Naturopathic Approaches to Anxiety

Naturopathic Approaches to Anxiety
Naturopathic Approaches to Anxiety
Think of Naturopathic Doctors (aka NDs) as health detectives: we’re here to help you figure out why you might have started experiencing anxiety in the first place.

Naturopathic

By Dr Lynne Racette ND

Anxiety is a word that gets thrown around a lot.

It’s real. It’s debilitating. It’s isolating.

And if you experience any form of it, you probably feel like no one really understands what you’re experiencing and how it is impacting your life. Learning to cope with anxiety is like teaching your brain to think a different way. As with everything, learning takes time, patience, and dedication. You may require some help along the way through the use of supplements or even medications, but figuring out the root cause of your anxiety and addressing it, is the key for long-term relief.

Think of Naturopathic Doctors (aka NDs) as health detectives: we’re here to help you figure out why you might have started experiencing anxiety in the first place. We will help you come up with ways to cope with and decrease or (hopefully!) eliminate your

anxiety. NDs are also educators and will help you recognize your anxiety symptoms and triggers, so that you can understand what it is and what happens to your body and thoughts while you are feeling anxious. We will find ways for you to cope so that anxiety >no longer has such a huge impact on your life.

NDs take a holistic approach to anxiety and we offer natural treatment options that are safe and effective. We will develop a tailored plan that is specific for you and the anxiety you experience because as you know, everyone experiences it differently, and will make sure that no therapies will interact with any of your medications if you are taking any.

Causes

First things first, NDs look at the whole person, and do a comprehensive intake and physical exam, which may include some blood work or specialized testing to figure out if there is any underlying health issue that might mimic or worsen anxiety. Top investigations include: blood sugar regulation, thyroid function, nutrient deficiencies, cardiac function, respiratory health, digestive system, food sensitivities, and celiac disease.

During our first appointment, we will ask a lot of questions, but will also take time to listen and understand how anxiety is affecting your life. We will ask you what your goals are and preferences are when it comes to therapies, so that together we can come up with a plan of action just for you.

Therapy Options

One of the best things about naturopathic medicine is the vast amount of options that we have to offer you when it comes to treatment, so that you can feel comfortable with the plan of action. Here are some of the most common therapies used for anxiety conditions:

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  • Omega 3s: Our brains require essential fatty acids to function optimally. Though these can be obtained through food sources, it is difficult to get adequate amounts to achieve therapeutic benefit, so I often recommend a supplement, one that has a high EPA to DHA ratio for mental health.
  • GABA, Glycine, L-theanine, and Magnesium: Stimulation of the nervous system is almost always a trigger of anxiety symptoms, and using one or a combination of the nutrients above can help increase dopamine and serotonin production in your brain. These feel good hormones help to calm the central nervous system, which will make you feel less anxious and more relaxed, but still alert and not sleepy so that you can still function during the day.
  • Acupuncture or acupressure: Using very thin needles to stimulate points on the body, we can work on calming the mind and nervous system through this relaxing therapy. Anything that involves needles usually doesn’t sound very relaxing, especially if you have a fear of needles, but acupuncture is extremely gentle. Some even fall asleep during treatments. Plus, you get to decide what therapies you prefer and if acupuncture isn’t your jam, then we simply move on to other options.

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  • CBT, Mindfulness, and Breathing Exercises: CBT stands for cognitive behavioural therapy and is quite effective for mental health concerns such as anxiety. Because it helps your brain learn how to think differently, you can prevent anxiety and panic attacks, or learn to cope with them if they come up. Mindfulness exercises are also similar in that they teach you how to identify anxiety symptoms and work through them while remaining calm.
  • Vitamin IVs: Vitamin infusions provide the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that your body needs to feed biochemical pathways and support balanced neurotransmitters. Nourishing your body with all that it needs, in the right form and making sure that they are absorbed can really do wonders for your mood and stress levels.

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  • Walk in nature: Exercise is often overlooked, but it can be a key therapy in helping you manage anxiety thanks to the powerful link between the health of our body and our mind. Exercising in nature enhances these benefits; it can soothe the mind, change the workings of our brain and lower the level of stress hormones almost immediately.

Summary

It is always best to get support when dealing with anxiety, even if you might be scared to reach out. As a part of your healthcare team, naturopathic doctors are here to help and we have lots of options to help you feel better. We know you can find relief from your anxiety!

Visit www.truerootshealthcare.com for more information. Interested in learning more about our approach and how it can help you? Book a complimentary 15 minutes in-person or phone consult to meet with the NDs at True Roots Healthcare.

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