With stress and anxiety on the rise in modern society, there has been a discernible shift away from visiting traditional doctors, and exploring more complementary treatments and therapies. Natural treatments are increasingly being sought out as alternatives to conventional medicine and surgery, and are valued for their non-invasive nature and lack of side effects.
What is Stress and Anxiety?
Stress is a response to a perceived threat or emergency by the body, and is generally a healthy reaction that prepares us for any eventuality. When we begin to react to everyday events as such, the body is constantly producing the hormones that trigger our defence mechanisms. If left unchecked this scenario can have significant health implications – specifically heart disease, suppression of the immune system, hypertension and even diabetes. Symptoms include poor sleep patterns, irritability, poor concentration and low energy levels. Anxiety is a condition closely related to stress, and is best described as irrational fear or apprehension. This is often in relation to everyday events or scenarios that do not affect most other people. Symptoms include excessive sweating, panic attacks and various phobias.
Natural Treatments for Stress and Anxiety
A wide range of natural treatments and remedies are on offer, from physical options like massage and Craniosacral Therapy, which utilise manipulation of tissues and muscles; to more psychological treatments like meditation and hypnotherapy that emphasise the mental aspects.
- Aromatherapy for stress and anxiety: Plant and flower extracts are infused with base oils to create a palette of aromas that when inhaled, or experienced as part of a massage can bring relief to muscular tension and stress in the body. Essential oils such as lavender and bergamot are popular, and one can even enjoy a cup of chamomile tea to ease tension before bed.
- Breathwork for stress and anxiety: Breathwork uses carefully considered and disciplined breathing techniques to reach a meditative state. The major benefit of this approach is the deep state of relaxation that can be reached via this technique.
- Craniosacral Therapy for stress and anxiety: This treatment is similar to massage, except that it uses more gentle techniques and has the head, spine and pelvis as its primary area of focus. As this area is the source of the nervous system, gentle manipulation of this zone results in an alleviation of muscular and nervous tension.
- Emotional Freedom Technique for stress and anxiety: Emotional Freedom Technique uses aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine, specifically acupressure to relieve a wide range of issues including stress, tension and anxiety.
- Homeopathy for stress and anxiety: The use of like to treat like is the foundation of this natural treatment, which utilises heavily diluted remedies derived from plant and animal extracts. The repeated dilution increases their potency, with specific remedies prescribed to combat particular ailments or symptoms.
- Hypnotherapy for stress and anxiety: This treatment uses hypnosis to unlock the power of the unconscious mind and effect positive changes in the life of the individual. People who are hypnotised generally feel very relaxed, which is why it is often successful in relieving stress and anxiety.
- Massage for stress and anxiety: Massage is perhaps one of the more widespread natural treatments available, with a range of techniques and styles to choose from. Gentle or more vigorous deep tissue massage stimulates circulation and often leads to a reduction in muscular tension.
- Meditation for stress and anxiety: Meditation is a discipline that utilises controlled breathing to free the mind of thoughts or activity. This very often leads to a more relaxed outlook, especially if practised on a regular or daily basis.
- Yoga for stress and anxiety: Yoga is a discipline that combines the mental and physical, with controlled breathing and precise poses used to unify the mind, body and spirit. It is useful in easing stress as the meditative aspect of it aid in lowering blood pressure and heart rate.