More and more people nowadays are suffering from some form of anxiety. As the pace of life continues to increase, so do your stress levels. Life events such as employment stress, exam pressure and family break-ups leave people feel tense and agitated. Other causes of anxiety are more deep-rooted and stem from unresolved painful events in childhood. Reports of hazards and disasters in the news also add a general sense of fear and worry. Anxiety-related disorders such as panic attacks are on the increase but many suffer symptoms without realising it including irritability, headaches and digestive disorders such as gastric ulcers.
How anxiety affects the body
The autonomic nervous system, over which you have no conscious control, is divided into the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. In response to intense physical or emotional stimulation, your sympathetic system induces a ‘fight or flight’ response, increasing adrenalin production from the adrenal glands, so that you can respond to danger. In our evolutionary past this helped us to avoid predators but extended, long term stimulation results in a racing heart rate, sweating and irritability.
The parasympathetic system is suppressed during ‘fight or flight’. This system governs vital bodily functions including digestion, assimilation of nutrients and waste elimination, so is it any wonder that excessive anxiety can result in digestive disorders?
Various traditional herbal remedies can treat symptoms of anxiety. For example, lemon balm and skullcap are relaxants, helping you to unwind and gain a restful night’s sleep. Vervain and skullcap can also help to nourish, strengthen and balance your nervous system. Linden is helpful in protecting against the formation of gastric ulcers. Wild lettuce has an antispasmodic effect which helps to relax muscles.
Holistic therapies such as Reiki can help to rebalance the mental/emotional bodies, calming the mind and balancing the emotions. A more physical therapy such as reflexology can help to balance the symptoms of stress within the physical body. Therapies such as hypnotherapy and CBT are also worth investigating as they help to change your response to certain ‘triggers’.
1. Therapies including Reiki and Reflexology are available with Helen Shortland.
2. Herbal remedies and a wide selection of herbal teas are available from Little London Herbal Stores, 9 Kings Walk, Nottingham, NG1 2AE. Tel 0115 9472854 or visit www.all-ages-vitamins.co.uk.
Helen Shortland is a Reiki Master Teacher, Meditation Teacher and Holistic Therapist based at Little London Herbal Stores on Kings Walk in Nottingham city centre. Please ring her on 07748 591690 to book a treatment or visit her website http://helenshortland.comfor further information.