Opinion

SPOTLIGHT: Anxiety can be addressed naturopathically

By Dr. Andrea Hornyak, Spotlight on Naturopathic Medicine

Normal amounts of anxiety allows us to be better problem solvers, to be more creative, and to grow as individuals as we face the challenges in our lives. (Fotolia)

Normal amounts of anxiety allows us to be better problem solvers, to be more creative, and to grow as individuals as we face the challenges in our lives. (Fotolia)

Worrying is comprised of thoughts and emotions in a repetitive nature concerning a problem or situation that may arise in the future. This preoccupied nervousness can become chronic with unrealistic fears that lead to anxiety.

Most people feel anxious at various times in their life, typically about a specific event with an unknown outcome, such as an examination or job interview. However, when someone worries excessively, this can cause stress within the body, and a constant release of cortisol from the nervous system. Always feeling anxious can also lead to other health conditions such as depression, irritability, fatigue, insomnia, headaches, eczema, poor memory and concentration, muscle tension, excess sweating, nausea, diarrhea, heart palpitations, dizziness and low energy.

Anxiety is one of the most common conditions that I have successfully treated over the past 10 years in my practice. Treatment usually begins with the basics of health such as a dietary and lifestyle assessment, as well as specific blood or saliva testing to rule out other causes such as vitamin/mineral deficiencies or hormonal imbalances. Substances such as drugs, caffeine and alcohol can also make anxiety worse, as well as being sedentary and dehydrated. It is important to get to the root cause of why someone is feeling anxious.

Counseling is a powerful tool to help people begin to see the future differently by focusing on the present and what they can change. Learning coping strategies and relaxation methods is also useful for those who suffer from daily negative thoughts. It is important to accentuate happiness in our lives, as someone in a positive frame of mind has more difficulty having negative thoughts.

Homeopathic constitutional or combination medicine is effective at healing mental/emotional conditions. Chinese herbs and acupuncture balance energy throughout the body, which also has a very calming effect. By addressing physical and energetic imbalances, naturopathic medicine is the most natural way to a more positive and stress-free outlook on life.

Dr. Hornyak has been in private practice as a Licensed Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine since 2006. She opened her practice in the Norwich Medical Centre this past summer. If you'd like to have more information on naturopathic medicine, please visit www.vitalforcenaturopathic.ca