Taking Care of an Ill Loved One

Alternative Ways To Treat Your Anxiety

Anxiety can show up as a mild case of nervousness, but it can also be so severe that it keeps a person from leaving their house. When anxiety begins to interfere with your daily activities, it's tempting to try medications. Many of these have side effects that you'll also have to combat. There are alternative ways to deal with your anxiety. Some people find these techniques beneficial by themselves while other people use them along with the medications. Try several approaches and find a combination that reduces your anxiety so you can enjoy your life again.


Acupuncture is based on ancient Chinese medicine techniques that work with energy in your body. According to practitioners, your energy, or qi (pronounced "chee") circulates through the body along pathways called meridians. When the qi is flowing freely through the body, you are in good health. The acupuncturist looks for blocks in your meridians that prevent the balance and flow of energy from happening.

Acupuncture is used for both physical and emotional health issues. By placing tiny needles where these meridians are closest to the skin, the practitioner tries to improve the flow of energy. Certain meridians affect your emotional states so the focus will be on the meridians that control your fear and anxiety. The goal is to help you achieve a more calm emotional state.


Acupressure also uses the Chinese energy meridians, but instead of needles, the practitioner presses on the points with their fingers or a special tool. The goal is the same as with acupuncture, restoring the free flow of qi throughout your body. One benefit of this technique is that you can learn to do elements of this yourself. The practitioner can show you which points to focus on to reduce your own anxiety. When you feel yourself becoming anxious, doing this at home or work may prevent the feeling from increasing, and make you calmer.

Massage Therapy

Health.com notes that anxiety frequently causes muscle tension. Some people experience a decrease in anxiety when their physical body is more relaxed. Massage therapy is one way to relax the tense muscles so the rest of you can relax. There are several varieties of massage and you may want to try different types until you find the style that works best for you. Some of these include:

  • Swedish massage - This is the basic form of massage taught in the schools. This uses a gentle touch to slowly stretch out tense muscles until they relax.
  • Deep muscle massage - This is a more forceful technique to get to the muscles closer to your bones and joints. If you have lower back, upper back, shoulder or neck pain from your anxiety, this technique can relieve those tense muscles.
  • Hydrotherapy massage - With this technique, you rest in a tub while jets of water spray onto the different muscle groups. This improves your circulation and reduces the inflammation associated with tense muscles.

By combining alternative approaches with your medication, you may find new ways to control your anxiety. You'll feel calmer and be more motivated to participate in life again.