How Do Holistic Therapies Assist With Anxiety?

How Do Holistic Therapies Assist With Anxiety?

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Dr. Norris Von Curl, II, MD

Mental health disorders affect each person differently. One person’s experience with anxiety can be entirely different from another’s. For that reason, having multiple treatment and therapy options is important. These services may fall under two categories: clinical and holistic. Clinical care includes medication, talk therapy, or other therapies such as neurofeedback. Holistic care, on the other hand, is focused on healing all elements of the client. This category includes less “scientific” therapies like music therapy, yoga, and adventure therapy. Incorporating both types of therapies into treatment plans is known as the whole-person approach. For those who have anxiety, a whole-person approach is recommended. Standard treatments include CBT and medication, but holistic therapies assist with anxiety as well.

The whole-person approach is a path of treatment that encompasses all aspects of the client. These aspects include one’s biological makeup, environmental factors, social circumstances, and many other aspects. One’s mental health cannot be compared to another’s, and this is because there are so many unique life experiences that clients have. The whole-person approach works to uncover all of these elements of the client, address all areas of their life, and promote long-lasting healing and happiness.

At First Steps Recovery, the whole-person approach is in full effect. Clients coping with anxiety are welcome and encouraged to participate in both clinical and holistic therapies. Holistic therapies open the doors for clients to practice different coping mechanisms, to spend time with themselves, and to take time to really understand themselves and their disorders. For clients coping with an anxiety disorder, holistic therapies can help recalibrate their nervous systems and promote a deeper mind-body connection.

Signs, Symptoms, and Clinical Treatments for Anxiety Disorders

People often experience stress or anxiety at some point in their lives. Stress related to money, home, work, or school is very common and normal. However, those experiencing an anxiety disorder cannot rid themselves of these symptoms. The disorder eventually interferes with one’s daily life. Aside from phobia-related disorders, there are three anxiety disorders clients may experience: generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder. Each anxiety disorder has its own signs and symptoms.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Clients with GAD may experience the following symptoms:

  • Restlessness
  • Feeling wound-up or on-edge
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling irritable
  • Having headaches, muscle aches, stomachaches, or other aches and pains
  • Experiencing difficulty controlling feelings of worry
  • Sleeping problems

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder involves having frequent, unexpected panic attacks. These episodes cause fear, discomfort, and/or feelings of being out of control. Symptoms of panic disorder are:

  • Pounding or racing heart
  • Sweating
  • Trembling or tingling
  • Chest pains
  • Feelings of impending doom
  • A sense of being out of control

Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety disorder is based on the fear of being watched and judged by others. Being in social situations may feel very intense for the client and they may have difficulty doing things in public spaces. Symptoms of social anxiety disorder include:

  • Blushing, sweating, and trembling
  • A pounding or racing heart
  • Stomachaches
  • Rigid body posture
  • Speaking softly
  • Having difficulty making and maintaining eye contact with new people
  • Feeling self-consciousness
  • Having a fear of being judged negatively

Psychotherapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), medication, support groups, and stress management techniques are all encouraged treatments for anxiety disorders. Traditionally, most treatment approaches have been in the clinical realm. However, stress management techniques can also be learned through holistic services.

How Do Holistic Therapies Assist With Anxiety?

Holistic therapies assist with anxiety by offering out-of-the-box methods of healing. Often clients feel stuck in clinical treatments, feeling like they are not making progress in therapy. People often dread the thought of having to rely on medication forever. Holistic therapies, though, offer alternative methods of healing that can be equally or more effective. At First Steps Recovery, clients can try a number of holistic therapies. Mindfulness and yoga therapies are two options that may suit clients coping with anxiety.

Aside from providing alternative approaches to healing, holistic therapies assist with anxiety by calming clients’ nervous systems. Clients can regain control over their minds and bodies, engage with their inner selves, become self-advocating, and take control over their healing process rather than relying on others or medications.

Holistic Therapies Assist With Anxiety: Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a form of talk therapy in which clients evaluate their inner selves and the world around them. Clients keep their awareness sharp and focused on their thoughts, feelings, emotions, and surrounding environment in order for them to understand themselves better. Mindfulness therapy, which often involves meditation, assists clients in developing calming feelings. Consistent practice also allows clients with anxiety to engage with the world around them without judgment, fear, or stress overtaking them.

Holistic Therapies Assist With Anxiety: Yoga Therapy

Yoga therapy is a holistic service offered at First Steps Recovery that helps clients with posture, controlling their breathing, strengthening and lengthening the spine, increasing flexibility, and calming the mind. Improved concentration and patience are two benefits of consistent yoga practice.

Emotions are often extremely heightened in clients with anxiety disorders. Yoga therapy works to help ease those feelings that often seem uncontrollable. Clients begin to find ways that they can control their stress and anxieties through breathing techniques and body movements. With consistent practice, clients improve their overall sense of inner balance and peace.

Here at First Steps Recovery, we understand that coping with anxiety is challenging. Often clients are presented only with clinical treatments and therapies. These include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or other psychotherapies, medication, or support groups. Coping with anxiety, though, can be greatly assisted through holistic care as well. Holistic services like yoga therapy and mindfulness therapy allow clients to develop greater control over themselves, their thoughts, and their behaviors. Consistent practice helps clients with anxiety to develop a mind-body connection and gain a sense of inner control. This inner connection allows them to calm themselves and engage with the world with a clear perspective. To learn more about anxiety treatment at First Steps Recovery, please call us at (844) 489-0836.

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