Ways to re­duce anx­i­ety

Geraldton Guardian - - Opinion - Char­lotte In­wood Char­lotte In­wood is a natur­opath at Char­lotte In­wood Natur­o­pathics, Ger­ald­ton.

Anx­i­ety can mean so many dif­fer­ent things. It can be the full-blown, whole-body ver­sion: tight chest, mus­cle ten­sion, heart pal­pi­ta­tions, squirmy tummy, sweati­ness and light-head­ed­ness.

It’s this type of anx­i­ety that I want to fo­cus on to­day.

There are many fac­tors that con­trib­ute to anx­i­ety dis­or­ders: our genes, bio­chem­i­cal make-up, en­vi­ron­ment, his­tory and per­son­al­ity all play a role in de­ter­min­ing just how vul­ner­a­ble we are to life’s dif­fer­ent stres­sors.

Bio­chem­istry

Get­ting the bio­chem­i­cal bal­ance right makes a big dif­fer­ence in anx­i­ety. We want our brain to be bathed in a sea of calm­ing neu­ro­trans­mit­ters, specif­i­cally GABA and sero­tonin.

A key to iden­ti­fy­ing how your bio­chem­istry might be con­tribut­ing to anx­i­ety is to look at your Methy­la­tion Cy­cle.

This must be func­tion­ing ef­fi­ciently for neu­ro­trans­mit­ter pro­duc­tion to oc­cur. A sim­ple blood test can iden­tify mark­ers of methy­la­tion, which pro­vides some good clues about where to start with nu­tri­tional sup­port. For in­stance, an un­der-methy­la­tor will gen­er­ally ben­e­fit from sup­ple­men­tal zinc, B12, mag­ne­sium and SAMe. An over-methy­la­tor, on the other hand, needs lots of fo­late.

Natur­o­pathic sup­port

Blood sugar reg­u­la­tion is paramount in re­duc­ing anx­i­ety. Many clients with very un­sta­ble blood sugar lev­els ex­pe­ri­ence anx­i­ety when­ever their blood sugar dips, way be­fore they’re even aware of be­ing hun­gry. Eat­ing pro­tein (meats, fish, eggs, legumes) and a source of good fat with each meal is most help­ful here, as is tak­ing ex­tra chromium and mag­ne­sium.

Herbal medicine has some trea­sures that pro­mote GABA pro­duc­tion: mag­no­lia, pas­sion­flower, kava, valerian and lemon balm work well on their own, but even bet­ter when pre­scribed syn­er­gis­ti­cally.

Ex­er­cise is amaz­ing. Not only will it in­crease lev­els of your feel-good brain chem­i­cals, but it re­ally helps dis­charge the built-up ten­sion that char­ac­terises anx­i­ety.

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