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What recommendations do you have for generalized anxiety. My life is very stressful and I often find myself anxious and very tense. It disturbs my sleep and I don't want to take drugs for it.

Anxiety is a state of unease combining emotions of fear, worry, and apprehension, and is complicated with associated physical symptoms of chest discomfort, palpitations, shortness of breath and sensations of uncertain danger. From a physiological perspective anxiety is a representation of a heightened state of sympathetic nervous system stimulation, which is thought to act in presence of danger. Unfortunately in today’s stressful life styles many people find themselves in constant state of sympathetic simulation causing anxiety attacks. Anxiety in traditional Chinese medicine is due to the stagnation of Liver Qi. This causes irritability and constraint of the energy, which concentrates in the chest and upper abdomen causing these representative symptoms.

In clinical settings I have successfully treated generalized anxiety disorders with a combination of acupuncture to relieve the immediate Qi stagnation symptoms, and Chinese herbal prescriptions to resolve the underlying stagnation, and to sooth the liver and promote proper circulation. Almost all of my patients suffering from anxiety benefit from a regular regiment of Tai Chi or Qi Gong meditation exercises, these are wonderful light impact exercises that can calm the mind ease stress and tension and reduce anxiety symptoms. Here are some of my favorite home remedies.

Dietary advice

Eat wholesome foods, with no preservatives, additives and artificial compounds. Eat more often with less volume. Eat more complex carbohydrates such as green leafy vegetables, whole grains, asparagus, avocados, apricots, bananas, and broccoli. Brown rice, figs, salmon garlic, soy products, mulberries, jujube, basil, dill, and micro algae such as slirulina or chlorella.


Avoid coffee, soft Drinks, Tea, Chocolate candy or desserts, Drinks with sweeteners, foods with preservative. Spicy foods, highly acidic foods, such as tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers. Limit animal proteins. Alcohol is widely used to combat anxiety, as it is a heavy sedative, however it has great disadvantages as it is addictive and also can cause damage to the liver and other organs in the body. It should not be used as a solution to combat anxiety, as heavy dependency will develop.

Helpful home remedies

• Boil 1 teaspoon of Chamomile and with pinch of mint tea and drink in the evenings
• Valerian tea before bed for one month. Or valerian extracts drops, 10 drops three times per day for one month.
• Basil, Lavender, Marjoram and sandalwood aromatherapy can sooth anxiety and calm your mind. Either use infusions as massage or place few drops on your hands and rub.

Helpful supplements

• 600 mg per day oral drops of Valerian root is well reputed to have anti-anxiety and sedative properties.
• 300 mg three times per day of St. John's Wort. It contains hypericin, which is thought to be helpful in treating anxiety by effecting serotonin, and dopamine levels.
• Magnesium, B-complex, L-Tyrosine, 5-HTP are beneficial in anxiety disorders.
• 400 mg three to four times per day of S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe) an important compound involved in many biochemical reactions within the body. It functions as a natural anti-depressant and mild sedative.
• 250 mg once per day of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) - This amino acid reportedly helps in anxiety.

Helpful Herb Remedies

Chinese herbal formulation for generalized anxiety due to liver Qi stagnation includes Bupleurum, Angelica Dang Gui, Radix Peoniae, Atractilodis, Poria, Mint, Gardenia, Mouton, Concha ostrea, Semen Platycladi and Semen Ziziphi.
Individual herbs that have shown effectiveness in treating anxiety include Cinabar, Magnetitum, OS Draconis, Concha Ostrea, Succus Bambusa, Semen Platycladi, and Semen Ziziphi. These herbs and formulations can be obtained from a licensed practitioner.

Physical Exercise

Daily exercise perhaps one of the most effective treatments for anxiety disorders. Exercise outdoors. Hiking, walking and swimming are the best antidotes for anxiety and tension. Select and actively practice in an active outdoor sports activity that you enjoy. Various relaxation techniques can also help deal with generalized anxiety or when an attack is eminent. Here is a good walking exercise that can help reduce stress and calm anxiety.

In an outdoor quiet setting, a park or woods, perform a circular waling exercise for 10 minutes. The walking is done with intent heal to toe and in deliberate slow movements, hands are draped at the side and head is slightly tilted forward to expose and erect the spine. The circle should not be too small or too wide a 15-20 foot diameter circle is adequate. Here is a standing meditation exercise that can help with eminent stress attacks.

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart, knees bent slightly, spine erect and hands draped to the side. Head tilted slightly forward.
  • With slow deliberate breathing raise your hands gently with each inhale, above your head with palms facing the ground.
  • With each exhale; lower hands down to the ground as though you are pushing a large helium filled balloon down to the ground.
  • Repeat the movement for 27 times.
  • Upon completion place your palms on your lower abdomen (two finger width below the umbilicus) palms facing the abdomen one hand on top of the other.
  • Rub in clockwise direction in circular motion for 7 times.
  • Swish any saliva that has gathered in your mouth around vigorously and swallow intently visualizing it going directly down to the lower abdomen.

IMPORTANT

• Always work with your physicians to rule out possibly serious underlying mental or psychological disorders that may complicate the condition.