still have the traditional aspect of cookie-baking with your family, but will be less tempted to overeat. Further, if you decide to change traditions or skip some of them, you can always decide to put new, healthy traditions in place, such as taking a family walk after dinner (which would be good for everyone). It’s important to not feel bound by traditions with negative consequences and instead be willing to consider amending some or starting new ones.

Response Card:

Just because I’ve always done things a certain way doesn’t mean I have to continue. Changing or instituting new traditions will not make the holidays less special because the meaning behind what I do will be the same.

I have to prepare everything perfectly.” Especially during the holidays when you’re probably a lot busier, it’s important to really think about your priorities and question whether it would be helpful to change them. If, for example, you always cook and prepare a holiday feast from scratch, you may want to consider saving time by buying some pre-made side dishes and then using the extra time to exercise. If you prioritize wrapping all your presents perfectly, you could consider wrapping them less perfectly and then use the extra time to prepare a healthy meal instead of relying on easy takeout. Just because it’s the holiday season does not mean that you need to do everything perfectly. It’s important to reflect on your priorities, and if you make healthy eating and exercise top priorities, you will have to make concessions in other areas.
 

Response Card:

Things don’t have to be done perfectly over the holidays. It’s important that I keep my priorities in mind and figure out what I can cut back on to make time for my most important goals.
 
 
I won’t be able to enjoy myself unless I eat everything I want.”Especially during the holiday season when treats and desserts seem to lurk around every corner, it’s important to remember that it’s not all-or-nothing. It’s not as if you’ll be able to eat everything you want, whenever you want, or you won’t be able to eat anything you enjoy at all. There is, in fact, a huge middle ground. It is perfectly reasonable to plan in advance when and where you’ll have extra treats, but it probably can’t be every single time treats are offered to you if you want to reach your goal. It’s important to remember that not eating treats has its own rewards, too. When you stay in control and don’t give in every time you’re craving something, it means that you’ll be able to enjoy maintaining your weight (or even losing weight). While you won’t necessarily get the (momentary) enjoyment of eating certain treats, you’re likely to experience significant enjoyment when your clothes still fit, when you step on the scale, and when you feel good about yourself. 
 
Response Card:
 
It’s not all-or-nothing. I can still enjoy some holiday food and also enjoy all the benefits of weight loss. Besides, if I go overboard, I won’t feel good about myself or my eating.
 
 
It’s okay to eat whatever I want because it’s the holidays, and besides, everyone else is.” Unfortunately your body processes calories in the same way, 365 days a year. Your body doesn’t know or care that it’s the holidays, that it’s your birthday, that it’s the weekend, that you’re on vacation, or that you’re at a special event. Regardless of the day or the circumstance, if you take in too many calories, you will gain weight. This means that if you want to work on losing or maintaining your weight, you can’t eat everything, even though it’s during the holiday season. Similarly, your body also doesn’t know or care what everyone else around you is eating. It only knows what you are eating. So just because everyone else is eating five cookies, it doesn’t mean that you should eat five cookies, if it’s not in your plan. Additionally, make sure you look out for the sabotaging thought, “I was so good and didn’t eat all those other things, so it’s okay to eat this [food I hadn’t planned].” Just as your body doesn’t know or care what day of the year it is or what anyone else is eating, it also doesn’t know how many treats you turned down – it only knows and processes the foods you do eat. So just because you said “no” ten times, does not necessarily mean it’s okay to say yes the eleventh time. 
 
Response Card:
 
My body doesn’t know or care that it’s the holidays, that everyone else around me is eating certain foods, or how many treats I already passed up. It only knows what I eat, so I have to be deliberate in all of my decisions.
 
 
I’m just going to let go and enjoy. I’ll get back on track once the holiday season has passed.” This may be one of the most common holiday sabotaging thoughts – and the one that can lead to the most weight gain (and subsequent unhappiness). It’s important to remember that deciding to just “let go and enjoy” comes with consequences, particularly once the holidays are over. Think back to previous holiday seasons – how did you feel afterwards when you decided to just throw in the towel on healthy eating? Did you feel good about yourself? Did you feel good about gaining weight, about having your clothes fit differently, about having to struggle to try to get back to normal eating? When you were coping with the negative consequences of letting your eating get out of hand, did you wish you had done things differently? This is the year that you can start doing things differently! This is the year that you can work on maintaining a healthy balance during the holiday season, responding to your sabotaging thoughts, and enjoying all the benefits that come from staying in control over you eating, both physically and psychologically. This can be the year that’s the model for every year to come. Why wait? 
 
Response Card:
 
Letting go over the holiday season in the past has never helped me to achieve my goals. While I may enjoy eating a lot in the moment, I always feel terribly about it afterwards when I gain weight. This year, it’s worth it to me to do things differently so that I end up in a better place.
 

——————————–
Reprinted with permission and written by Deborah Beck Busis, LSW, Diet Program Coordinator at the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy.

Anxiety is Hazardous to Your Health

If you have anxiety, it’s very likely that you also experience one or more physical health issues. 
 
Did you know that quite a growing number of illnesses and chronic disease conditions are correlated with anxiety disorders?
 
Despite scientific research connecting the dots between anxiety and a growing list of anxiety-related illnesses,anxiety often goes unidentified and is frequently overlooked as a source of other physiological health issues.
 
Physical Illnesses Linked to Anxiety
 
Anxiety has now been implicated in many chronic physical conditions including:
  • gastrointestinal conditions including IBS and Acid Reflux
  • insomnia
  • heart disease
  • high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • thyroid problems
  • arthritis
  • migraine headaches
  • chronic respiratory disorders including COPD
Research also shows the impact of anxiety on specific groups of people:
  • People who have panic attacks are more likely to have mitral valve prolapse, hypertension, peptic ulcer, diabetes, chest pain (angina) or thyroid disease.
  • Men with anxiety disorders are at greater risk for cardiac disorders, hypertension, gastrointestinal disorders, respiratory illness, asthma, and back pain. 
  • Women with anxiety disorders are more likely to have a history of cardiac problems, hypertension, metabolic, gastrointestinal, dermatological, respiratory disorders and arthritis.  
These conditions have also been recently correlated with anxiety:
  • fibromyalgia
  • female hormonal imbalance (including PCOS)
  • sexual dysfunction
  • insulin resistance
  • blood sugar issues
  • weight gain
  • Type 2 diabetes
Serious Stuff
 
Six of the leading causes of death have been also linked with anxiety and stress: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver and even suicide.
 
When people with any anxiety-related disease also have untreated anxiety, the disease itself can be more difficult to treat.  Physical symptoms often become worse.
 
The problem is becoming so big that the World Health Organization reports that anxiety and depression (which are often interlinked) could be the second leading causes of disability worldwide by 2020.  That’s just 5 years away!
 
The Missing Connection
 
Anxiety often goes unidentified and is frequently overlooked as a source of other physical health issues.
 
Part of the problem is that although anxiety itself starts in the mind, it does create very real physical symptoms.  Those symptoms can look very much like symptoms of other chronic conditions, such as digestive, thyroid and respiratory disorders.  So it can be confusing for you and your health care practitioners too.
 
Typical anxiety symptoms that can also look like other physical illnesses include:
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Chest pain
  • Numbing & tingling (especially arms and legs)
  • Sweating
  • Chills or flush (hot flash)
  • Trembling
  • Choking
  • Insomnia
  • Headache
It’s NOT All in Your Head!
 
img_4128Many people with anxiety disorders go through life living needlessly with physical health problems that could be eliminated or improved through anxiety treatment.  Unfortunately, they never make the connection that anxiety could be the source of the problem (or be exacerbating the problem).  
 
If you think you might fall into this category — or if you have IBS, asthma, COPD, or heart disease — you may want to come in to see me to be evaluated for anxiety.  The same is true if you have pain, dizziness, insomnia, or other symptoms that persist after physical causes have been ruled out.
 
Please know that all symptoms are real — and treatable! — whether they originate in the body or the mind.  
 
Holistic, Long-Term Solutions for Anxiety
 

I use the 2 most effective long-term solutions for anxiety (and therefore, for any physical problems linked with anxiety):

These are holistic, healthy, non-medication solutions so you can learn new skills and tools to manage and prevent anxiety.  I help people identify and shift thoughts that generate anxiety, as well as learn new skills to react differently to anxiety-provoking situations.
 
Anxiety medications alone are less effective than CBT and Anxiety Counseling/Psychotherapy over the long term; they may also have unpleasant side effects and interact with other medications. Most of my clients work toward eliminating the medication altogether… 
 
Skills not pills can help you reduce anxiety and improve anxiety-related illnesses at the same time.
 

Sources:

  • Harvard Medical School Special Health Reports
  • National Institutes of Health / World Health Organization 
  • The American Institute for Cognitive Therapy
  • WebMD
  • American Medical Association (AMA), Archives of Internal Medicine

Anxiety Disorder? Do I have one?

Holistic Anxiety therapy with Di Philippi, MA, LPCI don’t like labels. In the anxiety therapy field, we have a defined set of “anxiety disorder” codes to use for diagnosis.  The codes are limited because they force us to lump people in categories and use labels based on criteria that don’t always accurately describe the real problem.

I prefer an individualized approach.  I look at the unique way that anxiety surfaces for each person, and then focus on making a customized plan focused on solving the real problem rather than on giving someone a label. Problems come and go but labels stick.

People often ask whether what they are experiencing is anxiety, so here’s a look at some different types of anxiety (without worrying about the labels).Remember these are generalities and show up differently for different people.

Different Types of Anxiety

Chronic Worry

You would probably call yourself a “worry wart.” You constantly worry about a number of different things… work, health, relationships. You think of worst-case scenarios and often wonder “what if” this or “what if” that.

Panic Attacks (aka Anxiety Attacks)

You suddenly feel physical symptoms that feel out of control, such as heart racing, dizziness, trembling, sweating, chills or flush, tingling or numbness. It comes out of nowhere and is very scary. You might think you’re having a heart attack and go to the emergency room, only to find out nothing is physically wrong.

Stock Photo by Sean Locke www.digitalplanetdesign.com

Fears and Phobias

You have strong fears of very specific things, such as: flying, driving, heights, enclosed spaces (like elevators, planes, or rooms without a clear exit route), feeling trapped, bugs, blood, driving, being alone, or being away from home. These are just some examples.

Social Anxiety (Shyness)

You often feel nervous around other people, perhaps only in a certain social situation, or in many different ones. You feel very self-conscious, wonder what people are thinking about you, and worry about embarrassing yourself. It’s hard to go into new situations and have to meet new people.

Obsessive Thinking

You have the very same upsetting thoughts over and over again. This could include thoughts of losing control, being contaminated (or contaminating others) with dirt or germs, or feeling guilty for things you didn’t even do. 

Compulsive Behaviors

You have an urge to do certain things. Perhaps count things, check and re-check things, wash/clean repeatedly, repeat words, or arrange things in a certain way. It’s like you HAVE TO do them out of fear that something bad could happen. You can’t seem to stop yourself.

Traumatic Reactions

Stress Meter Showing  Panic Attack From Stress And Worry

You still have intense memories, emotions, flashbacks, and/or nightmares related to a past traumatic situation you witnessed or experienced. You may avoid certain places, people or situations. You may feel jumpy or “on alert” much of the time. Traumatic situations could include abuse, rape, violence, car accidents, miscarriage, bullying, injury/illness, someone dying, or many other things.

Hoarding

“Stuff” is overtaking your home. You may collect too many things, have a problem getting rid of things, and/or have a problem organizing things… to the point where it limits the use of your living spaces and wastes significant amounts of time.

Health Concerns

Your doctor tells you there is nothing to be concerned about, but you still seem to have continual health complaints and symptoms. You often focus on health problems and may wonder if you have a serious medical condition even though you’ve never been diagnosed with one.

Over-focus on Body Imagebody-image-istock_000019996761xsmall

You’re convinced there’s something about your physical appearance that looks terrible. You’re sure everyone notices so you don’t believe them when they say that there’s nothing wrong, or that you’re beautiful. It could be related to your body shape, weight, acne, hair, nose or any another body feature.  It might be all you can see when you look in the mirror.

Public Speaking Anxiety

You dread having to speak in front of a group of people (small or large). You get extremely nervous, afraid that your mind will go blank or that you may make a fool of yourself.

Performance or Test Anxiety

You get overly anxious and nervous when you’re expected to perform or compete in front of others.  You do poorly on tests even though you are well prepared.

“Shy Bladder”

You avoid public restrooms. You can’t urinate when others are in the bathroom or might be within earshot. Even if you try, you just can’t go.

White Coat Syndrome

You get nervous even thinking about doctor appointments, and your blood pressure spikes every time you go to a doctor’s office (and therefore they often want to give you medication for it).

Another Natural Treatment for Anxiety Symptoms

While working on the root cause of anxiety is the best long-term solution, we all need some good tools to gain some control over the symptoms.

Here’s a unique holistic tool for managing anxiety symptoms:  Homeopathy.

 

I’m not an expert on homeopathic remedies, but I work closely with someone who is an expert: my colleague Cherri Schleicher, Family Nurse Practitioner.  As we share office space together, we often collaborate in the treatment of our patients.  Cherri has taught me a lot about natural solutions for anxiety symptoms and now I’d like to share some of what I have learned with you.

What is Homepathy?

homeopathy

 

Homeopathy, or homeopathic medicine, is a medical philosophy and practice based on the idea that the body has the ability to heal itself. Homeopathy was founded in the late 1700s in Germany and has been widely practiced throughout Europe. Homeopathic remedies have been regulated in the United States since 1938 and are considered to be safe, with no side effects.

The good news is that homeopathic remedies are quite inexpensive.  They are small pellets dissolved under the tongue, having a very slight sweet taste. They are formulated from plants and mineral, and are completely natural with no chemical additives.

 

Homepathic Medicine for Anxiety

The big benefit of homeopathics for anxiety is that they have no risk of dependence or risk of being habit forming (as many prescription medications do). They have no side effects and can be used to treat children, as well as used in pregnancy. They can also be given to someone who is currently on a medication for anxiety to help in potentially decreasing the dose or permanently weaning off of the medication.

The right homeopathic medication takes into account your specific feelings, anxiety symptoms, and anxiety provoking events.

Therefore, in order for homeopathic remedies to work well on YOUR anxiety, it’s important to get an individualized recommendation from a homeopathy practitioner.  Here are some of the more common homeopathic medicines that my colleague Cherri Schleicher uses to treat anxiety symptoms:

 

Aconite is a homeopathic that is very beneficial for panic attacks and the individual who has a fear of dying. This fear tends to be enhanced at night.

Arsenicum Album is for the anxious individual who tends to wake up between 1-3:00am. They may also experience “feelings of doom.”

Argentum Nitricum is more for the individual who is agitated, experiences anticipatory anxiety, phobias, abdominal pain some dizziness. They also may do frequent “throat clearing.”

Ignatia is helpful after the person experiences emotional shock, also intense grief. They may also experience palpitations.

Gelsenium is helpful for the person who experiences paralyzing fear. They may feel as if their body is trembling and numbness like “their legs are being cut-off.”  Their anxiety can cause headaches around the eyes.

Kali Bromatum is helpful for the individual who becomes physically agitated with their anxiety, fidgeting of the hands and also experiences restless sleep.

Phosphorus is a medicine that helps the person who becomes more anxious in the evening and they have a tendency to feel vulnerable.

Staphysagria is for the person who feels easily humiliated and has a sense of “injustice.”

One Size Does Not Fit All

You are a unique being, and the way your anxiety appears can be unique. Symptoms can change from person to person, and can even change at different times. 

Treatment with homeopathic medicine must be adjusted and an individualized plan of care will be based on your personal history and your specific anxiety reactions. Although homeopathy is safe when used in conjunction with anxiety symptoms, it is important to determine the root cause of the problem and take an integrative approach to returning to wellness.

Feel free to contact Cherri Schleicher, FNPc APNP AHN-BC, to explore how homeopathy might be useful for you!      

You can call her at 414-640-6287 or email her at cholisticfam@wi.rr.com

One last note…if your anxiety is keeping you up at night, there is a homeopathic solution for that too!