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Managing Anxiety – a Naturopathic Perspective

Major stressful events take a toll on health. Stress-related illness has reached epidemic proportions, with high blood pressure and heart disease leading the way and claiming lives every day. Anxiety is becoming an ever increasingly common problem in Australia with at least 1.6 million Aussies thought to be living with this condition. Let me be clear, Anxiety is quite normal in short bursts and can be very useful for keeping you out of harm’s way, like running away from a Brown snake for example. On the flipside anxiety isn’t normalwhen experienced frequently and it interferes with daily living.

Common triggers for persistent and chronic anxiety include…

Circumstantial stress: e.g. job, personal or financial stress etc

Trauma/PTSD: e.g. death of a loved one, abuse, witnessing a shocking event.

Free floating anxiety  – Feels like an Impending sense of doom for no known reason – usually brought on by a chemical/hormonal/nutritional imbalance.

Drug induced: The use and withdrawal from certain drugs both legal and elicit can trigger anxiety symptoms.

What are the symptoms?

Anxiety is an overwhelming fear about what’s going to happen. It can negatively impact your everyday life.The symptoms are both emotional and physical and they can include:

  • Irritability or agitation
  • Fear or an impending sense of doom
  • Headaches
  • Decreased libido
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Irregular Heartbeat
  • Restlessness
  • Increased Appetite
  • Tremor
  • Sweating
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vertigo
  • Nightmares
  • Hyper-vigilance – e.g. Can’t switch off and relax.
  • OCD
  • Addictions
  • Tension or anxiety headaches.
  • Perfectionism

People with anxiety can battle in their jobs. Anxiety erodes productivity – anxious people feel ‘useless’, immobilised and constantly on edge. Anxiety in the workplace is pervasive with a decent percentage of employees experiencing excessive anxiety in their daily lives. This can lead to poor attendance due to stress and burn out and impede company culture and morale. Acknowledgement and Support is critical in the workplace.

Anxiety and depression often go hand in handandrequires an individualized and holistic approach for the best outcomes. Lab testing may also be recommended to ensure physical triggers aren’t overlooked.

Naturopathic treatments follow some key principles:

  • Unlike with conventional medicine, where just the symptom is treated so that the problem returns, naturopaths identify and treat the very cause. They get to the underlying cause of what’s triggering your anxiety.
  • We all want treatments and medicines that don’t heal one thing and harm another. A naturopathic treatment plan is always gentle and non-invasive and there are no adverse side effects.
  • Naturopaths treat the whole person. The patient’s lifestyle, relationships, mind-set and even posture influence diagnosis and treatment.

Naturopathy – a complimentary Adjust Therapy

The best naturopaths happily work with the patient’s own medical doctor. Some people believe that once they are taking conventional treatment, they can’t use naturopathic medicine.

The truth is, many of the treatment’s naturopaths use actually compliment prescription medicines. The bonus part is that naturopathic treatments may be even able to minimisethe side effects of the prescription.

Associating with Animals Alleviates Anxiety

Naturopaths will always recommend exercise because it’s a powerful antidote to anxiety and depression. You don’t have to join a gym or get even more depressed at the mere thought of exercises you hate. A short walk can be a wonderful way to get started and there are lots of fun forms of easy exercises or physical recreational activities.

Animals are wonderfully therapeutic and have a way of uplifting people. Horse-riding can be relaxing, therapeutic and such a wonderful experience as animals’ sense when you need help. The naturopath will also tell you of other types of exercise which can be beneficial in terms of improving sleep. Sufficient, peaceful, undisturbed sleep is important for providing rest and restoration, both physically and mentally.

Nutritional Therapy

A poor diet is believed to be the main cause of a malfunctioning immune system which opens us up to all kinds of modern-day maladies such as anxiety. Dietary and lifestyle changes will include increased physical activity and an increased intake of fruits and vegetables to improve your gut health. Omega-3 rich foods, the B vitamins, chamomile and L-theanine, a green tea and amino acid can all help if you’re feeling jittery and you need to be calmed down.

The best naturopaths are thorough in their treatments and they will also look at food intolerances, your usage of alcohol, caffeine, tobacco and to establish if there is a history of trauma.

Your naturopath will also want to establish whether you have any medical conditions such as asthma, heart conditions, hyperthyroid or substance abuse.


Anxiety needn’t be a constant struggle, consuming your entire being. If anxiety isn’t controlled, it can lead you down a path with no light at the end. Anxiety can range from mild stress to completely debilitating and unable to leave the house.

With Naturopathy there IS a light at the end of the tunnel. It IS possible to live a long and healthy life without living with anxiety.  Naturopaths are skilled at helping those battling with anxiety to conquer it, and these natural treatments will always include dietary and lifestyle therapies along with natural remedies.

Do research and you’ll find good evidence supporting nature and naturopathic medicine, and with debilitating anxiety, it’s sure worth a try!

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