Categories
Deal With Stress

Anxiety And Stress: Which Bach Flower Remedy Is Best?

aromatherapy (1)Inspired by homeopathic medicine, the Bach Flower Remedy System has been found to be very helpful for the relief of negative emotional states such as anxiety and stress. The beauty of the Bach flower remedies is that they can be used as a self-treatment, at any time at home or at work.  They are safe to use with any medication, homeopathic remedy or herbal supplements.

Serious anxiety can be treated with pharmaceuticals, and some types are best treated with a combination of pharmaceuticals and psychotherapy.  Other types respond well with only psychological treatment. Whether the condition is mild or severe, alternative and complementary treatments can be used concurrently to help relieve the symptoms of stress and anxiety.

Relaxation training, breathwork and meditation can be used with any treatment or used alone for self-treatment.  Complementary therapies that can help with stress and anxiety include acupuncture, homeopathy, herbal medicine and Bach Flower Therapy.

Dr. Edward Bach, an English physician, developed a series of 38 flower remedies by looking to nature for flowers and plants that would heal the whole person. He was a successful conventional physician for many years, but became disappointed in concentrating on the symptoms of disease while ignoring the whole of the person suffering the symptoms. He believed that illness is caused by disharmony of body and mind, and that the symptoms are a manifestation of a negative emotional state.

There is little in the way of large double-blind studies on complementary and alternative therapies due to the expense, the lack of financial incentive, and the fact that modern technology so far is unable to measure the effect of treatments on the subtle energy levels.

Although conventional medical practitioners are largely unconvinced of the benefit of alternative therapies such as energy work, herbal medicine, homeopathic medicine and its offspring, Bach flower remedies, there is research which strongly suggests that the flower remedies merit further consideration.

Each of the 38 flower remedies developed by Dr. Bach is suggested as a remedy for a particular emotion or issue.  Two good reference books on how to use the flower remedies are The Bach Remedies Workbook and Bach Flower Remedies Step by Step. There are a number of sources for flower remedies, or you can make your own flower remedies at home.

Flower remedies have been found to be helpful as a treatment for the relief of anxiety. One of my favorites for the relief of stress or anxiety is Rescue Remedy, which is a blend of five different flowers. Rescue Remedy is an important remedy in the first aid kit for several of my friends who have animal rescue organizations.

The animals that come to them have often been through pain, loss and hunger. Some of the animals are brought to them to be re-homed due to a move or perhaps the death of the owner.  Even though those more fortunate ones have not been neglected or abandoned, the animals are grieving for the loss of their family and home. Rescue remedy helps them to recover from the trauma.

A local natural veterinarian offers the flower remedies in her clinic and will suggest them for her patients when needed.  She is very familiar with the skepticism of conventional doctors and veterinarians when it comes to homeopathic and flower remedies.  However, as a raptor rehabilitator certified by Fish and Wildlife Service, she treated owls and hawks that had contracted West Nile.  The experts who had scoffed at her treatments were surprised to find that the recovery rate of her wild winged patients was over 90 percent, compared to the Fish and Wildlife veterinarians’ rate of under 50 percent survival of their birds.

One of my teachers has suggested that we can gather healing energy just by gazing at a flower or plant with an open heart.  He recommends paying attention when we are especially attracted to, or curious about a particular plant or flower, and to always follow up by researching its medicinal qualities.

The foundation of therapies such as homeopathic, herbal, essential oils and flower remedies are all based on the concept of a whole harmony of mind, body and spirit.  These help the body to heal by addressing both the physical and subtle body, and help to restore balance and health on a deep level.  The flower remedies in particular are very safe to use for self-treatment, as they do no harm.  Despite skepticism in the conventional medical field, there is increasing evidence that they may be helpful as a treatment for anxiety.

I would love to hear about your ideas about using flower essences as a wellness practice.  Did it help you deal with stress and anxiety? If Please share your experiences in the Comments section below.

 

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Categories
Relieve Anxiety

What Causes Anxiety?

StressIn the United States, 40 million adults suffer from anxiety disorders, about 18% of the adult population. The cost amounts to nearly a third of the total costs for mental health treatments. Those figures don’t include health care for stress-related health conditions. Although only about a third of those that suffer from the condition, anxiety is very treatable.

Stress and anxiety are normal reactions to adverse situations, often where outside events are outside our ability to control. However, we can control our responses, and take steps to prevent chronic stress and elevated anxiety from destroying our health.

If, however, the symptoms of anxiety begin to take over our life, where worry about finances, employment or relationship issues take up the greater part of the day, normal tasks and focus begin to slip, and you experience disrupted sleep at night, you may be experiencing Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

The medical diagnosis for anxiety includes several categories of the disorder. Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) affects twice as many women as men. People who suffer from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) are worried and tense without a specific cause. There is excessive worry about everyday problems for at least six months.

Women are twice as likely to experience Panic Disorder – also known as Anxiety Attacks – and Specific Phobias as are men. Panic Disorder often occurs along with other health problems, such as chronic depression, irritable bowel syndrome, asthma and substance abuse. Specific Phobia often occurs in early adulthood with no apparent reason, and tends to focus on particular things or activities such as animals, insects, flying, thunder, driving, medical or dental procedures, or elevators.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are closely related to Anxiety Disorder, and anxiety is often experienced along with OCD and PTSD, along with prolonged depression.

When anxiety begins to take control of our life and well-being, it is time to take steps to assess the situation and decide on strategies to best deal with the anxiety. Prolonged anxiety and stress will erode health, lower the immune system and may lead to fatigue and depression.

Anxiety can have a number of causes, including other medical conditions. The condition may also be due to certain poor health habits, traumatic events, brain chemistry, or as a result of inheriting a genetic tendency for anxiety.

The first step is to have a full health checkup to discover if there are any medical conditions that cause anxiety disorder.

  • Lack of oxygen will cause anxiety, such as emphysema, high altitude sickness, pulmonary embolism or an asthma attack.
  • Sudden onset of anxiety may be a symptom of heart attack, heat stroke or hypoglycemia.
  • Overactive thyroid
  • Adrenal tumor (rare)

Sometimes anxiety is a result of lifestyle choices. A common cause is taking in a lot of caffeine, in coffee, tea or cola. While we may up caffeine levels in order to cope with stressful demands, over time this may lead to general anxiety. Sleep deprivation due to an overstressed schedule can compound the symptoms of stress and lead to general anxiety. Street drugs such as cocaine will lead to chronic anxiety.

It is always a good idea to research any side effects of medications and discuss any unwanted side effects with your doctor. There are a number of medications that may induce anxiety in some people as an undesired side effect. These include Selective Serotonin Re uptake Inhibitor (SSRI) anti-depressants, hormones such as oral contraceptives, steroids, asthma medications, some blood pressure medications. Medicines that contain amphetamines may cause anxiety, including Benzedrine, Dexedrine, and Ritalin. Drugs containing steroids such as cortisone, dexamethasone, and prednisone may trigger anxiety.

Even over-the-counter drugs may lead to unwanted symptoms of anxiety. Any that contain caffeine can over stimulate the body’s stress response. These include Anacin, Excedrin, No-Doz and cough medicines, as well as any number of energy supplements. Decongestants such as phenylephrine, found in medicine such as Sudafed PE.

It is important to choose only high-nutrition foods, eliminating sweets such as candy, sweets, alcohol and processed foods. These non-nutritional items will only lower your body’s ability to cope. In addition to changing lifestyle habits that tear down the body’s physical integrity, it is very important to select foods that are high quality.

Reserve those sweet treats for special occasions only. As sweets are often associated with special events, it isn’t likely to be successful to try to eliminate all but the most healthy foods. One of my friends keeps a mental “account”, where a certain amount of those beloved decadent foods are given a time and place. The point is that treats don’t become a part of basic nutrition on a daily basis.

In addition to cleaning up any contributing lifestyle habits, complementary and alternative treatments have been found to be very effective in treating anxiety disorders. According to an article on the Mayo Clinic website, Tai Chi is a moving medication which is an effective treatment for stress and anxiety. Qi Gong, a wonderful natural treatment for anxiety, is an ancient Chinese health system of physical postures, breathing techniques and focused attention that is related to Tai Chi.

I would love to hear about your ideas about what you do to maintain a healthy lifestyle. What are some of the ways that you deal with stress and anxiety? If Please share your experiences in the Comments section below.

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