Naturopathic Tips for Managing Anxiety: Nutrition, Lifestyle, Botanicals and More!

Anxiety can be truly debilitating. Every person is different and may have a different manifestation of anxiety. You may experience anything from palpitations and chest pain, to shortness of breath and insomnia, to dizziness and stomach pain. There are also several medical conditions, that can cause chemical imbalances in our body, manifesting as anxiety; some common conditions include hyperthyroidism, asthma, and hypertension. Anxiety can hit several body systems and really dysregulate us.

Currently, the conventional treatments for Anxiety include a plethora of pharmaceutical drugs that can be incredibly useful and effective, especially for debilitating anxiety. But there are also many other gentler ways of addressing anxiety, ranging from diet and sleep regulation, to counseling, to nutraceutical and herbal interventions. These are all ways that I can help you as a Naturopathic doctor and Acupuncturist.

Diet and Lifestyle: No doubt, what we eat, what we do, and how much we rest, play a key role in maintaining our overall health. So, it is not surprising that these factors can have a massive influence in our mental/emotional state. Here are some general tips!
  • Make sure you are eating enough protein and vegetables. Proteins have yin energy in Chinese medicine and provide us with the building blocks of our cells, including our neural cells, which directly impact our mental-emotional state. Vegetable are also very tonifying, and are anti-inflammatory and detoxifying.
  • Ensure that you are getting quality sleep. Some general “sleep hygiene” tips include reducing light exposure and screen time (time spent in front of a TV or behind a computer) at least 2 hours before bed, not eating at least 2 hours before bed, and having a slightly cooler room temperature.
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Counseling: There is always an underlying cause of anxiety, whether it be a deeper underlying fear or unresolved past trauma. Talk therapy can be a wonderful way to have your story heard and work through the process of unfolding and healing what lies underneath.
Bodywork and Acupuncture: This is something I really love doing with my patients. There’s a diverse range of therapies ranging from craniosacral therapy (where we re-set your body’s cerebrospinal rhythm), reiki (where we energetically re-balance your whole system, without physical touch), and acupuncture (where we nourish your qi and remove emotional and physical blockages in your system).

Nutrients and Herbs: Vitamins, minerals, and nutrient blends can literally reset and normalize your body chemistry, which is wonderful! Herbs on the other hand can provide really wonderful symptomatic relief.
5HTP- This is tryptophan, an important amino acid (the smallest part of a protein) that is the precursor to other chemicals in the body such as serotonin and melatonin. It is more of an “upper” which really boosts us and helps us feel better. So this nutrient is great for anxiety AND depression.
GABA- This is a “downer’ amino acid. It actually inhibits neural activity in the brain, helping us to calm down!

Lemon balm-I’ve talked about this herb a ton already, but this sweet and gentle herb is really great at reducing anxiety, particularly in those who suffer from hyperthyroid! It actually inhibits the production of thyroid hormone!
Kava- This is a pretty intense nervous system AND muscle relaxant. It’s particularly great for reducing anxiety and helping you sleep really really well at night.

There are dozens of other ways we can work together to help get rid of your anxiety for good! Book your session to discuss anxiety recommendations specifically for you.

In health.
Dr. Naika

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Dr. Naika, the writer of this blog, has a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine and a Masters of Science in Acupuncture as of June 2017. Please do not take the information presented on this blog, as medical advice, without consulting your certified health care practitioner. Knowledge is power and your health is your wealth!