Addressing Anxiety With Chinese Medicine

When anxiety starts to rise in your body, it can feel like the world is closing in on you. Your breath comes in short gulps, your pulse speeds up, and your mind starts to race.
Whether your anxiety is a rare visitor who only shows up when you’ve got a big day ahead, or a more consistent companion that’s been with you for years, Traditional Chinese medicine offers several solutions for treating the emotional, physical, and spiritual bodies to bring a person back to peaceful balance.
The Western definition of anxiety is: a general term for several disorders that cause nervousness, fear, apprehension, and worrying. These disorders affect how we feel and behave, and they can manifest real physical symptoms. Mild anxiety is vague and unsettling, while severe anxiety can be extremely debilitating, having a serious impact on daily life.(http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/anxiety).
Other disorders classified within anxiety include:
  • Social Anxiety
  • Phobias
  • Panic disorders
  • Generalized Anxiety disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Seperation Anxiety

In the United States 18.1% of our population suffers with some form of anxiety. That is 45 million people.(NIMH)  

The Western treatment for anxiety is antidepressants like Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, Paxil and Effexor. Blood pressure medications like Propanolol, Antihistimines, and in cases of severe anxiety, Benzodiazapines like Klonopine, Ativan, Valium and Xanax. The class of drugs known as Benzos are some of the most addictive drugs available today. Many people choose to steer clear of the pharmaceutical drugs and try to find their inner zen with in the Holistic health care paradigm.
“Anxiety is a mental disorder that affects literally millions of people. It’s an illness that often dovetails with depression and alternates from mild discomfort to almost uncontrollable panic with physical symptoms. While some medications have been known to ease anxiety, they may also suffer from undesirable side effects, suppressing the symptoms while making individuals chemically toxic.” (http://www.pacificcollege.edu/news/blog/2014/10/04/anxiety-disorders-and-traditional-chinese-medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine defines anxiety as an issue with in the Zang organs, and specifically the Heart, where the Shen is housed. Depending on what other Zang organ is involved,  determines the different ways anxiety may appear. If the relationship between the Heart and the Kidney is broken, there will be panic based in fear, and panic attacks.  Your practitioner can help assess where the cycle is disrupted and return it to balance. Breathwork is another facet in treating anxiety holistically. Finding a practitioner of Qi Qong, or Yoga can prove to be a very helpful relationship as they help you restore your personal relationship with your breath.
Practitioners of Traditional Chinese medicine will also offer point work and body work to correct the flow of Qi within the body. Along with bodywork, your practitioner will likely recommend herbs as part of your health care regime. The earth has many plants and we humans have created many formulations that aid in the stress anxiety has on the body, as well as assist in bring the Zang organs to balance.  Here are Pulse Holistic Health’s favorite single herbs to offer:
  • Valarian- “Scientists have found that valerian root increases the amount of a chemical called gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA helps regulate nerve cells and calms anxiety. Drugs such as alprazolam (Xanax) and diazepam (Valium) also work by increasing the amount of GABA in the brain. The valerenic acid and valerenol contained in valerian root extract act as anti-anxiety agents. (5)  It’s pretty amazing that a herbal remedy like valerian root can have the same anti-anxiety effects of prescription drugs without all the serious side effects of psychotropic drugs.” (https://draxe.com/valerian-root/)
  • Kava Kava- Kava is a traditional drink in the South Pacific that promotes quick relaxation and is used in numerous rituals and ceremonies.   (http://bebrainfit.com/kava-for-anxiety/).  It’s also sold as an herbal remedy for anxiety, stress, and insomnia.  Consuming kava may induce a mild sedation and euphoria, a numbing effect and enhanced social interaction. It is prepared in various forms, such as grinding the plant or brewing its roots. It’s believed the roots contain chemicals that may treat anxiety. The active ingredients of the plant are compounds called kavalactones. “These chemicals have similar effects to medications such as Xanax, which are used to treat anxiety and panic disorders.” (http://www.livescience.com/34497-kava-anxiety-treatment.html)
  • Inositol- Inositol is a carbohydrate and vitamin substance that the body can produce in small amounts. It is found naturally in certain fruits, lecithin, brown rice, meats and whole grains, but the amounts present in food are typically not enough to produce anti-anxiety effects.

Traditional Chinese Medicine offers many many herbal formulations for Anxiety. The most common formula that we recommend is a combination of 2 formulas. Calm Spirit and Ease Plus. 

  • Calm Spirit- a modified version of Ding Xin Wan. This formulation alleviates anxiety, depression, anger, insomnia, restlessness, dizziness, spontaneous sweating, and constipation due to stress. This formula works by treating the Heart Zang, it calms the spritit, nourishes the blood, nourishes the heart yin and moistens the intestines. 
  • Ease Plus- is a modified Bupleurum and Dragon Bone also called Chai Hu Mu Li Long Gu Tang. This formulas therapeutic action is to treat nervousness, insomnia, emotional distress and headache. It mainly treats the effects of anxiety on the gut. It works by invigorating the Liver Qi, sedates the Liver Yang, tonifies the Spleen and Calms the Shen.
  • Min-Chex- Min-Chex is a combination of minerals and synergistic factors designed to support the nervous system.

If you struggle with anxiety, or one of its nasty little friends, there are many, holistic solutions available. Call Pulse, or go to www.pulseholistichealth.com and book an appointment with a practitioner. 

By |2017-03-10T13:02:12+00:00August 25th, 2016|Categories: Blogs, Chinese Medicine, Common Conditions|Tags: , , |0 Comments

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Pulse Holistic Health is a made up of independent, self-employed holistic healthcare practitioners that choose to work together for mutual benefit. Individual posts on the Pulse site may be written by a particular practitioner or as a collaborative effort. The views and opinions in Pulse post's, although approved by the group, may not reflect all the views and opinions of the individual practitioners. Members services include: Asian medicine, Traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, Amma therapy, massage therapy, holistic nutrition, acutonics, holistic health education, and more.