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Alternative Treatments for Anxiety

Updated on March 2, 2013

Alternative treatments for anxiety offer treatment options for people who may be dissatisfied with the results of traditional therapeutic methods. People may choose to use an alternative treatment for anxiety alone, with other alternative treatments for anxiety, or in combination with traditional therapies. Here are a few examples of alternative treatments for anxiety.

Herbal treatment for anxiety uses natural supplements such as Kava kava, St. John’s Wort, and Passionflower. People should not take herbal treatments for anxiety without consulting a physician. Some herbal treatment can cause dangerous interactions with prescribed drugs. For example, though St. John’s Wort can be found in some beverages, it is potentially fatal when taken with Paxil.

One natural remedy for anxiety is to take 500 mg of calcium and 250 mg of magnesium twice a day. People with anxiety may benefit from avoiding caffeine. A person who consumes a lot of caffeine every day should gradually decrease their caffeine consumption to avoid withdrawal headaches.

Due to its calming effects and ability to improve sleep disturbances, green tea is often promoted as a safe herbal remedy for anxiety. Green tea also improves the functioning of the immune system which can be beneficial for people with anxiety disorders. Prolonged stress and anxiety can suppress the immune system. However, green tea contains caffeine, which is problematic for people with anxiety disorders.

Some herbal remedy products that are sold to treat anxiety claim to be an herbal cure for anxiety. People should be wary of such product claims. Though some herbal treatments for anxiety may reduce the symptoms, there is no cure for anxiety disorders.

Acupuncture therapies for anxiety focus on the outer ear. One study showed that acupuncture treatments to the outer ear may be as effective as prescribed medication for anxiety for some people with generalized anxiety disorder and elevated levels of anxiety.

Biofeedback for anxiety and insomnia has been the subject of some scientific studies. Biofeedback helps treat anxiety disorders by training the person to reduce the hyperarousal that is a common symptom of posttraumatic stress disorder(PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), and panic disorder.

Aromatherapy holistic treatment is an alternative treatment that uses essential oils to treat a variety of conditions. Aromatherapy for anxiety often uses rose, lavender, and rosemary. The essential oils can be used by being added to bathwater, emitted in the air by a diffuser, sprayed on a handkerchief for inhalation, or in candles. People with respiratory conditions should not use aromatherapy without consulting a physician.

Massage has been shown in studies to be effective treatment for reducing anxiety in children. One study showed massage to be a beneficial part of treatment for depression and anxiety in adults. Massage can also be used as a relaxation technique. Frequent use of relaxation techniques is often helpful for people with anxiety.

Several relaxation techniques have been used for treating anxiety. Relaxation techniques include meditation for anxiety and progressive relaxation. These techniques can be used in combination with other alternative treatments for anxiety.


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