Stress and anxiety are hardly new problems inflicting adults (and children) around the world, but they are definitely persistent ones that bring about a variety of problems and daily complications. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to manage anxiety in a real way. In fact, the best ways to reduce anxiety, according to Chinese medicine, just might help you finally rest a little easier.
What exactly is Chinese medicine and its unique approach to health? According to the Traditional Chinese Medicine World Foundation, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is a healing system with thousands of years of history that remains popular today. Practices such as herbal medicine, massage techniques, and acupuncture fall under the TCM umbrella. In recent years, TCM has become more prevalent in Western societies. Everything from the tai chi group in your local park to that cup of green tea with ginseng has roots in TCM.
Although it's sometimes classified as a form of alternative medicine, medical research has confirmed the effectiveness of some TCM practices. Hey, if you work at something for thousands of years, you're bound to make some real headway. It's no surprise that these techniques hold water to scientific study. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, properly performed acupuncture and tai chi can be safe complimentary health practices. (The organization is markedly more skeptical about Chinese herbal products, however.) With this in mind, can TCM work to lessen the intense state of modern anxiety? Read on to learn more about these traditional stress relieving techniques.
Acupressure is a form of massage that involves pressure points on the body (no needles are involved). According to Modern Reflexology, many acupressure points can relieve symptoms of anxiety, such as areas on the wrist, forehead, and sternum. If you'd like to try it yourself, check out the anxiety and acupressure tutorial from the Boca Raton Acupuncture Clinic.
This is acupressure's more intense cousin. As explained in Everyday Health, however, acupuncture can be an effective tool for anxiety management, possibly by slowing the body's creation of stress hormones. Just be sure to visit a reputable clinic for the procedure, as there are needles involved.
3. Barefoot Walks
Some of these techniques are as simple as can be. For instance, walking barefoot is said to open meridian points in the feet and promote wellbeing, as noted in Mind Body Green. Plus, wandering around your office without shoes promotes a laid-back vibe.
4. Dietary Changes
Perhaps a simple dietary change can help rid you of anxiety symptoms. According to AcuMedic, decreasing your consumption of alcohol, which leads to an upset mind, can lessen anxiety.
5. Foot Massage
Is it even possible to be stressed during a foot massage? As noted in Traditional Chinese Reflexology, targeted foot massages can do wonders for stress relief. No argument here.
Chances are, you've encountered this trendy plant before. According to the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, ginseng is one of the herbs most often used to treat anxiety. It's often available in teas and capsules.
In addition to ginseng, a dizzying number of other herbs are also recommended for anxiety in TCM. But because such supplements are not covered under the FDA's regular set of food and drug regulations, as noted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it pays to do a bit of research first. Don't pack on even more stress by worrying about supplements.
Meditation is gaining more and more interest in this frenzied modern world. And it's true: meditation can reduce the effects of anxiety, as well as depression, according to the Traditional Chinese Medicine World Foundation. Even a few minutes a day can make a tremendous difference.
What about a whole-body approach to wellness? According to the Qigong Research and Practice Center, qigong is a system that uses breath, movements, and meditation to health and relax the body. (Tai chi is a form of qigong). Chances are, this kind of awareness and movement can only work to lessen your anxiety.