Addressing anxiety – the physical aspects

As a holistic counsellor, of course I acknowledge and promote the effectiveness of counselling for anxiety. I would even say that it’s essential in addressing anxiety.

Even if you have not looked into  possible physical contributors to your anxiety, you may benefit from seeing a good holistic counsellor who will take these factors into account.

Your anxiety may stem from a complex of causes, and dealing with the physical as early as possible makes a lot of sense. Receiving a medical diagnosis can bring peace of mind – through having greater understanding of your health and the symptom of anxiety, and having the medical support to work with it. But many people are not happy with simply receiving the prescription that many doctors will readily prescribe. Holistic counselling can offer far more than this in addressing anxiety.  Read on to find my recommendations on seeking health support most effectively.

Addressing anxiety

In my last post I touched on some of the primary health issues that may cause anxiety, and I have no doubt that there are more than I am highlighting here. (You can read my last post here). Poor health throws major stress on our bodies, leading naturally to stress in our minds and emotions. It is not just worrying about ill health that makes us anxious. Anxiety is a frequently caused symptom of our ill health.

Some of the health stressors leading to anxiety include –

  • Hormone imbalance
  • Nutritional deficiency, malabsorption or poor gut health
  • Virus or parasites
  • Allergies or food intolerance
  • Incapacity to release toxins or heavy metals
  • Inflammation and auto-immune disease (such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, CFS or ME)
  • Poor sleep
  • Low blood-pressure
  • Or it could be a side-effect of medication

Many of our health issues remain undetected and undiagnosed. We tend to be hard on ourselves and not seek the help that our bodies need. For instance, people experiencing fatigue, often put it down to the normal tiredness expected when living a busy life. Digestive difficulties are often seen as relatively unimportant issues that we can and should deal with by ourselves. Poor sleep is something we frequently struggle with alone, without realising it may be a symptom of ill health. Poor diet (or undetected food intolerance) can be sustained for years without awareness of how much it effects our emotional and mental states. Viruses and parasites, also playing havoc with our mental and emotional balance, may be undetected in our bodies for lengthy periods.

So how do we deal with this? Holistic counselling is effective at addressing anxiety as the physical aspects are taken into account. Additionally you may want to seek medical help. But many of our doctors are not trained in optimising health, or even recognising emotional states as symptoms of illness. Anxiety as an emotional symptom of ill health is not nearly as well-researched as the psychology of anxiety, so many doctors will simply prescribe medication such as an anti-depressant and refer an anxious patient for mental health support.

The answer is to seek the support of a doctor who has training, experience or at the very least an interest in complementary or integrative medicine. Perhaps even better, would be enlisting the help of a good naturopath who can prescribe herbs and natural medicine, while guiding your doctor in which tests you’ll need.

Exercise is essential for good health, but some conditions of ill health can be aggravated by too much or the wrong kind of exercise. If you are experiencing difficulty exercising, I recommend that you ask your doctor for a referral and care plan to see an exercise physiologist.

Being pro-active in achieving our own optimum health is the only way to achieve it!

I wish you all the best in your journey,

with love,  Jennifer

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