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  • Brooke Allwood

Anxiety

Did you know anxiety is the most common mental health condition in Australia?


1 in 4 people will experience an anxiety disorder in their lifetime.


It is normal, healthy and safe to feel anxious at times.


Anxiousness/worry/stress etc. are our bodies protective responses to stressors/danger.


Anxiety/anxiety disorders, however, are “…more than just feeling stressed or worried.” - Beyond Blue


Anxiety: A mental health disorder characterised by feelings of worry, anxiety or fear that are STRONG ENOUGH TO INTERFERE WITH ONE’S DAILY ACTIVITIES. - MayoClinic



Anxiety and Nutrient Deficiencies


Did you know various vitamin and mineral deficiencies can contribute to/cause to anxiety? Because, they can.


Did you know sub-optimal levels of various nutrients can be just as detrimental? Because, they can.


This means, that having test results that sit inside the standard medical ranges listed on your results page may not actually be good enough to prevent symptoms and maintain optimal health.


Having blood test results that are considered ‘okay’, ‘fine’ or ’normal’ doesn’t necessarily indicate optimal health.


For optimal health and wellness your results need to be, well, optimal…


Check out the grid below for a few examples of the difference between optimal results vs. ‘normal’ results.



Common deficiencies linked to anxiety include, but are not limited to:

  • Iron (do not supplement iron without first having a blood test - high iron symptoms can mimic low iron symptoms)

  • Vitamin D

  • Vitamin B12

  • Magnesium

  • Essential Fatty Acids

Identifying potential deficiencies or sub-optimal levels of nutrient forms a key part of my treatment plan.



Anxiety and Herbal Medicine


Herbs are one of my favourite tools to utilise in the management of anxiety.

Let’s talk about some of the best Anxiolytics available:


LAVENDER // Lavendula angustiflora: everyone knows how beneficial diffusing lavender essential oil can be for sleep, stress, anxiety etc. - well, as a herbal liquid it is just as (often more) beneficial. Lavender is a Nervine Relaxant meaning it relaxes the nervous system which leads to a reduction in symptoms of anxiety such as feeling wound up or tense.


CALIFORNIAN POPPY // Eschscholzia californica (don’t ask me to pronounce that doozy!): widely utilised to work with anxiety that also has hyperactivity or insomnia traits. It is another Nervine Relxant. This beauty pictured is CalPop.


KAVA // Piper methysticum: Kava isn’t pretty enough to get it’s own image; but what it is, is pretty damn powerful! Kava helps reduce anxiety as well as depression, insomnia and nervous tension. I love Kava! I still take it now on and off (for sleep, stress and jaw clenching) 10 years after trying it for the first time. Remember how I said Kava is pretty damn powerful? Well, because of that you have to be careful with it - there are some interactions, contraindications and warnings surrounding its use. Realistically, it should never be taken without the advice of a qualified practitioner…like me!


ST JOHNS WORT // Hypericum perforatum: SJW is considered to be a pretty hardcore herb, mainly because of its long list of interactions, contraindications and cautions. It’s another herb that should only be used under the supervision of a Naturopath/Herbalist. I’ve been using it in clinic for years with some pretty incredible results. It’s a fantastic herb for all mental health conditions, and one I aways consider when working with anxiety. Plus the flowers are so pretty I just had to feature it on my feed!


WITHANIA AKA ASHWAGHANDA // Withania somnifera: the list of reasons why I love withania is an extensive one. Not only does it help reduce anxiety, it also an adaptogen (helps you adapt; deal better with stress), helps with iron absorption, has hypotensive properties, is an overall body tonic and fights inflammation. I pick this herb for the ‘tired but wired client’ - the ones who are exhausted but can’t sleep, relax or settle. Like many herbs, withania does have some interactions/contraindications (e.g. affects thyroid function and should not be used in hyperthyroidism) so should never be used without the advice of a qualified practitioner.


CHAMOMILE // Matricaria chamomilla is one of the most underrated herbs! It’s often utilised (sometimes in a tea) for its sleep promoting properties. But, did you know it is also a powerful anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial (kills bugs), wound healing, digestive tonic with…you guessed it! Anxiolytic actions. It’s also really pretty, the bees love it and apparently it helps keep mozzies away.


VALERIAN // Valeriana officinalis (I love it when the scientific names are easy to pronounce and easy to remember) Everyone knows valerian as a sleep herb; but it’s also a powerful anti-anxiety herb. It also helps to reduce dysmenorrhea (period pain), high blood pressure and pain including migraines. It’s another Nervine Relaxant - check out my recent posts for more information and other examples.


PASSIONFLOWER // Passionflora incarnata is especially useful when there are components of restlessness, sleeplessness, gastrointestinal upset and/or addiction also present. Passionflower is a Nervine Tonic meaning it strengthens and nourishes the nervous system as a whole. It’s just glorious.


And there you have it - my top Anxiolytic herbs.

The best thing about herbalism is that I can easily combine any (or all) of the these herbal liquids in to a bespoke blend for my clients.



Anxiety and Affirmations


Be kind to ya mind!


Affirmations - saying what you want to achieve/believe about yourself/your situation as if it’s already fact.


Examples “I am calm, centred and grounded” “Today will be a damn good day!” “I am good enough”


I typically suggest to my clients that they just repeat their affirmations over and over and over again whenever, wherever they get the chance.


However, for those out there who need more direction than that; some nice opportunities to utilise affirmations include:

  • While in the shower as the water is washing over you - start off by visualising the water washing away negativity, your crappy day, your worries etc. Then simply repeat your affirmations a few times; in your head or out loud, whatever works best for you.

  • Every morning when you first wake up. As soon as you open your eyes or even before focus on your affirmations. Say them out loud or think them, it’s your choice.

  • On the drive to work, school, home..

  • Setting your alarm title as your affirmation is also a really easy, effective way to remind yourself to focus on them.

  • If you’re anything like me writing them down seems to be the most effective option. I write them down weekly in my work diary, in nice bright colours over and over, until I have no room left on the page. I also summarise my week by writing down the good things that have happened.

  • I also used to have two of my favourite affirmation cards set as the background on my phone…and then I got married and changed my background to a really cute family photo with my pooch.



Anxiety and Chakras


Anxiety symptoms can be worsened when our Chakras are blocked/closed, so ensuring our Chakras are open may help to reduce anxiety symptoms.


How to keep your chakras open:


AFFIRMATIONS // Repeating affirmations focusing on your chakras, the easiest affirmation to say would have to be, “my chakras are balanced”.



CRYSTALS // There are various crystals linked to each Chakra, click on the link below for more info. I have crystals everywhere! They sit in my office, beside my bed, in my car, in my wallet…sometimes I carry them in my pocket or bra if I have something specific I’m wanting ‘help’ with.


COLOURS // Wearing (and eating) the colour associated with a Chakra helps to promote openness of that Chakra. From top to bottom the colours are white/violet, purple, light blue, green, yellow, orange, red.


YOGA // Practicing yoga on a regular basis is beneficial for pretty much every aspect of health, including the health of our chakras, so, if you’re not already you should start now! For online yoga I love alive yogi and for in person (Hervey Bay) you can’t go past Health Hunter Natural Therapies.


GROUNDING // Getting outside barefoot as often as possible is one of the easiest ways to help keep your Chakras in alignment. Stand there basking in the sunlight (or moonlight) for as long as you can.


A CHAKRA BALANCING SESSION WITH ME // Book via my website.



Anxiety and Australian Bush Flower Essences


ABFE are a form of energetic medicine developed by an Australian Naturopath named Ian White. They have been used by practitioners all over the world for decades. I use them on a very regular basis with many of my clients.


Especially those suffering with anxiety disorders.


ABFE help to reduce symptoms of anxiety including:

  • An overactive mind

  • Constant worry

  • Irritability

  • Racing thoughts

  • Negativity

  • Impending doom

I have my clients chose their bespoke ABFE blend themselves - it’s a little airy fairy but it is also the most accurate way to determine the necessary Essences.


Basically, they shuffle through the cards any way that feels right to them and pull out the 5(ish) that they are most drawn to.


The cards they select are the Essences they need currently or will need in the very near future to help deal with emotional ‘issues’ and concerns.


ABFE are completely safe for anyone and everyone to use!

You can book an ABFE consult via my website for your own anxiety based blend.


Here are a few ABFE that are specifically indicated in the management of anxiety:


BLACK-EYED SUSAN

“Don’t try and force anything. Let life be a deep let-go. See God opening millions of flowers every day without forcing the buds” - Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, Dying for Enlightenment.


Black-Eyed Susan is for the type of person who is:

  • Impatient

  • Constantly ‘on the go’

  • Constantly striving

  • A worrier

  • Plagued by an overactive mind/rushing thoughts

Its use promotes the ability to turn inward and be still, to slow down the mind, body and soul and inner peace.


DOG ROSE

“Man cannot discover new oceans until he has the courage to lose sight of the shore” - Anon


Dog Rose is prescribed directly for anxiety disorders.

For those constant niggling thoughts, the constant second guessing and replaying the days events, for regret…


It’s for the person whose anxiety stems from being/feeling:

  • Fearful

  • Shy

  • Insecure

Its use encourages:

  • Confidence

  • Self belief

  • Courage

  • Love of life


CROWEA

“I’m an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened” - Mark Twain


Crowea is one of my absolute favourite ABFE for anxiety and is one of the most commonly selected cards during a reading.


It is for

  • Continual worrying

  • Feeling ‘not quite right’

It is indicated for the person who has a tendency towards having their thoughts run away on them, an inability to just be, and a habit of thinking the worst.


Using this essences balances and centres the user, promotes peace and calm and enhances vitality.


If you're ready to get on top of your anxiety, I'm ready to help!

Book your appointment www.its-all-good.com.au/book-in

Book an Initial Naturopathy Consultation for an extensive investigation into your anxiety or an ABFE reading for a personalised ABFE blend.

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