Natural Remedies to Soothe Stress and Ease Anxiety

Addressing Anxiety Can Help Relieve Back Pain

Written by Andrew L. Rubman, ND

As we age, we become more vulnerable to the effects of emotional and physical stress. Our spines can feel the effects of this stress, leading to back pain or neck pain. This article gives several tips for dealing with stress; taking these initial steps can also help you prevent (or deal with) back pain. Excessive stress can lead to chemical imbalances in the brain and overreactions in its alarm center. This produces a hyperaroused or anxious state.

If you're suffering from frequent bouts of anxiety, your body and mind are signaling that they need more down time to restore balance.

Initial Steps to Control Stress

Take frequent time-outs. Throughout the day, we're confronted with stressful situations. It is critical not to let this stress build up.

Reduce caffeine intake. In small, irregular doses, caffeine can be medicinal. It increases bile flow, which stimulates the gall bladder and reduces cholesterol. But in regular doses, it can hinder a number of body systems that are responsible for responding to stress.

Exercise regularly. Physical activity is necessary to remove waste products, particularly lactic and uric acids, from the muscles and nervous system.

Work hard to sleep well. Irregular sleep patterns and poor-quality sleep confuse your body. Your body becomes less able to respond appropriately to stress, and you are more vulnerable to anxious feelings.

Natural Supplements

A number of non-prescription supplements have been shown to reduce mild to moderate anxiety.

Take the herbs listed below daily for three months and then take a two-week break. This strategy will minimize the potential for adverse effects and the risk of becoming psychologically dependent on them.

Natural treatments to ease anxiety (they can be combined but only with the guidance of a licensed naturopathic physician).

B vitamins: The B vitamins (especially B6 and B12) help regulate the body's response to stress and maintain a healthy nervous system.

Kava kava: This herb is approved as an anxiety and insomnia treatment in many European countries. It can help relieve acute and chronic anxiety without making you feel drowsy or 'fuzzy.'

Saint-John's-wort: This herb works as an antidepressant. It also relieves chronic anxiety. You must take it for several weeks before you feel its effects.

Valerian: This is a natural sedative, and it is the most popular one used in Europe. It contains ingredients similar to those found in Vallium. It is useful for relieving anxiety because it helps you sleep. It isn't addictive, nor does it make you feel groggy the next morning as sleeping pills can.

Courtesty of The Southbury Clinic Connecticut

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