Anxiety is a condition that is so common place that most of you will have suffered from this condition at some time in your life.
According to the dictionary Anxiety is a feeling of worry,fear, nervousness or unease about something with an uncertain outcome. Something that causes a feeling of fear or worry. Although this is the dictionary explanation Anxiety can take the form of a mild worry to the other extreme of a full on panic attack and restrict a person’s life, so that even normal tasks become impossible.
WHAT CAUSES ANXIETY
It is normal for people to feel nervous or anxious about a problem at work, or a student before an exam. For the purpose of this piece however I am referring to the type of Anxiety that interferes with a person’s ability to lead a normal life on a regular basis. This is generally the sort of Anxiety I treat in my clinic.
Anxiety is normal in stressful situations but it becomes a problem when the stressful situation has passed and yet the symptoms remain or the stress is minor and yet we perceive it as being dreadful and therefore our reaction is out of proportion and it has a very negative effect on our lives.
Anxiety can be triggered by stress and how we react to certain situations. A person feeling anxious will be tense.
WHAT ARE THE COMMON SYMPTOMS OF ANXIETY
There are many and varied symptoms associated with Anxiety and although some are common, not all these symptoms are experienced at one time. The list below is just an indication of what you may be feeling when experiencing Anxiety.
The physical symptoms are caused by the brain sending out messages via the nerves and hormones to various parts of the body when we are anxious. As an example take Adrenalin, which is release into the blood stream via the adrenal glands when the body feels ‘fight or flight’ may be necessary. This is the perfect reaction if we are in a situation we need to escape from quickly but when faced with a normal situation this is an unnecessary reaction and causes the body harm. The most common symptoms associated with Anxiety are:
- Feeling uneasy, fearful, apprehensive and worried a lot of the time
- Inability to concentrate
- Trouble sleeping
- Heart palpitations
- Chest pains
- Shortness of breath
- Dizziness and feeling faint
- Churning Stomach
- Dry mouth
- Numbness or pins and needles in the hands, arms or legs
- Muscle aches and pains
Not every person suffering Anxiety will suffer all of the above symptoms. In the case of a generally anxious person, the top four are common.
In the case of severe Anxiety it may feel like the person is having a heart attack, when in fact it is a panic attack. If in doubt medical help should be sought immediately to rule out anything more severe.
HOW REFLEXOLOGY CAN HELP WITH ANXIETY
Both Reflexology and Reiki calm the whole system and can ease Anxiety and the stress response in the body, while calming the mind.
I have had many people who come in for treatment saying they cannot relax and yet after an hour of treatment with either Reflexology or Reiki leave in a very relaxed state.
There are over 7,000 nerve endings on each foot, so soothing and rebalancing the body is something Reflexology does very well. I find when treating people suffering Anxiety the adrenal gland is often over producing and the solar plexus, (which i refer to as the nerve switchboard) feels tight and restricted. Reflexology is carried out to gentle soothing music, which also helps.
HOW REIKI CAN HELP IN TREATING ANXIETY
Reiki is a whole body treatment, which is explained in more detail on my website. During a session of Reiki I often feel areas that are cold, where the energy is blocked and releasing these areas helps in a good flow of energy throughout the body. The mind is calmed and body balanced.
OTHER WAYS TO EASE ANXIETY
There are many things you can do if you are experiencing Anxiety and one of the most important is coming to terms with what is causing the Anxiety in the first place and finding a solution. Anxiety can creep up on people, as I know myself. The situation can have passed and yet the anxious feelings remain. Below are things you can do to bring calm back to your life:
- Look at the things that make you tense and avoid them if possible or learn how to deal with them
- Practice relaxation techniques such as Meditation or Yoga
- Take up exercise, this may help to reduce the emotional intensity and use up nervous energy
- Practice abdominal breathing, this is a technique that calms the system quickly. Take a deep breath slowly in through the nose right the way down to the abdomen while saying the word calm to yourself, then hold for a few seconds, then let the breath out through the mouth. Try to visualise the muscles relaxing at the same time
- Eat a healthy diet and give up or cut down on caffeine and alcohol as these can aggravate the stress response and actually cause the body to become anxious.