Anxiety is a disorder that can be absolutely soul crushing. It isn’t just an emotional feeling, but the symptoms affect every aspect of your life.
Western medical treatment for anxiety can relieve some of the symptoms, but it can come at a heavy price in side effects and loss of quality of life.
One of the things you may be considering is pursuing Ayurvedic treatment for anxiety.
It is a natural method that has been used for centuries to relive anxiety successfully.
Many of its methods are now being validated by western studies as holding a key component for successful recovery from many psychological and physical issues.
What is Ayurvedic medicine?
Ayurvedic medicine is one of the oldest forms of natural healthcare in the world. It is older than traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) as it is thought that much of TCM came from India via trade routes and the migration of what became Buddhism in the East from India.
It is a tradition that is based upon understanding ailments through a disruption in the core balance of the mind, body and spirit.
People are thought to be one of three types of beings: Pitta, Vata, or Kalpha. Pitta people tend to be thin and their majority balance is focused on the energies of motion and movement.
Vata people tend to be heavier and most of their issues and ailments will be centered on digestion and hormonal disturbances.
Kalpha people are the “healthy as an ox” types; they tend to strong immune systems and have muscular frames.
When one of these types has their natural balance of energy disrupted, the symptoms will show up as a myriad of illnesses – including anxiety.
There are three basic kinds of anxiety: chronic anxiety, cyclical anxiety and anxiety attacks. Anxiety, while it is based in thought and emotion, creates a very real physical reaction from the body.
It promotes the same chemicals as stress and when it is engaged, the person can suffer from sleeplessness, tremor, racing heart, shortness of breath and many other physical symptoms.
The physical symptoms can aggravate the emotional triggers and create a cycle that is difficult to escape from.
The only successful way to treat anxiety is to bring the symptoms under control by reducing their effect on the body, while helping the person make lifestyle changes to help control their reactions to situations and events in life.
For the person with anxiety – any situation or event can promote a reaction because the fear of having an anxiety attack is also great enough to create one.
Medication versus natural treatments
Anxiety is treated with the use of prescription medications to the person control the stress hormones and brain chemicals that are released as a stress reaction.
It can be combined with other natural methods, such as acupressure to relieve anxiety symptoms while you work to create a better system of living to prevent the symptoms from interrupting your life.
One method is not necessarily better than another, but it is known that long term medication use can have detrimental effects on your health.
Most physicians advise that anxiety medication is to be used temporarily while life style changes are made and new coping skills are learned.
An Ayurvedic practitioner may surprise you by recommending that you continue with the medication while you are treated.
The Ayurvedic Practitioner works from a holistic point of view, so taking a medication that can alleviate the symptoms while you work to return balance to your state is reasonable.
How the Ayurvedic Practitioner diagnoses anxiety
An Ayurvedic Practitioner isn’t going to do blood tests to diagnose anxiety; they are going to identify which energy type you are – Pitta, Vata or Kalpha, and develop a treatment plan that focuses on strengthening your natural balance.
The practitioner weighs the balance between the inclination of the person’s natural state, and the appearance of the anxiety symptoms that are changing it.
Dealing with Pitta anxiety
Those with a natural Pitta state will react quickly to nutrition changes and supplements.
The Pitta state revolves around the digestive and hormone system of the body so the first approach is through diet.
There will also be various strategies of movement and massage incorporated, but they will focus mainly on strengthening the digestive system.
Dealing with Vata anxiety
With Vata anxiety, the key to relief will be to address their physical energy management first.
Then dietary changes and supplementation will also be worked in. Very often, yoga postures are prescribed to help them return to a natural active state.
Dealing with Kalpha anxiety
Those who are Kalpha will first begin a steady program of exercise, movement and relaxation techniques that are meant to promote muscular health will be used.
As with all of the states, the practitioner will then address dietary issues and may recommend the use of supplements and Ayurvedic medicines as well.
Does Ayurvedic treatment for anxiety work?
There haven’t been many valid studies done to show that Ayurvedic treatment for anxiety works, but there have been many valid studies performed that show that the methods of Ayurvedic treatment are very successful in relieving anxiety.
Western medicine now view Ayurvedic treatment as a viable complimentary treatment to medications for anxiety, to the point that in most cases they believe the goal of the combined treatment is to cease the medication and continue with the natural methods.
The emphasis on diet, movement and relaxation provide many benefits for the person who is suffering from anxiety.
What to ask your doctor?
Before you begin Ayurvedic treatment for anxiety you should talk to your physical doctor to make sure that there aren’t any limitations or concerns about diet or exercise you should follow.
Many times, you may be asked to take a natural Ayurvedic medicine as part of your treatment as well and you should check to make sure that it will not cause an interaction with any other medications you may be taking.
If your doctor is not that familiar with interactions, check with your pharmacist.