By AFEA member Beverly Bragg Ware

Anxiety is often debilitating, accompanied by shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, sweat, excessive thoughts, intense feeling of worry, fear, irrational thoughts and even the feeling that you are dying. Eventually, anxiety will affect you mentally, physically, and emotionally. Some people start to have digestive disorders, like IBS, and the culprit can be the underlying anxiety. Others may suddenly have migraines or feel lightheaded. If you are having anxiety, take it as a warning sign that something must be addressed. Thankfully, there are many ways to keep anxiety at bay.

There is a heightened sense of anxiety everywhere today. With current COVID-19 regulations, a lot of us do not know when we will be allowed to work, see our family and friends, or even take a walk the beautiful trails in Austin, Texas. There is a lot of uncertainty about what lies ahead. Moreover, many are hurting emotionally and financially. While I wish I could be in person to help and support you, I want to shed light on how acupuncture helps anxiety as well as tips you can do at home in the meantime.

How Classical Five Element Acupuncture Treats Anxiety

Classical Five Element Acupuncture is unique in the way we view and treat anxiety. Classical Five Element Acupuncture differs from the most common acupuncture practiced, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which primarily focuses on physical problems. Even when physically hurt, those injuries will take a toll mentally and emotionally. Classical Five Element Acupuncture address the root cause of anxiety. There are many points that symptomatically treat anxiety, but the goal of a Five Element practitioner is to treat the underlying cause of that anxiety. When the root problem is addressed and resolved, symptoms like anxiety, depression, headaches, begin to fade away. This form of acupuncture allows the body to heal itself. When the mind and body are at one, mental and physical peace is assured.

Classical Five Element Acupuncture treats the following forms of anxiety:
• Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
• Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
• Social Anxiety
• Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
• Phobias
• Test Anxiety
• Panic disorders
• Postpartum anxiety
• Agoraphobia
• Relationship anxiety

Tips to Reduce Anxiety at Home

Lemon balm

Lemon balm is a calming herb which is in the mint family. Pour boiling water over lemon balm to create a lovely tea that helps calm a frazzled mind. Besides the medicinal effects, lemon balm tastes fantastic.

Movement

Anxiety can be relieved tremendously by moving your body. Go for a walk, practice yoga, or literally allow your body to shake it off. Even getting up and doing dishes will help take your mind off the current state you feel that you are in.

Meditation

Meditation is scientifically proven to reduce anxiety. Anxiety can feel like a hamster in the wheel and meditation changes your brain’s habits. I encourage you to start with five minutes a day to focus on your breath. And if you find it beneficial to add more time, then do so. There is no negative side effect of giving your body some extra oxygen.

Mindfulness and Gratitude

Being in the present moment is very difficult. This is especially the case with social media, work, children, etc. But taking even one minute to be present and focus on the positivity of your life will be beneficial. This will help train your subconsciousness to have more positive thoughts and less worry. Again, this practice is not easy, but making mindfulness and gratitude a habit will break anxious patterns.

Nature

If you are able to go outside- get out of the house! Now! Walk around your neighborhood. I have taken so many more walks during quarantine and seen beautiful houses and sites I had never noticed before. Being outside in nature reduces feelings of anxiety and worry. Moreover, it is grounding and literally gets you out of your head.

Acupressure

Acupressure the point Yintang is right in between the eyebrows. Rubbing this for at least 30 seconds should have an immediate calming effect. Try doing this while laying down in bed while taking deep breaths.

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