Click here to listen to this episode of the Discover Health Podcast: Calm Your Anxiety

Watch this full webinar on our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/zE73gScRqK8

 

Alright, so here we go folks! Welcome everyone to this talk entitled “Calm Your Anxiety.” I’m Dr. Trish Murray – physician, best-selling author, and the Health Catalyst Speaker. I absolutely love supporting people who are motivated to treat their anxiety and mental health holistically. I and my staff are motivated to help you remove unnecessary stress and anxiety from your life without the added pressure of prescription medications as much as possible.

Now, if you have any questions during our time together, please feel free to post them in the chat box or just hold onto them until the end of the presentation and you can ask verbally when we all come back together, and I will do my best to answer your questions. 

For those of you accustomed to dealing with anxiety, it will come as no surprise to know that

anxiety is one of the most commonly experienced mental illnesses among adults in America, affecting 40 million + a year (that’s actually 18% of our population)Click To Tweet. And, of course, during this extremely unusual year full of unknowns and unrest due to COVID-19 and our political environment, this percentage is definitely been much higher!

Yet the curious thing about this is that only 36% of those suffering with anxiety actually seek treatment at all. This tells us several things. One of these things is that anxiety is an issue that is either not taken seriously enough by those who don’t suffer to correctly assist those who do, and another is that there must be some issues surrounding the actual treatment that is being recommended.

If you (or someone you love) has ever been prescribed drugs to help you ‘fight’ anxiety, you’ll know that medication alone has varying levels of success in combating the symptoms. For some people, it has very positive results. For others, it simply does not work. That’s fine for the small percentage who see results, but what about those who don’t? Sixty-five percent of anxiety-sufferers in America currently take prescribed drugs every day, and 43% take them regularly but on a more needed basis rather than every day. It’s interesting to consider this large percentage of people who take the drugs, given that the statistics also show that only 10% of those who suffer are receiving ‘adequate’ treatment. This only strengthens the suggestion that the solution is probably not pharmaceutically based, or at the very least, that anxiety-drugs are not for everyone.

Holistic health is becoming increasingly popular as the rise of wealthy globalized pharmaceutical companies continues to dominate the medical industry. The dissatisfaction with modern medical care is not the only reason for the surge in interest, however.

As with any ideas worth spreading, the concept of treating imbalances and diseases such as anxiety with natural, holistic methods is something that comes with a firm, reliable basis, and also dates back thousands of years.

But what is holistic or functional healthcare? Well, holistic or functional medicine takes into account all of the varying aspects of life and the individual as potential causes and remedies to diseases. This means all aspects of your physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual health are taken into consideration and considered to contribute to the overall well-being of every individual.

As so much of modern-day healthcare focuses on ‘attacking the illness,’ as opposed to creating overall health, holistic or functional healthcare can be viewed as an overall wholesome approach to creating and sustaining better health.Click To Tweet

There are few imbalances of the body and mind that cannot be treated with holistic remedies, and so those who suffer from anxiety are no exception. As awareness of mental health issues like anxiety continues to spread, experts from around the world have begun to study the benefits of enlisting holistic health measures to combat this situation and instead of the addictive lure of prescription drugs find other methods. Psychiatry and mental illness is one of the fields in medicine that has shown the most promise with a functional medicine approach and had some of the most beneficial results over the last 30 years.

One of the dominant contributing factors to optimum health which functional medicine deals with is diet. Eating foods which promote a healthy body and mind (while also taking into account individual lifestyle and activity factors) is key to achieving balance in both physical and mental health.

In terms of anxiety, there are certain foods which both accentuate and relieve the symptoms of the disorder. Depending on the severity of these symptoms and the person’s physical health, holistic professionals will recommend specific foods to assist with relieving the symptoms of anxiety. Some foods that increase the severity of anxiety and should be avoided include the following list:

  • Caffeine
  • Refined sugar and even some really high glycemic index fruits
  • Hydrogenated oils (think fried foods)
  • Fast food
  • High-sodium foods
  • Trans fat (think anything in a box or a bag that can live on a shelf for years)
  • Processed foods
  • Soy
  • Alcohol

While some of these are more obvious than others, foods such as refined sugar, those high are sodium, trans fat, and hydrogenated oils can be hard to identify unless it’s specifically noted on the packaging. It’s best to avoid the food chosen if there is any hint of uncertainty or you’re not sure. You have to make sure that you’re reading your labels. With this being said, a general rule to live by is stay on the outside of the grocery store and avoid the packaged and processed foods in the aisles as much as you possibly can.

While it may seem to so many in our modern era of fast food and folks that do not know how to cook or don’t like to cook that the list of foods containing elements that can prove triggering for anxiety goes on and on and on and seems endless, it is possible to eat a healthy balanced diet which also lends itself to a calm state of mind.

Foods such as root vegetables contain grounding and soothing properties that help ease the effects of cortisol and other stress-related hormones, as well as foods rich in B vitamins, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for our brains to function properly and regulate hormone release. For example, wild salmon, walnuts, pecans, flaxseed, and chia seeds are just some examples of foods that will promote omega-3s. Other foods which are known to benefit the symptoms of anxiety are:

  • Blueberries
  • Almonds
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Spirulina which is actually an algae
  • Raspberries
  • Dark chocolate
  • Quinoa
  • Red lentils

Curiously, many of these foods also fall into the category of what are called ‘superfoods’ – a term we’ve become ever more accustomed to hearing in the health and wellness world today.

Superfoods are simply foods which contain higher levels of beneficial phytonutrients, minerals, and vitamins in direct proportion to their composition, and so they are an excellent holistic source of anxiety-reducing nutrients.Click To Tweet

B vitamins are some of the most happy hormone inducing foods of all. Eating foods rich in these vitamins will assist with the relief of anxiety. Green vegetables such as asparagus, spinach, and avocados are just some of the foods you can include in your diet to start combatting the effects of those high levels of cortisol (our stress hormone). B vitamins and folic acid can also be found in animal-based foods such as beef, pork, chicken, fish, and eggs.   But they also are found in leafy greens, legumes which are beans, oranges and other citrus fruits, rice, and nuts.

The effects of B vitamins vary however on the extremity of the anxiety. Someone who experiences acute anxiety, for example, may not have as much success with B vitamins as someone who only has a milder form of anxiety. It’s definitely worth trying, and there are numerous B-vitamin supplements you can try to find out which work best for you. Usually if you take a very high-quality vitamin B complex, you should be fine because B vitamins are water-soluble, and they occur in many forms. There’s B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. There’s a lot of B vitamins. Again, unless you’re told to take a very specific one, your best bet is to take a vitamin B complex. They are necessary for proper brain function and some of the signs that you may be deficient in B vitamins include the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Cramps
  • Tingling in the hands and feet
  • Nausea

What is interesting about some of the B vitamins, particularly vitamin B12, is that it is an essential nutrient that is almost exclusively found in animal-sourced foods, such as fish, meat, dairy products, and eggs. B12 is also known as cobalamin. Again, it’s a water-soluble nutrient, and it’s involved in developing red blood cells and maintaining nerves and normal brain function. You can see the connection to anxiety but also tingling in the body. Now, if a person is a vegetarian or a vegan, they need to supplement the B vitamins and particularly vitamin B12. Also to take note of is the specific form of B12, methyl cobalamin, meaning the methylated form of B12 is actually the most readily absorbable and usable form of B12 when you take it orally into your body. So, you might want to take note of that and make sure that if you are taking B vitamins, the B12 and folate that are in it are a methylated form of those vitamins.

As more and more medical schools and practices begin to integrate the emphasis on ‘mind-body’ connection and holistic medicine to modern day treatments, the age-old practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine remains one of the most deeply rooted and effective traditions in medicinal history. The origin of many holistic remedies and treatments we now have in the western world comes directly from the example set by the ancient Chinese herbalists who relied on nature and their understanding of the human body and mind to both prevent and cure diseases.

Their focus, on the prevention of the onset of the disease, is where we see the effects most directly and most effectively. Many stories of herbalists and medicine men living well past the average life expectancy of their era having followed herbally-supplemented and longevity-boosting lifestyles is a testament to the power of these natural remedies.

A fascinating article I have included in the list of sources for this presentation that I’ll give you the list of later explains how even the all-powerful Chinese emperors, who experienced direct access to the remedies and experts in question, still overall exhibited a shorter life expectancy than the Buddhist monks and medicine men of their era. The conclusion to this study was simply that money, power, and exposure to treatments means nothing in terms of health and longevity if a healthy, balanced lifestyle is not observed and if the individual does not take responsibility for his or her overall health.

Taking responsibility and interest in one’s health and lifestyle can be seen in this case as a paramount element of holistic healthcare, as so much of it is extremely personal and tailored to the individual’s needsClick To Tweet. This is not a one-size-fits-all discussion. This is why it is so important for you to cultivate awareness to your own individual needs during any type of treatment and realize that health is a journey and not a destination. Especially if a person is new to functional medicine and is just starting to make foundational changes in their lifestyle and diet, it is imperative to realize that it is going to take time and self-awareness and concentrated effort over a long period of time. But, with each positive change and each positive step over time I have seen hundreds of people take control of their health and transform their lives! This is what makes me love what I do!

Stemming from the Traditional Chinese Medicinal methods of healing and prevention, many strains of herbs and remedies lend themselves to consumption in the form of a tea.

Tea leaves have been broadly acknowledged around the world as one of the most effective natural remedies for fighting signs of stress and anxiety,Click To Tweetand the beautiful thing about this kind of treatment against symptoms of anxiety is that the effects can be felt almost immediately, and the herbs are so readily available.

One of the best reasons to enlist the help of herbs such as chamomile (which many people have had before and heard of) in the treatment of illness or disease is that unlike many modern medicinal treatments, there is absolutely no toxic fallout after the body is finished processing the benefits of the tea. Herbs such as chamomile and lavender have specific healing and soothing qualities which means that drinking water infused with these leaves can have almost immediate and lasting effects on anxiety. The natural stress-relievers have been used as remedies in recipes for centuries all over the world and are widely available in the form of tea leaves.

Chamomile preparations are also used for many other common ailments such as hay fever, inflammation, muscle spasms, menstrual cramps, insomnia, ulcers, wounds, gastrointestinal disorders, rheumatic pain, and hemorrhoids. Who knew that drinking a cup of chamomile could be so beneficial?

Peppermint is another readily available herb which lends itself to soothing the effects of stress and anxiety. In the form of herbs or oil (oils can be extracted naturally from the herb), peppermint can be used in many different ways, and consuming peppermint tea when stressed or before bed is a great way to immediately calm the nervous system and prepare it for a state of calm and for a state of sleep. The menthol base is a natural muscle relaxant and so promotes the physical sensations required to relax the body and ready it for sleep.

Teas such as peppermint, chamomile, and lavender don’t contain any caffeine and as such are preferable to coffee for soothing the effects of anxiety. Peppermint also assists with digestion, headaches, and can help create a cooling effect which counteracts the heated fear associated with panic attacks.

Now, a whole other way to work with these and other herbs is through the world of essential oils and aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is a holistic healing treatment that uses natural plant extracts to promote health and well-being. Sometimes it’s called essential oil therapy. Aromatherapy uses aromatic essential oils medicinally to improve the health of the body, mind, and spirit. It enhances both physical and emotional health.

The place where the anxious person lives, where they work, and the people they surround themselves with can work as contributing factors to heightened levels of anxiety. The trouble is that many people who struggle with anxiety neglect to consider their own environment as a factor to their suffering, and it becomes increasingly easy to blame themselves as opposed to the actual external contributing factors.

Holistic healthcare methods suggest that to lower the effects of anxiety, the environment we surround ourselves with every day must promote a healthy, positive attitude towards ourselves, our work, and our relationships. It makes sense that what we experience externally will impact our senses and quality of being internally. It will affect our happiness and how we process it. For this reason, lighter, brighter, cleaner, and more open spaces are thought to improve symptoms of anxiety.

As people in western countries spend an increasing amount of time indoors, especially during colder months like here up in the mountains of New Hampshire, the importance of positive environments is only accentuated, and holistic health professionals will recommend spending more time outdoors and in nature as good ways to combat anxiety.  And during this crazy year we have all been living in, it is so important to emphasize time for yourself to disconnect from the news and the insanity so that you can relax and recharge on a daily basis, even if only for a short time, even if only for five minutes. It can make all the difference in the world. 

It’s been proven that stress levels can rise in unpleasant environments which don’t lend themselves to our emotional comfort, and so holistic health calls into question the environment in which you live, work, and interact with others. It’s vital that these elements be completely in balance and in line with your requirements to maximize your mental health and productivity. Think about it – if you don’t feel good, if you don’t feel comfortable, if you don’t feel valued in your environment, how are you supposed to function to the height of your potential? How are you expected to do your best work and be the best version of you and feel at home in your own skin if you don’t feel like your environment supports you?

Again, one thing that can assist with creating a more positive, calm-inducing, and anxiety-soothing home environment is by diffusing essential oils. All-natural essential oils such as again lavender, peppermint, chamomile, and there are many more, these are just some I’m focusing on tonight, are known to have positive effects on those under stress or suffering from anxiety. So, it’s a good idea to have them on hand at home and use them on a daily basis. 

Now, essential oils contain tiny, aromatic molecules which can pass through the blood-brain barrier immediately and have an almost instantaneous effect on the areas of the brain associated with stress, anxiety, panic, and even depression. Lavender, for example, is known to affect the central nervous system directly, which is associated with sensations of intense anxiety and stress.

Essential oils are extremely versatile and can be used in numerous ways. They can be diffused; you can also incorporate them into skin and hair care products and into the routine. Some oils that are deemed edible can be added to food, but not all essential oils are edible, so you want to make sure you get educated on this aspect. There are countless recipes online to enable you to get creative with your oils, and the effects and the uses are just as broad. You do need to make sure you learn about this and be educated as how to best use each of the different oils. Depending on the needs of the person using it, the oil can promote different effects and target different problem areas of the mind and the body. Here are some typical uses of essential oils:

  1. I’ve seen people be able to inhale directly. You can rub a couple drops on the back of your hand or in the palm of your hand and you can take long, deep breaths.
  2. You can rub directly a couple of drops of oil into your temples, your wrists, or anywhere for full body relaxation.
  3. You can use them on-the-go. You can put a few drops on a handkerchief or a cotton pad or on a scarf and inhale as needed. You’ll get instant calming support throughout your day.
  4. You can add them to the shower and immerse yourself in essential oil steam by adding a of couple drops in your shower. Remember to plug or cover the drain and inhale deeply while you’re in the shower.
  5. You obviously can purchase a diffuser to get the long-lasting benefit.

Now, again it should be noted that most readily available oils require diluting before using them topically. This can be done with any what’s called carrier oil, such as olive oil or jojoba oil or a fractionated coconut oil, and there are others. Be sure to review how any essential oil is best used as some should not be ingested and others should not be put directly on the skin at all or without significant dilution. Again, this could be researched online of course or with someone that’s very well educated in the topic.

It doesn’t have to be a holistic health specialist that tells you that exercise and keeping active is an extremely effective way of preventing the onset of many illnesses, not just anxiety and depression. The holistic way of approaching healthcare focuses not only on the period of recovery after an illness but on the lifestyle as a whole during periods of wellness, too. The more integrated the holistic measures are into your daily habits, the more optimized they become and the higher the level of overall health you can expect to experience. So, whenever you fall off the wagon, it’s easier to get back on.

Exercise is thought to be one of the most invigorating and effective ways to combat periods of anxiety, stress, or depression, as the endorphins produced after even a short 10-minute walk have similar effects to taking aspirin for a headache.Click To TweetExercise has been proven scientifically to elevate mood, and more physically active people also show lower instances of anxiety and depression. There have been countless studies done for both holistic and scientific purposes to investigate the effects of physical activity on the brain, all of which conclude that even moderate to light exercise is vital for optimum functioning and balanced moods.

Whether it’s yoga, running, climbing, weightlifting, swimming, or hiking, the effects of moving the body and engaging in physical exercise are unlike anything else for achieving stress and anxiety relief. The best way to find an activity that suits you is simply to try them. See what works for you and your lifestyle and what you can realistically incorporate into your everyday life.

This is exactly why we created ten months ago now, Discover Health Movement Membership.  This is an amazing program, and it has helped me stay active and handle the stress of this year in so many ways. This program is all online so you can participate from anywhere in the comfort of your own home. It involves three different movement modalities: Discover Yoga, the second movement modality is called Movement for Longevity, and the third movement modality is called Self-Myofascial Release. This is a holistic movement program because it provides you everything you need to optimize your flexibility, your strength, your balance, and performance while also providing you with the tools for self-healing.

I’ve had many people that are doing our program say to me they twisted their ankle, or they pulled something in their back or their neck, and they simply did one of the classes recordings or they just did things they remembered from some of the classes and they were able to treat themselves and resolve their pain!

Now, if you have ever experienced indigestion, you’ll know how uncomfortable and stress-inducing it can be. It can render you incapable of focusing on any other task, it can make you irritable and anxious to be around, and this is only when it happens once in a while. Imagine if it happened to you every day after every meal?

Now, we’ve all experienced the discomfort and negative emotions and bad moods that can result from a period of gut dysfunction such as indigestion, constipation, or diarrhea. That’s why it is no surprise to learn that gut-health has significant parallels to our mental state, as several studies have proven and publicized. And if a person has leaky gut leading to chronic irritation of the immune system and inflammation, then guest what, folks? The brain is going to be inflamed too, and this could be the main underlying root cause for your anxiety. 

One theory is that gut bacteria are intricately linked with our brain via the nervous system, spinal cord, hormones, and your immune system. You see, the vagus nerve is the main communicator between your gut and your brain. This is important because it further supports the facts which holistic healthcare has promoted for centuries – that what we put in our bodies truly does affect the way our minds work and the feelings of positivity or negativity we experience. It supports the theories surrounding certain foods and their benefits or disadvantages of promoting either happiness and decreasing anxiety or increasing anxiety.

Now, there are endless benefits to this understanding, mainly being that it gives us a better idea of which foods to eat to expect a larger surge of positive emotions or at the very least which foods to avoid to ensure we don’t experience negative emotions.

‘Flow state’ is a relatively new term that has been coined to define a state of intense creative and productive focus, whereby the person slips into an undistracted state of intense concentration while completing a task. It’s definitely not a new phenomenon, as humans have been creating and focusing in such a way as ‘flow state’ since time began; however, recent developments in technology that have damaged our attention span and ability to focus have recently drawn awareness back to the importance and significance of achieving a state of flow, causing a need for definition.

The importance of ‘flow state’ can be measured on both a personal level – how your focus can affect how you feel fulfilled by your work or other ‘flow’ activity – and yet also on an overall level of health and wellbeing, as neuroscience has proven that those who engage in a ‘flow state’ more regularly have overall higher levels of happiness and sense of balance in their life.

Finding your flow is a great way to ensure that your mood and sense of clarity don’t dip too low, helping you avoid anxiety and stress and maintain productivity levels at their highest. A ‘flow state’ can also help you escape a bout of anxiety, even though doing so might prove slightly more difficult to sustain. And again, during this year of ongoing increased stress for all of us, finding an activity that will bring you into a ‘flow state’ for at least a small portion of your day could be the answer to managing your stress and quieting your anxiety.

Now, some ways or suggestions to help you find your flow include things like reading a book. The simple act of reading a book has nowadays even been adapted to screen time, as Kindles and phone apps take over. Reading increases our ability to focus, and another principle of ‘flow state’ is that the more we engage with it, the easier it becomes to access.

Notice when you are at your most focused or productive or when you lose sense of time. Take note of what you are doing. Who are you with? What environment are you in? These are the things you want to replicate to put yourself in a ‘flow state’ on a regular basis. 

Although ‘flow state’ is by no means exclusive to those who work in a creative field, it has been observed that a large percentage of those who suffer from acute anxiety are in fact highly creative people. This would suggest that anxious energy is simply an excess of creative energy and potential that has a lack of direction and therefore manifests as stress. If so, it’s a case of re-directing this energy solely towards the task at hand and not allowing anxious thoughts to drive awareness elsewhere. Our brains want to direct us in many directions sometimes and to try and bring it back to focus is what’s helpful. Much like training your mind to read, to study, or to focus on any task you must complete, ‘flow state’ takes consistent and repeated engagement and practice to become easier. So, don’t worry if it doesn’t come immediately easily to you, just be sure to notice it when it does! What are you doing, again, when that happens and when you lose sense of time? That is the activity you want to do on a regular basis.

Another somewhat similar concept in this world is called mindfulness.

Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensationsClick To Tweet that might be trying to distract you but continuing to focus on the present moment or the present activity.

One example could be cleaning the dishes after a meal and truly being present, mindful, and focused on every aspect of this activity. Take notice of the temperature of the water. Take notice of what the water and the soap feel like on your skin. Truly take notice of the soap suds. Notice the design of the dishware you’re cleaning. You see, the more your mind and being are focused and engaged in one thing, the less it can take you out on multiple tangents at the same time or down the rabbit hole of worry or concern.

Yoga and meditation are both activities which have been proven to improve and assist in accessing our ‘flow state.’ By consistently engaging our bodies and minds into a state of internal focus and concentration in the form of physical postures (asanas) or the mindful breathing techniques in yoga (pranayama) or directing the awareness of thoughts and emotions as they arise (meditation), we can begin with these practices to access a state of mind-body harmony and awareness. This focus and awareness, when sustained over a period of time, is ultimately a prime example of the human mind in a – what? A ‘flow state’ or a ‘state of flow.’

Thus, yoga and meditation are also hugely beneficial in combating symptoms of anxiety and stress. By promoting a sense of ease and wellbeing within our bodies and minds, yoga and meditation succeed in reducing the intensity of cortisol and other anxiety-related hormones, and also give us tools to use against the onset of them in future times of struggle. They give you a tool to be able to fall back on.

While many western yoga classes today here in the United States focus primarily on the physical aspect of the practice, the physical ‘fitness’ which is attainable by practicing the asanas is only a small part of what makes yoga so beneficial. When practiced properly, with awareness, mindful breathing, and attention to the body’s individual needs, yoga and meditation can promote a sense of mental fitness, too.

Combine mental fitness with physical activity and consistent levels of sustained focus, and you have a powerful holistic tool to use against the onslaught of anxiety! And, folks, I cannot recommend our Discover Yoga instructor, Meghan Vestal, any higher! She truly understands what I’m talking about tonight – the physical, mental, and emotional balance that should come from a yoga practice – and implements these concepts of balance between mind, body, and spirit into the flow of every single one of the classes she teaches. Now, to join our Discover Health Movement Membership if you are not already benefiting from it, you can go to discoverhealthfmc.com/#Movement. You would go to our own website discoverhealthfmc.com but then add /#Movement.

And also, to help you all with the meditation aspect of quieting your mind, we at Discover Health Functional Medicine Center in collaboration with Leslie Jose (who is on the webinar tonight as one of the group) and her company is called Peace of Mind Reiki and Massage are going to offer a free guided meditation with sound vibration and Reiki session. It’s going to combine guided meditation, sound vibration, and Reiki all together online (you don’t have to leave your home – you can do it just like this webinar tonight). It’s going to be online in two weeks. It’s going to be between this webinar and my next one that usually is the third week in the next month. So, it’s going to happen on Thursday evening, February 4 during this same time slot from 6:00 – 7:00 PM. 

This guided meditation that Leslie will lead will support all the attendees to tap into the body’s abilities to relax and restore. In doing so, it aides the body in eliminating toxins and the effects of stress by soothing and quieting the mind, supporting a person’s highest potential, which in turn results in better health, strengthening the immune system during COVID, and allowing for a more peaceful and capable mind. So, stay tuned, folks, for the emails that will tell you more about how to register for this awesome event. We really appreciate Leslie Jose offering to do this!

So, I have talked about a lot of holistic concepts for self-help and self-treatment for anxiety so far. But if you are someone who feels you have already been doing a lot of the things discussed so far during this presentation and you are still having problems with anxiety and you cannot seem to rein it in, then you may need more assistance. With this in mind, I want to share with you an amazing treatment modality that we have been offering here at Discover Health Functional Medicine Center for years, and I have seen how powerful it can be in helping people with anxiety and depression and other mental conditions.

This modality is called neurofeedback and is available in our office. It is a modality that you can come to the office for, and I’m going to explain a little bit more about it. Also, now there is a new technology that there is now considered a home unit in neurofeedback where someone can actually get a unit and work with it in your own home. You don’t necessarily have to come to the office to experience neurofeedback. You could do it either way.

What is neurofeedback? Neurofeedback is a form of biofeedback for the brain. You see, the brain is a computer that runs on electrical brain waves. Brain waves travel at different frequencies or speeds for different functions. A person with anxiety typically has brain waves that are sprinting at a rate that keeps that person wired, and they need to be slowed down.  

Now, with any form of biofeedback, what you do is you utilize technology to monitor the function of some particular organ system. With neurofeedback, you’re going to monitor the function of the brain. Then you either reward the system for optimal performance or you send it a safe message, that’s a negative message though, to correct the performance. So, over time the organ system, such as the brain, learns to have its brain wave frequencies stay in a range that will give it optimal performance.

So, any form of biofeedback is like going to physical therapy for the organ system that’s being focused on. Neurofeedback, therefore, is like going to physical therapy for your brain and training it to function more optimally. Now, neurofeedback has been around, folks, for over thirty years. It’s been studied throughout the neurology and brain function world and found to be very successful in treating anxiety, depression, addiction, attention deficit disorder, insomnia, and also been used to optimize people’s cognition, attention, and performance. It’s used in the military; it’s used by elite athletes.

So, if you are tired of the ‘pill for every ill concept’ and the side effects to medications or just don’t want to be on medications for anxiety, then neurofeedback might be the perfect treatment modality for you. To learn more, what you want to do is go to my website www.discoverhealthfmc.com and in the services menu just click on neurofeedback and read about this treatment some more. And if you are interested in talking with us more about it, just call our office at 603-447-3112 or you can email [email protected].

So, we’re almost finished! We’re almost at the end of our time together today. But, at this time I would like you actually to check in with yourself. Ask yourself the question, “What have I learned that I did not already know?” Also, ask yourself, “What is one thing that has been discussed that I am could be implementing in my life to help me manage my stress and anxiety better?” Again, I’m going to repeat those two questions because I actually want you to think about it, contemplate. I’m curious to hear your answers. If you’re willing, please type them in the chat box. I am going to give you a few minutes to type your answers in. Again, the questions are the following:

  1. What have I learned during this presentation that I did not already know?
  2. What is one thing that has been discussed that I am going to implement to help me manage my stress and anxiety better tomorrow (or even today after we’re done)?

There is a long list of resources that were utilized to put this talk together. As usual, I am going to provide all of them to you in our Discover Health Facebook Group. We will post them in our Discover Health Facebook Group tomorrow. So, if you are not already a member of our Discover Health Facebook Group, which is a closed group where we post things regularly, Health Coach Trish does a weekly Coach’s Corner, and you can ask questions and interact with other members looking to optimize their health, and you want to join because you’re not a member yet? All you’ve got to do is go to our Facebook – Discover Health Functional Medicine Center’s public Facebook page. Again, that’s our Discover Health Functional Medicine Center Facebook page, and simply ask to join our Discover Health Facebook Group.   Everyone is welcome, but you need to go there and request to join the group! Again, there are so many resources that we are going to post there tomorrow.

Thank you so much for joining me in this discussion on anxiety. It is such an important topic always but particularly during recent times. I truly hope something I have discussed will add a tool to your daily life to calm your stress and quiet anxiety. Again, if you are feeling like you need more help with treating your stress or implementing the different lifestyle changes necessary to take control of your anxiety, then do not hesitate to reach out to us at Discover Health Functional Medicine Center.

Again, the avenues in which you can do that are go to the website www.discoverhealthfmc.com. The other thing that if you’re new to us and you’re not familiar with all of our modalities, on my website right on the homepage next to my picture there is a link to set up a free consult. This is usually for folks that are new to us and don’t know us and would like to just have a free introductory conversation to find out if we’re the right fit for you. It’s right next to where it says, “Are You Ready to Finally Feel Better?” Again, you can call us at 603-447-3112 or you can email us at [email protected].

Again, thank you all so much for listening. That’s awesome! Does anyone else have any particular questions or comments? I know Leslie’s here. Leslie, if you want to take a moment and tell anyone about the program you’re offering two Thursdays from now, 6:00 – 7:00 in the evening (just same time, same back channel essentially). We’ll send you a Zoom link. Leslie, if you want to say a few words, that’d be awesome!

Sure! I’ve really been appreciating the opportunity to bring calm and centeredness to folks during this pretty troubling time in so many people’s lives. There’s shift and challenge happening everywhere and it’s not so much the stress of it that affects us, it’s the chemistry of that. To find ways to release the effects of it feels really important to provide.

This is pretty much the space when someone’s physically here to incorporate essential oils and the touch and sound. All the pieces that you were speaking to, a lot of those I bring into the sessions when people are physically here, but in this current environment, we can’t physically be places. Some people are uncomfortable, some people really need to be cautious about where they are and who they’re with so coming up with this opportunity to do it in a Zoom session where the words are there to guide somebody into that restorative place where the parasympathetic responses are moving in and enhancing that clearing and cleansing. Then bringing in the sound vibration which soothes and supports all the aspects of the body. Then also bringing in Reiki which can be discussed at more length as far as what that is, but basically Reiki is life. It’s a Japanese word that means life, and we all have it. When we can enhance that flow, then what the body then absorbs and can do with that energy is profound. That healing peace comes through. We’ll be combining all of that in a guided way!

Awesome! Thank you so much, Leslie, for offering that.

Julie Sargent is also on with us tonight. I know she does Zero Balancing, and I’m going to be doing a podcast with her in the future, and she’s going to be offering a training session on Zero Balancing. Julie, how does Zero Balancing play into what we’re talking tonight with anxiety?

Yeah, thanks for asking. I really enjoyed your talk. Zero Balancing is a beautiful body-mind therapy that uses skilled touch to release tension held at the bone level, and it works on somebody that’s fully clothed, thirty to forty minutes, and again just enhancing the body, mind, spirit experience and really reduces stress and feels great!

Absolutely, folks. We didn’t get into a lot of having a treatment modality done to you or for you. The idea of Zero Balancing or, of course, massage – Leslie Jose and Julie are both amazing massage therapists as well. All of these things which we need to take into consideration.

Some other people put in the chat and added…one said they didn’t know that peppermint oil helps with anxiety. Another person…and I love hearing what you put in because we all hear different things, meaning we hear certain things that are emphasized for us. We don’t all hear the same that becomes the emphasis. I think it’s really neat to share this.

One person said, “I learned good health tools have to be taken out of the toolbox on a regular basis.” Oh! I can’t underline that enough times! Folks, if you don’t practice…practice makes perfect. You’ve got to do it on a regular basis to make it a habit so that when you really are stressed like our recent times like we all are, you’re going to be able to handle it better. You can’t just all of the sudden take something out of a toolbox if you’ve never used the tools! Please, make sure that you pick something from tonight that you either knew about or didn’t know about and start practicing it on a regular basis.

Another person added, “Multitasking isn’t beneficial. I have to concentrate on mindfulness.” I must admit, I’ll put my hand up right away that during these recent times of how crazy the world has been, I have not been as mindful as I usually am. I’ve really tried to focus on this over the last couple of weeks. Again, when I’m doing the dishes…that’s why I used that as an example. What do the suds feel like? What do the dishes actually look like? Have I looked at them in a while?

When I’m eating, actually feel yourself chewing and sense the taste of what you’re truly eating and take the joy of the sensations of your mouth and your being to the foods you’re eating, especially if you start changing your diet and eating healthy stuff. It’s amazing how good it can be and how wonderful it can make you feel!

Thank you all so much for participating. I truly love these webinars every month. Thanks for supporting, and I hope everyone has learned something! Everyone, take care and have a wonderful evening!

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