You don’t have to be an expert, but managing your anxiety on your own requires regular relaxation.
What’s this ? Breathing, muscle relaxation, mindful meditation and visualization exercises to cope with difficulties.
How does it happen ? Slow, deep breathing prevents hyperventilation, which causes sweating and dizziness. This is the starting point for the novices and the exercise that everyone continues to practice. It is a question of resting, breathing slowly through the belly and promoting the exhalation to stimulate the vagal system, the regulatory system of response to stress.
What efficiency? “Good, but it takes time: at least one 5-minute exercise every day”, replies Dominique Servant, psychiatrist. Once you have complete respiratory control, within one to three weeks, you can act quickly as soon as the anxiety arises. It takes six to eight weeks of training to fully benefit from it
It’s proven ? These methods are difficult to evaluate, but the benefits are obvious.
For what type of anxiety? “For underlying chronic anxiety, fear panic, emotional peaks, relaxation can be a primary treatment,” says Dr. Servant. For other types of anxiety, it can only be complementary.
Acupuncture to recover
It happens at the acupuncturist doctor and with sterile needles.
What’s this ? According to this energetic Chinese medicine, anxiety arises from a situation experienced “badly transformed” by the body which generates problems in the viscera. Fear attacks the energy of the kidney, anger attacks that of the liver… The needle regulates the energy of meridians, chosen according to the nature of the problem, and helps to transform “injuries” psychologically and physiologically.
How does it happen ? On average, the therapist plants 8 to 12 needles per session (40 minutes minimum). At least three sessions are necessary to feel a clear improvement, but the support continues over several months. “It is a long-term job, always accompanied by a therapeutic act by speaking”, recalls Denis Colin, acupuncturist doctor in Paris.
For what type of anxiety? Acupuncture is as effective as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for post-traumatic anxiety disorder (J Nerv Ment Dis, 2007). It is also used for generalized anxiety and perioperative anxiety, but there is no trial on panic attacks, phobias or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) (Acupunct Med, 2007) .
What efficiency? “The clinical efficacy is good, around 50%,” says Dr Colin.
It’s proven ? The evidence is growing stronger (Curr Opin Psychiatry, 2008).
For what price? Between 50 and 80 € per session in the provinces, between 80 and 120 € in Paris. Consultation and technical act reimbursed on the basis of 22 and 12 € respectively, if the doctor has a sector 2 agreement.
To find a practitioner:www.acupuncteur.org