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Anxiety – Body, Mind – or BOTH?

By:

Dr. Justin Sullivan, PT, OCS, CFMT

Heart palpitations.

Stomach sinks.

Palms get sweaty and cold.

Thoughts become erratic, racing and filled with doom.

Anxiety is an extremely common condition affecting more than 3 million new people each year.  While the most common treatments involve medication (chemical) and/or counseling (mental/social), these methods can’t address the physical aspects of this condition.

Clients that suffer with anxiety present with imbalances in their autonomic nervous system.  (This is the fight/flight and rest/digest system) The nerve tissues often become irritated from restrictions in the surrounding structures – an irritation that will keep the system in a more elevated “fight or flight” mode.  With the system already heightened, it only takes a small mental or social challenge to stimulate anxiousness.

Tools and techniques given to you by your psychotherapist are crucial in managing these “flare-ups”, while ongoing counseling helps change the behaviors surrounding the symptoms.  Some medications help suppress the system to reduce symptom severity.  However, to treat the physical triggers and effects of anxiety, the tissues must be addressed through manual therapy to allow the nervous system to regain balance.

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