Studies tell us that around 1 in 4 Australians will be affected by an anxiety disorder and every year a staggering 7.5 million scripts for benzodiazepines like Xanax are dispensed.
In other words, despite a lot of effort being expended in tackling anxiety, we’re not making great headway towards finding a solution. It won't surprise you to hear that I believe natural therapies have a big role to play in changing the plight of anxiety sufferers.
Anxiety, form a holistic perspective is a signal that your nervous system has reached it’s point of maximum capacity. This state of overwhelm can happen slowly over the course of many months and years or it can arrive suddenly after a traumatic experience.
I ask people to image their nervous system has two opposing states: one of deep relaxation and rest and it’s counterpoint of maximum coping capacity. If you’re suffering from anxiety, essentially your nervous system is at or very close to its maximum coping capacity most of the time. At that point you have precious little buffer left to absorb the stress and strains of daily life let alone deal with the many substantial difficulties life may throw at you.
No matter what state you find yourself in, there is hope. You never truly loose the capacity to switch off, wind down and access states of deep rest although when you’re out of practice it may seem like you have. It’s like a path in the bush that becomes overgrown from lack of use, even though it’s indistinct and hard to find its still there.
In general, those with anxiety are good at switching on, usually highly aware of everything around them and often very stoic. Its qualities like this that may have allowed them to be high achievers, diligent workers and thoughtful friends. But once the nervous system reaches saturation point these qualities work against them and prevent them from regaining balance.
Holistic solutions for anxiety involve retraining the nervous system to navigate away from maximum coping capacity and back towards deep relaxation. Reclaiming your ability to switch between action mode and rest mode is central to restoring your nervous system to balance. Thankfully, every incremental movement towards relaxation and rest brings substantial relief.
To find out more about how to successfully recover from anxiety join Live Well Director Wes Smith and Kinesiologist Kate Pamphilon as they share the strategies, tools and insights that have helped hundreds of Canberrans overcome anxiety and reclaim their quality of life.
Words by Wes Smith
Wes Smith is Live Well's Director and has 20 years experience as a practitioner and wellness educator. He has a special interest in working with chronic immune issues, stress, anxiety and depression.
Wes is passionate about inspiring and educating people to create and sustain their vitality and wellbeing so they can live life to the full.
Wes also enjoys teaching meditation and is the creator of meditatewithwes.com an online resource for learning how to meditate. es has a B.App.Sc.(Acup), Diploma of Herbal Medicine, a Yoga Teaching Diploma and is an APHRA registered acupuncturist. Learn more about acupuncture, herbal medicine and meditation.