Category Archives: Anxiety

Conventional Treatments of Anxiety: Benefits and Limitations

In this post I review the benefits and limitations of conventional treatments of anxiety disorders. Future posts in this series will discuss complementary and alternative approaches used to treat different anxiety disorders.  Conventional treatments of anxiety Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), supportive … Continue reading

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Acupuncture Ineffective for Smoking Cessation and Nicotine and Cocaine Withdrawal but Effective for Insomnia

Acupuncture is not effective for reducing symptoms of nicotine withdrawal or cocaine addiction but may reduce cocaine craving after abstinence is achieved Two systematic reviews of sham-controlled trials concluded that both conventional acupuncture and electro-acupuncture are equally ineffective in reducing … Continue reading

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Acupuncture in Mental Health Care: A Concise Review

Challenges in acupuncture research Acupuncture is widely used in Asian and Western countries to treat diverse mental health problems. Evaluating the clinical efficacy of acupuncture in depressed mood and other mental health problems poses many methodological challenges because of differences … Continue reading

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Energetic Therapies in Mental Health Care

Energetic Therapies in Mental Health Care: A Short Introduction This blog post is intended as a short introduction to diverse ‘energetic’ therapies and their uses in mental health care. Future posts will review the evidence for individual energetic therapies in … Continue reading

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Cranioelectrotherapy Stimulation (CES): An Important Emerging Therapy

How cranioelectrotherapy stimulation works Cranioelectrotherapy stimulation (CES), also called transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) or microcurrent electrical stimulation, is based on the application of extremely weak electrical current to the head and neck to treat anxiety, depressed mood, insomnia, and … Continue reading

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Exercise improves depressed mood, reduces anxiety and helps prevent dementia

How exercise works to improve depressed mood Many studies show that infrequent physical activity increases the risk of developing depressed mood. Physical exercise increases the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and may enhance neural plasticity and new synapse formation. … Continue reading

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Limitations of conventional psychiatric treatments of anxiety

Conventional treatments anxiety in Western culture include a specialized kind of therapy called cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), supportive psychotherapy, and medications. Studies have confirmed that certain medications such as benzodiazepines (e.g. lorazepam, clonazepam and others) and serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) are … Continue reading

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QiGong and Tai-chi may reduce the severity of generalized anxiety and promote emotional well-being

Qigong and Tai-chi are ancient Chinese practices used for maintaining emotional well-being and promoting mind-body balance. A review of QiGong in mental health care identified five studies on QiGong in the treatment of anxiety but only one small uncontrolled study … Continue reading

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The essential oils of Lavender and Rosemary reduce symptoms of generalized anxiety

Essential oils derived from lavender and other fragrant herbs are widely used to treat anxiety in the form of aromatherapy or massage oil. Limited research findings suggest that certain essential oils, especially lavender, have moderate anti-anxiety effects. Findings from one … Continue reading

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Passion flower extract may reduce the severity of generalized anxiety

Passion flower (Passiflora incarnata) contains an active ingredient called chrysin that has been demonstrated to bind to benzodiazepine receptors in the brain. In one small study, Passion flower extract 45 drops/day and oxazepam (a benzodiazepine) were equally effective in reducing … Continue reading

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