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a woman doing meditation and breathing exercises on the cliff's edge

3 Alternative Anxiety Treatments to Try When Traditional Medication Doesn't Work

Did you know 6.8 million American adults suffer from general anxiety disorder (GAD) [1]? Medication can help some people with their symptoms. But for others who don’t find relief in traditional remedies, alternative treatments like Ketamine for anxiety are an option. These aren’t intended to replace conventional treatment methods. Instead, they’re worth considering if you’ve tried everything else. They can provide extra help coping with your anxiety.

Do you find traditional medications ineffective for treating your anxiety? Let’s explore three alternative treatments:

  • Ketamine infusions

  • Meditation and breathing exercises

  • Holistic essential oils

1. Ketamine Infusions*

Doctors have been using ketamine as an anesthetic in medical procedures since 1970. Today, it’s an effective treatment for depression and anxiety disorders. The main perk is the rapid and short-term effects on the brain. Patients typically experience relief within an hour or a few hours at most. As with all forms of therapy, results vary per person.* Researchers have discovered that single-dose ketamine infusions are great for reducing refractory anxiety [2].

How It Works

It’s important to determine candidacy before starting ketamine treatment for anxiety. Before delivering the infusion, your doctor will assess your medical history and current condition. If you’re a good candidate, he will create a treatment plan to provide optimal anxiety relief. During ketamine infusions, the doctor watches you closely to ensure you’re safe and comfortable the whole time.

Ketamine is a fast-acting drug that blocks NMDA receptors in the brain. This results in patients achieving a positive state of mind. Ketamine for anxiety puts you in a hallucinogenic, dreamlike state. This is beneficial because it helps you escape negative thoughts. The drug produces feelings of dissociation and out-of-body experiences.

2. Meditation and Breathing Techniques

Meditation and breathing techniques are easy ways to calm your mind and body. It’s worth trying because it doesn’t involve anything going into your system. Besides, regular practice can help you find peace and stay positive.

Best Forms of Meditation

There are countless forms of meditation. Some may be more effective for you than others. The form that works best for one person may not work as well for someone else. It all depends on personal preferences and what resonates with you.

Mindful meditation and insight meditation are excellent places to start:

Mindful Meditation

One form of meditation that works for many is mindful meditation. Mindfulness involves focusing on your breath as you sit quietly in a relaxed position. Focus your attention on the present moment without judging or evaluating them. This practice helps you develop emotional stability, reduce stressors, and ease anxiety [3].

Insight Meditation

Another popular meditation type is “Vipassana,” or insight meditation. It involves concentrating on one thing at a time with an awareness of physical sensations. You may focus on breathing or sounds around you until the mind becomes calm. The idea behind this is that your thoughts no longer cause anxiety once you master this technique.

Best Breathing Techniques to Calm Anxiety

Similar to meditation, breathing techniques are plentiful and can provide great relief for anxiety. One or both of these may work well for you:

Intentional Breath Counting

Count each time you breathe out, starting at ten and continuing until you reach one. The idea is that focusing on the numbers will force you to slow down your breath rate. In turn, this reduces stress levels.

Belly Breathing

Substituting chest breathing with belly breathing can work wonders in reducing anxiety. It stimulates the vagus nerve. This nerve goes from the head to the neck, through the chest, and to the colon. This form of breathing activates your body’s natural relaxation response. It lowers stress levels by dropping your heart rate and blood pressure [4].

3. Holistic Essential Oils

Essential oils come from the essence of plants. This can include their leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds. There are many types of essential oils. Each offers different health benefits. Some examples include lavender oil, peppermint oil, and eucalyptus oil.

People have been using essential oils to treat anxiety naturally. You can either apply it on your skin (diluted in a moisturizer or bath) or inhale it from a diffuser.

Top 4 Essential Oils for Anxiety

These essential oils can provide immense anxiety relief:

1. Lavender

Lavender is a versatile essential oil that can benefit multiple health situations, including general anxiety. It has anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, and antibacterial properties. Not only does it smell amazing, but it also provides analgesic, detoxifying, and sedative effects. A study showed lavender “effectively ameliorates generalized anxiety comparable to 0.5 mg/daily lorazepam.” [5]

2. Bergamot

Bergamot is a unique citrus essential oil that has uplifting and calming effects.

3. Ylang Ylang

Ylang Ylang, a popular essential oil in perfumes and aromatherapy, soothes stress, sadness, insomnia, anxiety, and tension.

4. Jasmine

Jasmine is a sweet essential oil thought to boost mood and reduce stress. As a result, your anxiety flares may become more manageable.

Why We Recommend Ketamine as an Anxiety Treatment

Ketamine therapy for anxiety may be worth trying as an alternative option if nothing else is working. It’s a glutamate receptor agonist, which means it stimulates glutamate receptors’ activity. Glutamate is a neurotransmitter involved in many brain processes like mood regulation. By stimulating glutamate receptors, ketamine helps reduce symptoms of anxiety.

Ketamine Therapy for Anxiety in Salt Lake City, UT

Are you in Salt Lake City, UT, battling with anxiety? Have you struggled with finding relief from other treatments? Schedule a consultation with Ketamine Therapy at Therapeutic Alternatives by calling 385-685-1410. We are a top ketamine infusion provider in SLC and West Jordan, Utah. Men and women come to us for anxiety relief—and we can help you get there, too.

Schedule a Ketamine
Treatment Consultation

Schedule an appointment via call or text at (385) 685-1410 or fill out the form below:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

By submitting this form you agree to be contacted via phone/text/email

Sources:

1. Anxiety Disorders – Facts & Statistics, Anxiety & Depression Association of America

2. Ketamine treatment for refractory anxiety: A systematic review, British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, Jamie L. Tully, Amelia D. Dahlén, Connor J. Haggarty, Helgi B. Schiöth, Samantha Brooks

3. Mindfulness meditation may ease anxiety, mental stress, Harvard Health Publishing: Harvard Medical School, Julie Corliss

4. Ease anxiety and stress: Take a (belly) breather, Harvard Health Publishing: Harvard Medical School, Matthew Solan

5. Lavender and the Nervous System, Hindawi, Peir Hossein Koulivand, Maryam Khaleghi Ghadiri, and Ali Gorji

Schedule a Ketamine
Treatment Consultation

Schedule an appointment via call or text at
(385) 685-1410
or fill out the form below:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

By submitting this form you agree to be contacted via phone/text/email

Accredited by The Ketamine Training Center in 2021.

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