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Anxiety Much?

by Brigita Slekys, L.Ac.

"I have a tickle in my throat, Oh NO what if I'm deathly ill? How will I care for my children or make it to work?? Stupid Immune system, I am a total failure."

This exaggerated response to a simple symptom is all too common. Even after asking several patients and staff what they would like me to blog about, anxiety was a winner. It's actually not too surprising, seeing as we are often taxed to our limits and are therefore left with compromised coping skills.Anxiety Much?,

If we are in a situation where we feel unsafe, our blood pressure rises, increasing blood volume and allowing us to run to safety. Running late for a meeting stimulates the adrenals, giving us temporary power to bypass the elevator and sprint up the stairs. Hear news of a loved one getting hurt? Heightened nervous system activity can help us make decisions quickly and efficiently when prompted.

Anxiety Much?, These are examples of healthy anxiety, the primal kind of response our bodies illicit to spurn change. This can include fleeing a dangerous situation, handling a dramatic relationship obstacle, or even coordinating an emergency outfit change.

In Chinese Medicine, referring again to the principles of the Yin and Yang, we consist of two halves, emotional and physical. Ideally the Yin and Yang are equal, and exist in harmony to reveal health. However when one no longer supports the other, the fulcrum is lost and anxiety or even panic ensue. If there is a physical burden of chronic body pain, high blood pressure, or a poor diet, one can expect to see some emotional shortcomings; such as a short temper, irritability, depression, or aloofness.

Likewise, if we are subjected to constant emotional abuse, sadness, loneliness, or shame; our physical halves will DEMAND attention with a pounding heart, Anxiety Much?, dizziness or vertigo, tingling in the arms or legs, and shortness of breath. Many people experience a feeling of impending doom or death, possibly due to this prolonged disregard for our emotional health. Yin and Yang need each other to exist, the same way that our physical selves drive our emotional health, and our emotions drive our more physical bodies.

With this dissociation of Yin and Yang during a panic state, our minds and bodies are no longer in tune. One way to keep the two harmonious is through some reflection. QUIET time. We don't hesitate prescribing "time-outs" for our children, when we ourselves may be needing it just as much. A moment to reflect and see that perhaps healthy anxiety surrounding a relationship struggle,or workplace obstacle, is pointing to the importance of some change. Without involving the full blown involvement of our entire nervous system shut-down mechanisms, we can actually make small changes to stay abreast of of our Yin and Yang discrepancies.

                                  Anxiety Much?,

Meditation, quiet walks, weekly massage or Acupuncture sessions, and mature non-judgmental discussions can help bring these discrepancies to light early on. Checking in on our status (and I don't mean on facebook) we can assess physical or emotional stress. We can also keep a tool box, filling it with alternatives to our regular routines that can keep this vital Yin Yang balance stable.  

Oh- And be sure to include that extra outfit.

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