Anxiety is a massive problem in our world today, fuelled by a fast pace Yang culture we rarely have time to breathe, let alone relax and nurture our vitally important Yin selves with activities like yoga, meditation and being in nature. Beyond Blue reports that Anxiety is the number 1 mental health issue affecting Australians, with over 2 million Australians experiencing anxiety in any one year.
Panic attacks, rapid breathing, hot and cold flushes, a pounding heart, tight chest, restlessness and feeling “on edge.” You may also experience obsessive fears, worries or thoughts, and you may feel so anxious that you avoid situations which in turn may negatively harm your career, social life and relationships.
From a physiological perspective what is happening is that your body’s fight or flight response is being triggered and is going through the motions of warning you about near and present danger, which in this case may actually be an unfounded thought, or fear. This is not to diminish your very real and present responses which may stem from a very traumatic situation.
If you experience anxiety some common dietry triggers you should avoid include;
Caffeine, alcohol, wheat, MSG, flavourings, preservatives and sugar. Conversely, a lack of magnesium (easily depleted by stress and caffeine) may also be a trigger, as well as a B vitamin deficiency, or zinc deficiency. (Here it is important to note that most Supermarket brand vitamins and minerals are often synthetic and do little more than harm the liver. And while remedying the diet with foods seems logical, it is unfortunate that our soils, and thus food sources are also often nutrient deficient).
It is also worthwhile to note that herbs can be a wonderful support to the body, and often have miraculous properties and co-factors a nutritionist could only dream of. One of my favourite herbs, fantastic for reducing anxiety, and the one I most commonly suggest clients use is, Withania (also known as Ashwagandha in Ayurvedic Medicine). This is also a great one to take if you are currently in the midst of an unduly stressful situation, as it is an adapotgen.
Anxiety is often caused by a fear we are trying to push aside, therefore it can be helpful to actually confront the thought and focus on it, in an effort to “de-trigger” the stress and deplete it of its energy and impact on your thoughts and feelings. While this sounds easy in theory, in reality it may be quite difficult, especially if you are unable to identify the trigger.
This is where kinesiology can be heaven sent. Using the modality of kinesiology, we are able to delve past the conscious mind and dig deep into the subconscious mind using bio-feedback to identify the trigger and stop it in its tracks. Unlike other modalities, such as talking therapies, you don’t have to come back week after week and “relive” your worst nightmare. However, provided you are comfortable to do so, after identifying the trigger, the kinesiologist may ask you to focus on it in order to heighten the stress response, so that you are able to disarm it using kinesiology techniques.
Kinesiology is form of energy medicine which talks to your body, so techniques generally focus on the energetic body, and may include holding acupressure points, or tracing meridians (as used in acupuncture, a technology older than 5,000 years), or activating neuro-lymphatic and spinal reflex points. However, other areas of interplay may be explored such as historical and emotional aspects, biochemical issues, such as hormones and nutrition, or even brain integration, to name but a few antidotes.
While clients are waiting to get an appointment, or as a home support I often suggest they try some of the below techniques;
Alternate Nostril Breathing (known as Nadi Shodhana Pranayama in Yogic teachings). This technique balances the hemispheres of the brain and reduces stress. (All conscious breathing will reduce stress, as it pumps oxygen into the heart, and body).
The mindfulness technique of solely focussing on the sounds around you. Focus very carefully on what you can hear; ie. The humming of electrical equipment, birds chirping, cars driving past, wind through the trees, even your own heartbeat. Focus very purposefully on each sound so that your attention is drawn to things in the present moment, and away from your projected thoughts, so your brain can slow down, as well as your body’s fight or flight response.
Another fantastic remedy is tapping. You tap on points of the face and hands (which are in fact beginning and end points of Meridians, the invisible lines of energy used by acupuncturists), and say an affirmation, by which you acknowledge the current stressor you are facing and give yourself love and compassion, which assist to alleviate the trigger in the moment. Below is a link to my favourite tapping pdf. which I have as a tool in my toolkit and often give to my clients.
While these tools may be beneficial in the moment, in reality it is important to get to the root cause of your anxiety and disarm it. Kinesiology is an excellent tool for this and you should see positive results after your first session, but may need to work through the issue anywhere from 4 – 8 sessions, or more depending on the severity of the underlying cause and how long you have been struggling with it.
Feel free to give me a call if you would like to learn more, discuss whether kinesiology is right for you, and if it can alleviate your issue, or to book an appointment.
Kinesiologist, Melinda Zygarlicki has been practising since 2012 and has many people through traumatic events and health issues with kinesiology.