Sunday, May 4, 2014

Anxiety : Holistic Health



Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. I am not attempting to give medical advice. I am only sharing my experience and some things I’ve learned about my own health with hope it may benefit another.



“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6


I wonder how many Christians know this verse and yet continually struggle to overcome the anxiety and overwhelming feelings that this world can produce?   Since I receive hits every week in response to my series on women’s health related to hormonal imbalance, I felt it was time for a follow-up.  If anyone can benefit from the experiences of my life, it is well worth the time to share. 

Anxiety was never an issue for me until about 4 or 5 months ago.  Sure,  I had times of worry and stress like most people, but what a wake-up call to have my first anxiety (panic) attack!    I had heard my mom and cousin relate to me in years past about their own experiences with anxiety-- the rapid heart-rate, sweaty palms, and lack of focus, but I never expected to experience it myself.   Panic attacks are frightening because even though your head may be telling you it’s only temporary-- to just hang on--the body feels like it’s revved up like a jet engine with nowhere to go.  

What is most strange to me is that panic attacks come out of the blue.   We’re gifted with that “fight or flight” adrenaline rush when in a stressful situation to save our hides, but when this same rush comes over you while in a business meeting or at a hair appointment, well.. it’s frightening and embarrassing.   My panic attacks started coming more frequently in the last 6 weeks and increasingly limited my daily activities.  

There’s plenty of research out there regarding the causes of panic attacks, my personal opinion is that -for me- it has much to do with heredity, chronic stress, personality type and not enough exercise.   When I do exercise (2 or 3 x per week) it is by walking or hiking, involving a mild cardiovascular work-out.  I always feel better after exercise, but it wasn’t enough to keep the stress and panic attacks at bay.  When the body experiences periods of chronic stress, cortisol (produced by the adrenals during increased stress) levels become high and when those levels are sustained, it has damaging effects on the body as a whole.  Effects such as weight gain, suppressed immune function, high blood pressure & cholesterol and accelerated aging.  Couple that with the fact that I’m in my fourth decade and experiencing changes in body and hormonal levels and, well, it’s like setting the conditions for a perfect storm.   

During lunch at work one day, I spent the hour researching holistic remedies for anxiety.   I had already explored what the western medical community offered (Zoloft, Birth Control Pills for regulating hormones, multi-vitamins, checking Vit. D and calcium levels)  and was still in need of answers and help for my overall health.   I stumbled upon some very interesting remedies from “alternative” sources.  As a caveat, that’s such a funny moniker to me...shouldn’t “alternative”  actually be “original” ?   After all, people through the centuries have relied on remedies from nature much longer than they have relied on allopathic medicine.    And please don’t misunderstand me.  I understand and accept the place of traditional medicine and practices.  I’m just saying in my case, what they offered left me in need of something more.

What I discovered from the holistic side of treating anxiety, were main ingredients that seem to help people in a variety of supplemental forms.  Those ingredients are:

L-Theanine
GABA (as gamma-aminobutyric acid)
Bacopa Leaf Extract
L- 5 Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) 
Magnesium 
Niacin
Vitamin B complex
Schizandra Berry Extract  
Passion Flower
Ashwagandha Root


I could write a blog post on each of those ingredients separately as there is so much to learn about each one.  If you’re looking for help for your anxiety, I would encourage you to educate yourself about each component, realizing the diverse opinions and studies of both traditional and holistic practicing medical professionals.  

After discovering these key ingredients, I went directly to the Healthy Life Market at our local Drug Emporium after work and asked for help finding a supplement with at least some of these ingredients.   The very informative Darlene, brought Redd Remedies to my attention, specifically, their product labeled, At Ease™.    



At Ease™ contains the following ingredients:

Vit. B-1
Vit. B-6
Niacinamide
Pantothenic Acid
Magnesium
Choline Bitartrate
GABA
L-Theanine
Bacopa Leaf Extract
L-5 Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP)
Schizandra Berry Extract

Darlene was very informed about this product and we talked for quite a while standing there in the store aisle.   I bought it, came home and began researching Redd Remedies as well as reading more about each ingredient.  I don’t have a good track record when it comes to medications so I’m very particular about what I put into my body.  I fully realize that just because something is natural or holistic, that doesn’t mean it’s naturally safe.  There are plants in nature that can kill you, too, so be sure and do your homework!

What I am MOST pleased to share with you is how effective At Ease™ has been for me.  I began by taking 1 tablet (recommended dose is 2 tablets)  on a Saturday afternoon.  After a few hours had passed without any adverse feelings or stomach upset, I took the second tablet.  That day was bliss.    

The package says:  “At Ease™ is relaxing but not sedative.  We call it “Alert Relaxation”.

And that’s exactly right!  That is precisely how I felt that entire day... calm, alert, clear-headed.  I have followed the prescribed dose of 2 tablets per day (taken together in the a.m.) for two weeks now.  Happily, I have not had a panic attack during this time and thankfully, have had no ill effects from this supplement.  It feels like a miracle to me to be comfortable in my body once again.    

I was so impressed with how well At Ease™ worked, that I called the company to ask additional questions.  To my surprise, a real human voice answered the phone and cheerfully discussed with me about the history of the company, manufacturing procedures and duration of use for their products. 

Redd Remedies is worth looking into.  If you’re struggling with anxiety, be assured that there is help. You should always consult your doctor about taking any supplements, particularly if you are taking prescription medications.  Some supplements can interfere with prescription medications, so educate yourself.  You can’t be “talked out of worry and negative thoughts”  (as those may say who have never experienced anxiety) when the actual factors involve restoring neurotransmitter balance and adrenal health.  Sometimes it’s matter over mind.  Redd Remedies has been an answered prayer for me.  

Glory to God for all things †

1 comment:

margaret said...

I have been having panic attacks, anxiety attacks might more precise, since I had cancer but lately I've been getting so many more of them. Some are dreadful and I am gripped with fear, others are not so bad but I still can't sleep or concentrate, it's like being slowly gnawed from the inside. I've been wondering if it's the menopause as I've read the body can substitute cortisol for estrogen (!) but I'm certainly going to see if the preparation you're taking is available in the UK. Bach Rescue Remedy helps to an extent but not enough so herbals do have an effect, perhaps this will be a little stronger. Thank you for the review :)

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