The last few years have seen an incredible explosion in technology which has changed how we live – and how we communicate.
However, living in this fast paced world takes a massive toll on our nervous system.
We are constantly bombarded by phone calls, messages left on answer machines that demand a response, Social Media that requires our attention and a constant stream of instant news.
Throw in a career, caring for a family, driving on busy roads and keeping all of our friends and relatives happy – and it’s not difficult to see that something’s going to give.
If you’re struggling with anxiety, it may help you to know that you’re not alone. Anxiety is now the most prevalent mental health issue in the US.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 40 million adults aged 18 or over suffer from an anxiety disorder.
That shocking number represents 18% of the entire population of the US – nearly one in five people.
The most tragic aspect of these figures in that only a third of sufferers are getting treatment. Anxiety Disorders are partially treated with medication but the side effects may be putting you (and many others) off from seeking help.
Happily, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) offers you an alternative – an holistic, safe, effective natural remedy that can get you back on the road to recovery and help you to start enjoying life again.
So let’s take a look at Anxiety Disorders and how we can help you right now.
What is an Anxiety Disorder?
An anxiety disorder is not the usual day-to-day stress that we all encounter. It’s completely normal to feel anxious if a problem arises at work or at home. And everyone gets nervous before taking an exam or when they are under pressure.
However, if you are currently suffering with an anxiety disorder, you’ll know that what you’re going through is very different. Your level of distress may become so severe that it prevents you from continuing to live a normal life.
When you start experiencing worries and fears that are so overwhelming that they are disabling, you cross the line into a form of illness that needs help.
The best news is that with the right treatment, you can say goodbye to those crippling feelings and get your life back on track
Types of Anxiety Disorder*
It’s very common for anxiety sufferers to fit into more than one group. You may start out with one type of anxiety disorder and if you don’t get help, it’s all too easy to start suffering with others – which makes your overall condition more difficult to treat.
Even though we’ve seen how very common anxiety is, people are often loathe to get help for fear of being seen as weak or not being able to pull themselves together.
*Statistics from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA)
● Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
● Exposure Therapy
● Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
● Interpersonal Therapy (IPT)
Medications (and their side effects)
Four major classes of medications are used in the treatment of anxiety disorders:
1. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs)
Common side effects include
● insomnia or sleepiness
● sexual dysfunction
● weight gain
2. Serotonin-Nor epinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs)
Side effects include
● stomach upset
● sexual dysfunction
● minor increase in blood pressure
Long-term use may require increased doses to achieve the same effect, which may lead to problems related to tolerance and dependence.
4. Tricyclic Antidepressants
Concerns about the long-term use of benzodiazepines, many doctors switched to prescribing tricyclic antidepressants instead. Unfortunately, these can cause significant side effects, including
● orthostatic hypotension (drop in blood pressure and feeling lightheaded on standing)
● urinary retention
● dry mouth
● blurry vision
Western medicine says that if you have risk factors such as –
● Brain chemistry
● Personality and
● Life events
– then you are likely to develop an anxiety disorder. Western Medicine will offer you medication to treat your symptoms or to change the chemical balance of one or more areas of your body.
Am I At Risk of Developing an Anxiety Disorder?
1. Do you have a daily energy slump around 3pm that makes you crave caffeine or a sugary snack?
2. Do you have trouble falling asleep and/or wake up every night between 1 and 3 – and then have difficulty going back to sleep?
3. Does exercise (or even the thought of it) leave you feeling exhausted?
4. Do you keep moving because when you stop, you can’t get going again?
If you answered ‘yes’ to one or more of these questions, then, according to Chinese Medicine, you are at risk.
Why Traditional Chinese Medicine is Safe and Effective
Chinese Medicine understands your body very differently – and so the diagnosis and treatment are vastly different. The analysis of your issue is based on bioelectric patterns (energy patterns), rather than the chemical patterns used in western medicine. TCM is all about keeping the energy of your body in balance.
Energy is the Key
Energy is the key to the success of Traditional Chinese Medicine. When you remove the blocks that have prevented it from flowing freely, your energy becomes renewed and you are able to recover a vitality that you thought you had lost.
Symptoms or Root Cause?
Western Medicine treats the symptoms of emotional imbalance. This has a positive effect on how you feel but it does not even begin to resolve the issue.
Chinese Medicine treats the root cause.
We can show you how to build up your energy with good nutrition in the form of both herbal formulas and food.
A free flow of energy is re-established using the right balance of herbal formulas and exercises which we will talk about later.
Your Organs are Energy Hubs
Traditional Chinese Medicine’s view of your emotions is not the same as the Western view.
TCM believes that there are five energy hubs which support all of the dynamic functions of the body. The energy hubs are called by names we recognize –
• Kidney (also called Jing)
• Digestive system
According to TCM, these are not the organs we know – they are much more.
For example, the heart is not just the heart but a network of energy channels flowing from that organ.
The energy channels are called meridians and they run throughout the body, taking energy to all of your cells. So, as you can imagine, each energy hub has a big influence on the health of the whole body.
Your Body Sends You Signals Everyday
Your body is sending you signals, every minute of every day. The signals may tell you that everything is working well, or it may alert you to a problem.
It’s easy to understand signals of pain and physical discomfort but the signals that can help you to live well are emotional signals.
Each of your energy hubs sends signals in the form of emotions. These signals don’t mean much if the emotion is random, but if the emotion is chronic then it is meaningful.
For example: if you feel internally calm, have peace of mind, are able to think clearly and love easily, then your Chinese Heart is in balance. However, if you feel chronic anxiety, panic and suffer from insomnia, then your Chinese Heart needs nourishment.
Besides the chronic anxiety, you may be getting other warning signs, you may:
• Be easily over stimulated
• Often be over enthusiastic (even manic)
• Have thoughts which flit from one thing to another
• Have an inability to concentrate
• Feel Anxious
• Feel Jumpy
How Does the Chinese Understanding of Emotions Different from the Western?
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, negative emotions are seen as the biggest causes of disease.
Emotions are a completely normal response to stimuli that your body receives from external sources. If those emotions stay within ‘normal’ limits then your body can cope and life carries on as normal.
However, if any of your emotions become so strong that they are not easy to control, you will begin to feel overwhelmed and your emotions will start to cause inflammatory damage to your organs and illness will follow.
Emotion Duration Causes More Problems than Intensity
Your mind and body are both able to cope with deep emotions that are intensely felt. But if you go through a lengthy period of excessive emotion, it can
● play havoc with the healthy balance of your body
● cause blocks in your energy pathways (your meridians)
● cause unhealthy fluctuations in how your blood circulates
● affect your neurological connections
● ultimately impair the functions of your vital organs
Is it Really All In Your Mind?
Western physicians see so many patients suffering from anxiety that they are very quick to label people as having a psychosomatic illness.
Psychosomatic? Quick…Where’s the Dictionary?
Sadly, it is often the fear of encountering this judgemental attitude which prevents many people from seeking the help that they so desperately need.
We Know It’s Not All in Your Mind
Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine know that prolonged periods of anxiety can cause very real damage to your internal organs. We have witnessed this in our customers numerous times.
Many Western anxiety medications work by dulling your anxious feelings. This may be the best choice in the beginning so that you can regain control of your life but treating the root cause will allow you more options. As you work with your professional Chinese Herbalist and your doctor and you start to improve your health, you will eventually be able to take lower doses or eliminate the drugs completely
Five Steps to Your Radiant Wonder Recovery
Calm the Stress Response and Find the Root Cause; We Can Help You to Build Your Energy Back Up
Our herbalists know that chronic anxiety can drain your energy. If this goes on for long enough, it can become debilitating because it affects how your energy supports your Kidney/Jing. Jing is the reserve energy that your body needs for metabolic activities. It’s also the energy ‘savings account’ that you dip into when you’re running on empty.
So the renewal (and then protection) of your energy is key to real lasting recovery.
The right nutrition (herbal formula and foods) is critical. But for the fastest most powerful results you also want to reorganize the energy flow in your body.
This issue must be addressed if you are going to get long lasting results from the herbal formulas which specifically address your stress response.
That sounds complicated but is easy to accomplish by making some very simple changes to your lifestyle. We want your program to fit seamlessly into your current life. We know from experience that making this fit is one of the keys to success.
Do You Have Unbalanced Energy…or Too Much of it?
When energy is blocked it can build up and then cause a rush of too much energy.
Traditional Chinese Medicine recognizes that too much energy may push anxiety into panic. It may also cause palpitations, headaches, sleeplessness, can make your mind race or make you worry excessively.
Chinese Medicine calls that rush “excess heat”, because it can feel like things are heating up. Acupuncture, chiropractic treatments and massage all are known to work well for excess heat as they break down energy blocks and allow a more even distribution of energy throughout your meridians.
You can also help your body to release excess heat by –
• Put a little alcohol on a cotton ball and apply it to the top of your head
• Put your feet in hot water which allows energy to be released through your feet
• You could try the special exercises below.
Radiant Wonder Radiant Eight Energy Exercise
Radiant Eight Energy Exercises
One thing we encourage everyone to do are our Radiant Eight Energy Exercises.
These standing stretches are 20 minutes of medical Chi Gong exercises and are the same as those used in clinics by professional health care providers.
You can do them in the morning to power up your energy for the day ahead or do them last thing at night to promote relaxation and deeper (and therefore more beneficial) sleep.
De-Stressing — A Few Favorite Techniques…Don’t Forget to Breathe!
Perform the Alternate Nostril Breathing Exercise as often as you can. It’s perfect to help you calm your breathing – especially when you’re feeling anxious.
The ancient herbalists had a saying: “When the breath is calm, the heart is calm.”
● Use the thumb of your right hand to close your right nostril.
● Breathe in through your left nostril.
● Take a deep breath and hold it. Now switch thumbs and close your left nostril.
● Breathe in through your right nostril.
● Repeat around 12 times. Relax and breathe slowly and deeply.
Read More about The Alternate Breathing Technique
Let Ariana Demonstrate a Simple Technique to Find Emotional Control in Less Than 5 Minutes
You can find this simple exercise by going on our YouTube channel. It’s very calming but it can also be used as a preventative. You can stand up, lie down, do it last thing at night or at any time during the day.
One of our clients is a Teacher. When she needs a quick boost, she goes into the bathroom, performs the Wave of Relaxation in a stall and then returns to her classroom… feeling much calmer.
Protect Your Newly Balanced Energy
● Work through your personal program.
● Keep in contact with your Herbalist.
● Continue with the Radiant Eight Energy Exercises and breathing exercises.
Can’t I Just Take a Herbal Formula to Cure My Anxiety?
If you’re aiming for a complete recovery, you need to keep renewing and supporting your energy so that you don’t slip back into anxiety.
Again, if you don’t treat the root cause (lack of energy, and poor circulation of energy) you will constantly be slipping back into the symptoms. The body will not be able to hold any balance.
As you work through the program you’ll start to feel so much better that you’ll want to keep up your good work.
Traditional Chinese Medicine may be used independently or as a complementary therapy. So, for example, you may choose to take herbal formulas instead of western medications but continue with your western counselling therapies.
It’s always wise to talk to your primary care provider before changing any treatments so that you will have the best care that is safe and co-ordinated.