Before I get into the meat of this article on how to naturally help anxiety, I'd like to share the motivation for this story. Actually, I write this article out of sheer frustration with American healthcare. Yes. Healthcare makes me anxious.
I have anxiety. I was steadily being treated on Cymbalta for over a year and was feeling quite good. However, I changed jobs and after three months, became eligible for insurance again only to discover my particular insurance company did not cover Cymbalta. I was livid. That night I added Mike Moore's Sicko to my Blockbuster queue. It didn't make me feel much better, but it made me realize that I wasn't alone.
My doctor, who was also frustrated at American healthcare, gave me a prescription and samples for Effexor. I didn't like it and never filled my prescription. Instead, I tried Lexapro. Liked it. That brings me to today.
My two-week's worth of samples were gone and just a few days ago, I dropped of my prescription at the pharmacy. I arrived at the pharmacy around 3:00 p.m. The pharmacy itself was closed, but the rest of the store was open. The girl behind the desk said I could still pick up my prescription. She disappeared for a few minutes and returned with my Lexapro prescription and the logbook. I signed my name as she rang up my Lexapro and a Peanut Butter Meltaway Easter Egg from a local confectioner.
"100.89," she said.
"What?" I replied, stunned.
"100.89," she repeated.
Sensing my disbelief, she held up the bag. There was a hand-written note on the bag. "Please see pharmacist about price." He must have known it would be questioned when the clerk rang up the order, and he was prepared with an answer. However, he was not there since it was after hours. I am guessing my insurance company does not cover Lexapro either. I will have to ask what anti-anxiety, if any, medication they do cover. I did not take the Lexapro. I wasn't going to pay $100 for 30 pills. In the meantime, I made a joke:
"I guess I could buy a month's supply of these eggs. They always make me feel good," I said with a smile, trying to hold back tears.
Since American Healthcare won't fund my medication, I wondered if there were any natural remedies for anxiety. Here is what I found:
Natural Remedy for Anxiety #1: Massage Therapy
I guess I really already knew this; I just don't have the funds for a regular massage. I worked for several years at a school that taught massage therapy, in fact. They offered discounted massages to the public so students could get their hands-on training. I was never allowed to get one since I was an employee, but hmmm. Now I think I may make an appointment. Massage therapy is a perfect remedy for anxiety because it eliminates tension and reduces stress. Feeling relaxed and stress free will also limit those anxious feelings. ( I wrote a few articles on Massage Therapy on AC: Massage Therapy Ultimate Stress Relief, Russian Platza Massage and 7 Advantages of Massage Chairs)
Natural Remedy for Anxiety #2: Mind-Body Exercises
Meditation, deep breathing and other similar exercises can help reduce anxiety. Find the one the works best for you and your schedule. We all breathe all day, all the time. However, deep breathing exercises can make a world of difference.
Natural Remedy for Anxiety #3: Aromatherapy
Surrounding yourself with the right essences can really help reduce anxiety. Lavender is said to be the most effective, but other essential oils that can help with anxiety include jasmine, rose, sandalwood and melissa. You can enjoy aromatherapy either in a bath, or burn the oils while you rest and relax.
Natural Remedy for Anxiety #4: Magnesium
It seems I really knew some of these methods beforehand, but somehow they seemed to lapse in my memory. I wrote an article a year ago on Natural Calm, a magnesium supplement. You can read it here. When someone is magnesium deficient, stress levels increase, as do other conditions. Replenishing the body with lots of this much-needed element can help fight anxiety.
Natural Remedy for Anxiety #5: Natural Herbs and Medicines
There are non-prescription medications that can aid in reducing anxiety. These can be found in some pharmacies, health food stores, online and even the vitamin aisle at any store that stocks supplements. Some natural remedies for anxiety include passionflower, Valerian and others. Native Remedies, a natural health company, offers a product called PureCalm ($34.95 for a 30-day supply) which I am thinking about trying. PureCalm includes ingredients such as Melissa, Lavender and passionflower.
With so many natural remedies out there, perhaps I will not let this insurance ordeal get the best of me. I will try some of these out and perhaps write about my experience, but hopefully my anxiety will kick the bucket one way or another.