Category Archives: Acupuncture

Don’t Panic!

Anxiety – it lurks in the shadows and used to be something that no one admitted to. But many of us have fallen prey to it at some stage or another.

I remember when I had my first panic attack about a decade ago. I was on my way to work when my heart started to beat furiously. Then I lost my vision. I thought I was dying and grabbed at some poor commuter to help me off the train. After a couple of minutes, my vision returned but I felt like a freak. It scared the hell out of me.

Since then, I’ve equipped myself to deal better with my anxiety issues. I’ve also learned that I’m not alone. Panic Anxiety Disorder Association Inc. (PADA) reports that 12% of Australians will experience anxiety and panic disorders at some point in their lives.

Physical symptoms of anxiety and panic include muscle tightness, heart palpitations, chest tightness/pain, dizziness, numbness, tingling and panic attacks.

When I first experienced acute anxiety and panic, my doctor only offered me sedatives or anti-depressants. Fortunately, there now are numerous natural alternatives that treat the cause rather than the symptoms.

First, as always, look at your diet and lifestyle. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables with a little meat and fish. Foods containing L-Tryptophan, such as turkey, help the body to relax. Relaxation exercises and meditation also play an important part in healing, as does talking with a qualified therapist.

Bach Flower Remedies aid in relieving a variety of emotional disorders. St John’s Wort, Valerian and Omega 3 are said to relieve depression and maintain emotional balance, but consult a naturopath first. Anxiety can sometimes be the result of an iodine deficiency and it’s recommended that anyone suffering from anxiety and panic symptoms have their thyroid checked.

Deep breathing is the body’s natural defence against anxiety. Try this breathing exerciseYoga, acupuncture, holistic kinesiology and Bowen Therapy are also great ways to alleviate panic and anxiety.

When it comes to anxiety, the most important thing is not to suffer in silence. Get some expert advice and don’t let panic get the better of you.

Now check out part two of this article, Revisiting anxiety and kicking panic’s butt.


Not Keen on Needles?

Neither am I. The idea of acupuncture makes me shiver with fear – probably not the best reaction when you’re having needles stuck into your flesh.
So I’ve been finding out about modern alternatives to traditional needle-based acupuncture that work on the same principles of manipulating the body’s energy meridians to balance chi (or life energy) – the foundation of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).
Shiatsu and tui na are massage therapies that use stimulation techniques based on acupressure. Shiatsu involves pressing and holding certain points for  a couple of minutes each. Tui na, meaning ‘push and grasp’, primarily uses the back of the hand to quickly roll back and forth over the acupoints.
Polarity therapy uses a combination of three levels of touch (soft, medium and firm), verbal interaction, exercise and nutrition, depending on the needs of the patient, to balance and restore the natural flow of energy in the body.

Emotional freedom technique, sometimes called tapping for health, uses gentle touch to stimulate chi. It involves tapping key points along the meridians in conjunction with other neurologically stimulating actions to free blockages.

Reiki also employs very gentle touch, minimising hands-on manipulation. The practitioner allows energy to flow through the hands to the recipient while placing hands at various points on the body to energise, clear and strengthen chi.

It isn’t even necessary for practitioners to touch specific acupoints in order to restore balance. Reflexology massage accesses the body through specific points on the feet or hands. When the points are stimulated, the resultant flow of energy removes blockages, aids detoxification, improves circulation and digestion, and helps relieve stress.

Reconnective healing is a completely hands-free technique where the practitioner scans the body for energy blocks. With hands held above the patient, the healer sends high frequency waves through the patient’s body to aid the healing process.

So you don’t have to become a pin cushion to get your energy back in balance. I’d love to hear from you if you’ve tried any of these techniques.