STRESS AND ANXIETY
If the amount on your to do list is starting to keep you up at night, or you are becoming more irritable and short tempered, you likely need some help managing stress. Anxiety often arises during times of increased stress but can also seem to arise out of nowhere - leaving you with an uneasy feeling, a racing heart, nervous tummy, insomnia or a low mood. There are lots of naturopathic tools that can be used to address stress and anxiety, including the following:
Acupuncture can be used to address many concerns, although I have found it to be very effective for relieving stress and anxiety for many patients in practice. Sessions are generally relaxing and involve shallow insertion of small acupuncture needles in various points on the body that have actions such as calming the mind and moving liver qi (pronounced chee) which help relieve frusteration and stress. There is very little discomfort during insertion if any, and patients are left to relax for about 15 minutes during the treatment. Patients often experience benefit after 1 session, although I usually suggest completing 3-4 sessions to prolong the effect.
Did you know that your daily routines can have a big impact on your levels of stress and anxiety? Finding ways to balance sleeping patterns and exercise habits for some does the trick in bringing them down a notch in their daily lives. Often times it can be hard to manage the outside factors that are causing stress and anxiety, and I focus on helping patients manage the internal response to stress their body is experiencing.
Nutritional supplements and proper eating habits can help decrease the effect of stress on the body and managing anxiety. I assess the diet of every patient, look for 'stress eating' and offer strategies to help overcome these issues. We also discuss foods to help boost energy, balance blood sugar and lower stress. I also help patients optimize their supplement protocol to find the solutions that are right for them.
Herbs can be a very powerful form of medicine when used appropriately. I always make sure that any herbs or supplements I am recommending do not interact with any medications a patient is on (like antidepressants or birth control), which can be a serious concern when products are purchased without recommendation from a professional. Herbs can be great to help slow down anxious thoughts and support the body through times of stress. Teas, capsules, tablets or a liquid extract of a herb called a tincture are selected based on the herb being used and the form preferred by the patient