Relieving Anxiety with Chinese Medicine

Anxiety is a normal human condition that most people will experience in their life and is often a normal response to stress. However, when anxiety repeatedly interferes with your daily life, to the point where it is prolonged or out of proportion with the cause, that's a sign that you may need help from a professional. Some people turn to Traditional Chinese Medicine to help them relieve anxiety. Dr. Angela Warburton exaplins different patterns of anxiety and what Chinese medicine usually recommends.

Traditional Chinese Medicine used to relieve anxiety

Blood Deficiencies

Blood nourishes our bodies, delivers nutrients and oxygen to our cells and removes waste products. When the blood is depleted, our system is not getting enough nourishment.

We may see this in things like anemia — which is very common in women — but it will also show up with other signs in the body.

Symptoms and signs to look for:

  • Pale tongue and complexion
  • "Floaters" in your vision
  • Trouble falling asleep
  • Dry skin, hang nails
  • Some women might have a very light period

Food recommended by Traditional Chinese Medicine:

  • Amaranth grain: helps to build blood, calms spirit
  • Red meat: A study out of Australia showed that women who consumed little to no red meat were twice as likely to suffer from anxiety or depression. Red meats nourish the blood as well as replenish iron in your body. When eating meat, be sure to eat hormone/antibiotic-free meats and grass-fed animals when possible.
  • Leafy Greens with Citrus: Adding a bit of citrus, like lemon, to greens really helps the absorption of the iron.

Qi Energy Deficient

Qi (pronounced “ch-ee”) can be loosely translated into energy and vitality. Everything we do from thinking to getting through our daily life, to all the things like digestion and pumping blood through our system take energy. When we get depleted we start to run on overdrive and our system doesn't have the proper energy to run smoothly.

Symptoms and signs to look for:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Spontaneous sweating
  • Catching colds easily or finding it hard to heal from wounds or illness

Food recommended by Traditional Chinese Medicine:

  • Beans: chickpeas, lima and pinto
  • Whole Grains: wheat berries, wheat germ (which contains a lot of B vitamins; the slight bitterness of the outer shell has calming effects) and brown rice (important to have the husk on). Traditional Chinese Medicine believes whole grains tend to have vitamins and calming effects on people with anxiety.
  • Mushrooms: calming for the mind.

Yin Energy Deficient

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Yin can be equated to our parasympathetic nervous system. It is the place where we rest, digest and heal.

"Jing" in Traditional Chinese Medicine is like our bank account of energy or emergency fund, and when we don't take time to rest properly, it's like dipping into that fund $20 at a time until we're in overdraft.

Symptoms and signs to look for:

  • Sleep walking
  • Night sweats
  • Palpitations
  • Being easily frightened
  • Low back pain
  • Dry mouth

These symptoms can often show up around menopause in women (which is common but not normal).

Food recommended by Traditional Chinese Medicine:

  • Black Sesame Seeds and Chia Seeds: Thought to have sedative properties. Chia seeds and seeds in general have a downward movement in the body (think seeds planted into the earth) and can help bring all that anxious energy down to nourish the yin and calm the mind.
  • Goji Berries: believed to nourish the blood and yin. They are great in tea or cereal.
  • Chamomile: In a pinch, chamomile is good for calming and cooling for anxiety, particularly if you're getting overheated.
  • Small amounts of organic cow or goat milk (if your digestion is strong): In Chinese Medicine, they are valued for their cooling and moistening in properties and help with some of the dryness associated with yin deficiency.

 

Relieving Anxiety with Chinese Medicine
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