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Monday, January 25, 2010

How to Cure Anxiety Using Only Natural Anxiety Treatments


By Fawaz Morgan-Rowe
Many sufferers of generalized anxiety disorder turn to natural anxiety treatment because of the unwelcome side effects of prescription medications. Effexor (venlafaxine), for instance, usually is not a good choice for people who have high blood pressure. Taking Effexor with one of the older, and cheaper MAOI antidepressants can cause a fatal interaction, and many people find that Effexor gives them socially awkward symptoms of indigestion-and takes away the feeling of urgency to deal with it.
Desyrel (trazodone) can aggravate high blood pressure and cause dizziness. Cymbalta (duloxetine) should not be used by people who have glaucoma. Lexapro (escitalopram) can cause sweating, nausea, fatigue, and drowsiness in both sexes, and make ejaculation impossible for men.
The side effects-and the expense-of anti-anxiety medications lead many people to turn to natural anxiety treatments. Some of these natural methods cost nothing at all. Here is an overview of five treatments that help.
1. Breathing Exercises.
Ongoing anxiety causes changes in the autonomic nervous system, the part of the central nervous system that controls the body functions that we do not consciously think about, such as breathing, digestion, and perspiration. One way to "reprogram" the autonomic nervous system is practice deep breaths followed by long exhalations. Breathing all the air out of your lungs in a long exhalation gets rid of carbon dioxide and creates a partial vacuum that sucks fresh air in. The additional oxygenation activates the "executive function" centers of the brain and helps you take control over your situation.
2. Water therapy.
Another way to stop the "nerves" that accompany generalized anxiety is to splash cold water on your face. This triggers a dive reflex that redirects blood away from tense muscles and to the brain.
3. Eliminating sugar from your diet.
One factor in generalized anxiety disorder is an ongoing condition of inflammation in the brain. If brain tissue is constantly flooded with glucose released by the digestion of too many high-carbohydrate, sugary foods, it never has a chance to deal with inflammation. Simply avoiding sugary foods and late-night snacks will have a beneficial effect on anxiety that is noticeable in two or three days.
4. Eliminating caffeine from your diet.
Just about anyone will suffer symptoms of anxiety after consuming 5 or more cups of regular coffee in one day. Tea and colas, especially Mountain Dew, have a similar effect. Eliminating caffeine lessens activity in the "startle centers" of the brain that power ongoing, generalized, free-floating anxiety.
5. Herbs also help.
When anxiety is accompanied by depression, St. John's wort is a great natural anxiety treatment-provided you have not taken any prescription medications for either anxiety or depression for at least four weeks. Because St. John's wort really works, it is best to allow any medication to wash out of your system before beginning the herb. The Ayurvedic herb Centella asiatica, also known as gotu kola, and the Tahitian herb kava also help relieve over-reactions to sound and light and reestablish normal sleeping patterns.
Fawaz Morgan-Rowe is a writer of a health site that discusses general anxiety treatment tips and other ways of how to stop panic attacks.
For more great advice and more natural anxiety tips, be sure to visit us on the web at our natural anxiety treatments page.

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