Anxiety is a condition that I treat very commonly in my NW Calgary Naturopathic Medicine practice. I see it frequently in both males and females, of all ages from teenagers to the elderly, and in intensities varying from a low level constant anxiety to debilitating panic attacks. This is a condition that significantly affects my patients quality of life, and since opening my practice in 2006 I have used a variety of Naturopathic treatments that work very well in treating this condition.
A patient experiencing anxiety can experience a wide variety of symptoms such as feelings of excessive and/or prolonged worry, fear and uneasiness, palpitations, dry mouth, dizziness, sweaty palms and feet, an inability to concentrate, muscle tension, and much more. Different types of anxiety can include phobias (anxiety linked to a specific thing), panic disorder, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. Medical treatment can involve medication, counselling, and support groups.
Naturopathic Medicine has a lot to offer in the treatment of anxiety. Below is a description of the treatments I use most commonly in treating my patients.
Acupuncture for Anxiety
This is probably one of the most powerful treatments I can use in my patients suffering from this condition. From a Chinese Medicine perspective, the heart energetically is linked to active mind, mental agitation, and a feeling of being un-calm. Through the use of acupuncture, a smooth flow of Qi can be established through the heart meridian, thus inducing a feeling of calm and general well being. Acupuncture has given me significant results in my patients by improving sleep, energy, digestion and overall mood, and reducing feelings of uneasiness and stress and anxiousness. Treatments are generally scheduled once or twice a week for 4 to 8 sessions depending on the intensity of the symptoms, and then spaced out further from there depending on my patients progress. You can read more on Acupuncture here.
Vitamins and Supplements
This is also a very powerful treatment which provides faster relief from symptoms of anxiousness and uneasiness. Depending on my patients other health conditions and health history I can design a supplement protocol specific to them to shift their symptoms as quickly as possible. The vitamin prescription I design is researched to make sure it is safe for my patient. These supplements not only decrease the feelings of anxiety but also will help the body to heal and regenerate from the affects of the anxiety such as elevated cortisol, which can leave the patient feeling drained and exhausted. Our goal is to reduce the feelings of anxiousness and also to rebuild the body from the impacts of this condition which takes so much from the body on a mental, emotional and physical level. You can read more about professional grade vitamins and supplements here.
Botanical Medicine and Herbs
There are a variety of herbs that can help in treating this condition depending on their mechanism of action. Generally the herbs that are used are nervine sedatives and calm the nervous system. The herbs I choose for my patient would depend on the intensity of their symptoms and which symptoms they are experiencing, plus their individual health history and other medications and supplements that they are on to ensure there are no interactions. You can read more about herbs here.
I have been experiencing great results with this treatment in my patients. You can read more about this powerful modality here.
This is another powerful method of treating anxiety in my patients, as well as fatigue, depression and high stress levels. The vitamins we inject in addition to the B12 would depend on my patients symptom picture. You can read more about B12 injections here.
Diet and Nutrition
Food is a very important part of the picture when it comes to treating any health condition. Certain foods such as caffeine and alcohol have been found to impact symptoms of anxiety. Another potential trigger for this condition is fluctuating blood sugar levels. I always look at my patients diet to determine potential triggers and contributing factors whether its a food, or the timing of certain foods that are contributing to symptoms. Read more here.
Food Sensitivity Testing
I have found in practice that certain foods can be linked to causing symptoms of anxiousness, insomnia and fatigue in my patients. By testing for the foods that are creating an immune reaction in your body, we aim to reduce symptoms and increase overall health. Although not a first line treatment in my patients for this condition, it has worked wonders in patients who have not shifted as much as I would like with the above listed treatments. Read more here.
A patients lifestyle is a huge contributor to symptoms of anxiety. Stress management is vital, and many patients find yoga and meditation to be very calming. I am a huge fan of exercise, especially cardiovascular exercise, as a very significant component in my treatment of anxiety. In addition to getting a patient “out of their own head and into their body”, exercise burns off the cortisol and adrenaline that is released in response to stressful thoughts and panic attacks. Read more here.
As you can see, Naturopathic Medicine has so much to offer in the treatment of anxiety, and has the potential to produce significant results. There is no need to suffer from this debilitating and draining condition. If you have any questions about how I can help you, please do not hesitate to contact me at my NW Calgary Naturopathic Medicine practice!
Dr. Ramona Charikar
Naturopathic Vitality Clinic
205-5403 Crowchild Trail NW Calgary, AB