Alternative Therapy for Anxiety and Mental Health Concerns
Anxiety is caused by overactive mind with tone of thoughts that are fearful and anxious. Whatever thoughts we think, generate feelings according to the undertone of the thoughts, then feelings make an energetic charge in body muscles according to ‘the emotion’. So with anxiety, we are fearful or worry or futurize, then our bodies muscles get charged to prepare us to ‘flight’. When we think we are afraid, we feel we are afraid, it is true, because our body is charged to flee. This strong fear that gets generated in our muscles, confirms for us that there is real fear, then this feeling generates more fearful thoughts, which in turn makes the body even more charged with ‘the flight’ instinct. Basically, we get caught in a circle, of thinking fearful thoughts which leads to feeling fear in body, and it is hard to stop it or turn it off once it is charged strongly in this circle. The way to turn off the reaction is to do it in reverse order of how it built up. First, relax the body muscles, and then be aware of your thoughts, then try to redirect your thinking away from the fearful thoughts. Now this takes much practice to do before you will succeed to stop the reaction fully. Yet, the more you practice, the better you will get at it, and each time will have a bit more success. Until one day, you will have full control over the reaction and your anxiety will be gone.
As far as other mental health problems such as bi-polar, ADD, PTSD, OCD, depression, schizophrenia and the like, they all have the same cause of overactive mind reacting out of a programmed thinking pattern with strong emotions being generated. With anxiety, the main emotion is fear. With the other mental health patterns there are different emotions and varying degrees of identification with the thinking process. For instance, with schizophrenia a person is nearly fully locked into the thinking pattern and emotions generated, creating a kind of dream-world. With depression, the emotional energy is suppressed and one tends to wallow in past thoughts. With bi-polar, there is the learned pattern to cycle between two states. OCD pattern attempts to control reality by controlling the outside world.
All these are learned patterns of thinking and emotionally reacting and are due to the survival defense strategy we adopted when we were young as a means to protect ourselves from harm in our environment. This pattern is learned cognitively and exists in our subconscious mind as a programmed response that plays automatically when we feel threatened in life situations. Our unique defense pattern becomes more obvious when we get older and when it becomes dominant then we get the diagnosis of having a mental health disorder. When we become aware of ‘our old pattern of thinking and emoting’ as being problematic for our normal daily functioning in life, then this is a positive thing — we are being shown the problem and because we are now aware of it, we can now do something to erase the old programming and become more AWARE. This is our opportunity to spiritually awaken! All people who are spiritually awakening will eventually encounter the step to go beyond their programmed mental defense strategy.
Healing happens by itself when you increase your energy, and there are many ways to increase your energy. The key to healing is to increase your energy level over your current operating level. You don’t need to know how to heal your tissues, you only need to trust that if you give your body enough energy it can do it for you. To get more energy you will have to make changes in your habits on the levels of thinking, feeling, physical activity and spirituality. For example, if you are eating poorly this drains your energy by not giving you nutrients your body needs to heal itself and as well plugging up your digestive system, all of this takes energy every day to continually clean up and repair. If you rather eat healthy, then digestion is efficient and you have surplus of energy which now can be used to heal other things such as your mind. All these things increase your energy: meditation, body relaxation, nutrients, supplements, exercise, not reacting as the ego, eating healthy, community support, prayer, contemplation and artistic expression. Do as many of them as possible, the more energy the better result you will get.
To heal yourself of this old program, the following things are the most useful:
1. Meditate twice per day, every day, do not miss. This allows you to become better at self-observation of thinking and feelings, so you can monitor them. This is the most critical thing to do. In order to alter your pattern of thinking you must be able to observe it. Doing meditation gives you the skill to become master over your mind. It will be hard at first because your mind is racing and your body is highly charged and our personality does not want to do it. You have to force yourself to do it at first, until you start to see the benefit of it and eventually your personality will relax and you will want to do it.
2. You may want to consider learning yoga as this will help you get more in tune with your body and feelings, and feel more grounded in your body as well help to correct any postural spine problems. Spine misalignment can lower nervous energy and actually contribute to low awareness level and increased mental health problems. If you have a mental health problem, get your spine checked to see if there is something to be corrected. You may also consider chiropractic alignment for the vertebrae alignment, for short-term relief. Yoga is the long-term healing solution for spine problems. Chiropractic treatment will give you boost in energy for short term, which can help to be more aware and relieve any headaches, body tension or stress buildup. There are many free yoga videos on YouTube.
3. Practice body scans often to notice where you are clenching muscles, and try to relax these muscles. You can also use self-massage, electric massagers, professional massage, hot baths, etc, to relax those muscles as well as just trying to consciously relax them.
4. Consider learning reiki or quantum touch energy healing techniques and learning acupressure points. Then you can experiment and finds ways to give yourself on the spot treatments while in public and learn to relax your body and mind. Acupressure really helped me when I faced my strong anxiety triggers, to calm me and get me through. There are many free resources on how to learn reiki, acupressure and energy healing that you can find on the internet. Read about it and just try it!
5. You have to confront things that trigger strong emotional reactions. Avoiding these triggers only makes your condition stronger and you tend to develop more things you are afraid of, until you end up a recluse in your house not able to go out in public. Face what you are afraid of, learn how to get past it and stay calm. After you have practiced some of the things above and feel you have some tools and have relaxed somewhat, then go face your fear/triggers and work through it. This is empowering. You really have to resist trying to run away from the triggers and face them. This is known as exposure therapy and really is essential. With meditation your awareness will increase and eventually you will know what situations trigger your strong reactions and what the exact thoughts are that precede them. At this time, you can understand it and thereby drop the thought and no longer be triggered.
This way to cure a mental health pattern is slow and it will not give the instant relief a pill will. But if you stick with it you will get improvement on a daily basis. You can’t see the daily changes so much but you will be able to see them on a weekly or monthly basis. The best part is this way will CURE the problem, because you will discover the cause and realize you do have the power to go beyond your old program and drop it. Whereas a pill will only alleviate the symptom and then you need to take the pill for life. If you are taking medicine it would be wise to become adept with as many skills as possible and to increase your energy level as high as possible before considering reducing your medication. Any change in medication should be only done in close consultation with your doctor.
Please also see my simple tools article for working with these concerns.
Complementary and Alternative Therapy Tools for Mental Health Concerns
Learn how to meditate and do it twice per day. When starting out chose an easy meditation such as mantra or counting the breath. After you gain skill with that then you can learn breath meditation or vipassana and other forms. The Meditation Information link below has excellent information on meditation and directions for how to do the best ones. There are also excellent audios you can find for free in YouTube which use isochronic tones and binaural beats which induce a meditative state. I have evaluated several of these and found them to be effective. I give link to one of my favorites, of which this company also has many others they have created in case you do not like that one. You do need to listen to them with stereo headphones, because a different tone comes into each ear.
2. Energy Healing
Of my arsenal of tools for self-healing, I think My Quicken Touch acupressure routine is the most effective to raise vibration energy to the highest level and results in the most profound healing changes. It is easily learned and only needs practice to become effective with it. This can be learned by a parent and then given to the child or if the child is old enough they can learn to do it themselves. It is beneficial because it excites all nervous system meridians in the body, raising the body vibration to a higher one than one normally operates at. It can be done with or without knowing how to do reiki. This is what you want with self-healing, because it’s like healing sleep in the night. In short, your body heals and your thinking will rest. Another good resource to learn the basics of hands on energy healing is to read the book Quantum touch. Lastly, getting energy healings either hands-on or distantly can boost your energy to help your healing process. Getting healings from others should be seen as a complimentary therapy, not the only thing you do! A healer cannot make you let go of your thinking and emotional reactions, this is the work we all need to individually learn how to do. We only learn how to do it with practice.
3. Whole Body Relaxation Technique
If you have difficulty with falling asleep, you can do this whole body relaxation technique. I would suggest doing it once per day at night when you go to bed. Not only does it help to fall asleep ensuring a good healing in the night’s sleep, but it also helps refine your ability to quiet your mind and increase your skill to focus in a non-thinking way on an object. It increases your sensitivity to feeling energy tension anywhere it pops up in your body. The sooner you become aware of building body tension, the quicker you can address a flare-up and defuse it. This technique gently releases body tension versus the old way with violent body movements or strong emotional reactions.
4. Acupressure to an Acupoint
Apply acupressure to an acupoint on one of the meridians, which you can easily press on, and not cause attention drawn to you while in public situations. I found points on the fingers especially helpful. With experimentation at home you can find points that help relieve your symptoms when they arise. Please see acupuncture meridian maps at following link, which can be printed out and then you just experiment until you find points that relax you. Experimentation is also helpful to become more aware of your mind and body. The more you practice the easier this gets. Directions on how to do acupressure is in the Quicken Touch Whole Body Healing link above.
5. Body Scans & Transmuting Triggered Emotional Reactions
Anytime you feel strong thoughts or feelings, put your focus into your body and do a body scan immediately. You want to locate where you feel pain or muscle tension in your body. When emotional charge builds in the body it causes strong tension. We habitually clench and tighten certain muscles when we feel stressed. To avoid a full-blown flare-up, we need to work to relax those muscles right away. By doing this, we take focus out of our thoughts which is the cause of the building tension and we can defuse the entire reaction. This is very important to practice, as when we do it we learn to control our thinking and emotional reaction pattern. You have to back out of the reaction in reverse order. First you release the body tension, because once it builds up it ‘triggers’ more of the same kinds of thoughts, keeping you stuck in the vicious circle, feeling you cannot stop it. Once you relax the body, then the mind will subsequently calm down. This takes practice to do, but the more you do this, the better you will get at it, and the less often you will have strong reactions. Once you know you have an EFFECTIVE tool you can use whenever or wherever you are, it will empower you to face any situation. Then you are well on the way to a full recovery!
Please also see my article on simple tools for working with these concerns, which has synopsis of Bonnie’s method.
Emotional Freedom Technique: This technique can be helpful for any issue you want to work on. It uses acupressure in key acupoints and is good to release built-up body tension and help calm the mind for clarity.
Belly Breathing to Discharge Emotional Energy: Learn how to not react to built-up emotional energy. You will need to keep a close eye on your emotional state and when you feel ready to erupt, and then this is exactly the time you must switch your focus to a non-thinking one, such as focus on deep belly breathing, just feeling your breath go in and out from your belly. To refine this skill it needs lots of practice, so you must not avoid situations where you feel uncomfortable. The more you put yourself into the situation you don’t want to be in, the more you face your fear and gain skills to go beyond what previously prevented you from being ‘normal’. There are two articles of interest related to this on my site.
6. Scream, Cry, Write, Express Yourself
Find a private place to scream, shout, stretch or somehow relieve your tension when it gets too high. I am sure you know how to do this and have your favorite way to let out steam. Crying is also a good way to release emotional tension as well as journaling and any other form of self-expression. Find a way to express your creativity: dancing, photography, poetry, singing, painting, writing, acting, playing music, sculpture, etc. It can also be helpful to get out a notebook and just write everything that comes to mind without thinking aobut it, write as many pages as needed. You may want to save this for later, to observe what you wrote after you calm down, it can be enlightening… After that you should shred or burn it.
7. Regular Exercise
Exercise daily to release built-up muscle tension and especially anytime you feel triggered with strong thinking or emotions. Just getting up off the couch and doing something physical can calm your mind and emotions. Try different exercises until you find ones you like and can do regularly. Yoga, tai-chi, running, walking, hiking, bicycling, dance, aerobics, weight room, tennis or swimming. Walking in nature is a great way to calm the mind and body. Taking on new exercise routines should be discussed with your medical health professional.
8. Keep A Self-Healing Journal, Join Support Groups & Search for Information
Keep a journal of what therapies you have tried and how long you have used it and how frequently you use it. See it like a scientific experiment. Try each therapy or tool for at least 3 weeks in a consistent regular way, then evaluate after the 3 weeks and decide if it helps or not. Do not give up! If one tool does not work then try another one. Keep going and your self-healing journey you can then later share with others to help them heal. Consider joining a forum or support group of alternative and complementary therapies for your concern and share with others who are interested in finding a cure or self-healing. Use the internet to search for alternative therapy for your concern as well search for testimonials to find out what others have done to cure their concern in holistic way. Know you are not alone and with the internet you don’t have to figure out how to do this all by yourselves! With creative Google search you will make contact with others and find good books and information that can give you methods that work!
9. Maximize your nutrition and normalize your weight
Eat the healthiest diet possible and take supplements or vitamins you may be deficient on. Many people have been helped with their mental health concerns by taking supplements or nutrients they are deficient in. You will have to do the research yourself to find out what has been helpful to others. Being overweight and not eating healthy, results in sluggish digestion which plugs up your digestive organs and taxes your system to eliminate toxins. This state greatly reduces your energy level, which also directly influences your ability to be aware of your thoughts and emotions. When you do not get the micro-nutrients you need, you are simply hungrier and will want to eat much more, because you are not getting what you need which is a main cause of gaining weight. When you eat the foods your body needs, you will not be so hungry and will lose weight automatically. Work to improve your diet. You will know when you are eating correct foods for you when your digestive system is efficient, when you have one to two regular bowel movements per day that are well-formed and easy to move. Any change in diet or taking of supplements should be discussed with your medical health professional.
I especially like the book “Eat to Live” by Dr. Fuhrman, while it is not a diet to be followed exactly as described for everyone; it is valuable to explain the basics of eating right and nutrition.
10. Educate Yourself
Read self-help books and search for additional information on alternative therapy for your concerns. Look in internet and search for videos in YouTube. There are many online and physical support groups these days to give you help and support from others working on the same thing. There is no reason to reinvent the wheel nor to feel you are doing this all by yourself. You are not alone! I also feel it is good to read books about awakening and going beyond our beliefs. Here are two of my favorite books I’ve read recently:
11. Determine your personality type, use self-inquiry to question yourself.
The better you know your personality type and characteristics, the better you can be an objective observer of yourself, and go beyond your subconscious mind and your defensive learned response patterns and habits. Use tools such as the enneagram, Myers-Briggs Personality Type, Byron Katie: The Work, the AA 12 steps, A course in miracles and also consider therapy to work on specific issues you have more difficulty with.
12. Pray and ask for help from your higher power!
Disclaimer: The information above is offered for the purpose of education, sharing and free exchange of ideas in relation to health and awareness only. It is not intended to diagnose any physical, spiritual or mental condition. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice and treatment of a licensed professional. In the event that you use information I share for your own health, you are self-prescribing, which is your right and you assume responsibility. I can’t assume any responsibility or liability of any kind for information I share with you, as I am neither a legal counselor nor a licensed medical professional and I make no claims in this regard.