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 Anxiety  Holistic-online.com

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Alternative Therapies

Because PTSD is an anxiety disorder in which the victim is left tense and jittery, the practice of any exercise or relaxation technique is extremely valuable. Choose one or two techniques that you like and practice them daily. 

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Alternative Therapies for Anxiety Disorders

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Acupuncture has been shown to ease excessive fear reactions and can reduce traumatic dreams. It works best when combined with psychotherapy. Consult an acupuncturist experienced in treating emotional disorders.

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Acupuncture for Anxiety Disorders

Acupuncture for Stress Management

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In EEG biofeedback (a form of biofeedback also known as neurotherapy), the sufferer retrains his brain's neurological functioning. In controlled studies, some veterans who have suffered for decades have shown great improvement. In some cases, they have experienced total recovery. The patient is attached to an EEG machine and, by listening to the kind and amount of brain waves produced, learns to change them in ways that ultimately affect both behavior and feelings.

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Biofeedback for Anxiety Disorders

Biofeedback for Stress Management

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Eye Movement Therapy

A new treatment-known as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)-seems promising. In some clinical studies, EMDR has reportedly brought dramatic improvement in 90 percent of those tested, and it has become standard treatment in some veterans' hospitals.

The technique is relatively simple. The patient visualizes a distressing image from the traumatic event while tracking with his eyes two fingers the therapist moves quickly back and forth across his line of vision. After each set of movements, the client reports any new feelings or forgotten memories he may have. The therapist then repeats the procedure. Each session lasts about 90 minutes and is repeated as often as needed. One Vietnam veteran reported that EMDR accomplished more in one session than conventional counseling had managed in years.


Massage has proved effective in lowering anxiety and stress for some natural-disaster victims, but it should not be used with anyone who has been physically abused. Massage should be gentle and is best performed by an experienced therapist.

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Massage Therapy for Anxiety Disorders

Massage for Stress Management

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PTSD can be helped by various forms of relaxation training. Choose the technique that works for you.

Here is a simple progressive relaxation exercise. Sit in a comfortable chair, close your eyes and follow these instructions.

  1. Clench your right fist. Keep it tightly clenched for about ten seconds. Release and let it go limp. Repeat with your left hand, then both hands simultaneously.

  2. Next, bend both your elbows and tense your arms. Relax them and let them hang at your sides.

  3. Tense and then relax both your shoulders and your neck. Wrinkle, then relax your forehead and brows.

  4. Squeeze your eyes shut and clench your jaw, then relax.

  5. Tense and relax your stomach, lower back, both thighs, buttocks, both calves and both feet.

This will take about ten minutes. Do these exercises about twice a day.

See Also: Relaxation Response for Anxiety Disorders


Yoga and meditation are excellent for lowering stress and anxiety. Follow a regular yoga relaxation program such as sun salutation, yoga nidra, etc. and practice the Shoulderstand sequence slowly. Make sure that you have incorporated in your daily routine at least six yoga poses. When choosing the poses, choose those that require a complete breath movement. This will help make you physically strong and more able to cope with stress and anxiety. Vary the poses from day to day. This will keep your interest high and strengthen different parts of your body.

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Yoga for Anxiety Disorders

Yoga for Stress Management

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