Q3 2020

10 GHP / Q3 2020 GHP / Q3 2020 11 , Helping Post Lockdown Anxiety the Natural Way May20087 Helping Post Lockdown Anxiety the Natural Way Traditionally, Autumn heralds the time to ‘turn over a new leaf’ and welcome the change of season. As children go back to school, something instilled from our own school days heralds newness; even if just a change of wardrobe, we yearn to start a fresh page…. However this year, our optimism for the new season for some may feel somewhat jaded, as we struggle to adjust to the ‘new normal’. Our feelings of lockdown anxiety are not dissipating and for some, are perhaps even heightened. Dr Sally Moorcroft, Clinical Director of ‘Orchard Barn’, an integrative medicine and wellbeing centre, based in the village of Stallingborough in North Lincolnshire, tackles issues of anxiety and depression with her patients in clinic every day. She explains, “I have certainly noted the prevalence of post lock down anxiety in an increasing number of clients. They are presenting more than ever with classical feelings of anxiety with symptoms such as racing heart, sweaty palms, difficulty in sleeping and concentrating, forgetfulness, and shortness of breath. Many are worried about the future, whether it be a direct fear of coming into contact with the virus, or implications about job security, financial implications, loneliness, or may be even reluctance or the inability to socialise as they once did. Some may even be grief-stricken, as they have sadly lost loved ones during the pandemic.” As an integrative health practitioner and with over fifteen years clinical experience as a doctor, Dr Sally firmly believes in taking a holistic view to managing our health. Integrative medicine covers a whole host of tools including nutrition, positive lifestyle choices, bodywork, stress management, mindfulness, counselling, holistic therapies, herbal medicine and homeopathy in favour of anti-depressants or other medicines, which may have unwanted side effects. Here she shares some of her healthy lifestyle tips to help us to navigate the ‘new normal’ along with some natural remedies which she has found to be of benefit to her patients who consult her for a wide range of issues, including women’s health, gut health and auto immune conditions. Being Normal in ‘The New Normal’ – The first aspect to recognise, is that some level of anxiety, given the events of this year is completely understandable. The human psyche thrives on regular routine and having the ability, within reason, to plan ahead. So, no wonder that sustained feelings of anxiety are present as we seek to adjust to a ‘new normal’. It is when these feelings become overwhelming, or exaggerated, that we may choose to seek professional help. I t’s Good to Talk – Whether it’s in the guise of a professional counsellor, or a chat over a cuppa with a friend, it is helpful to voice your fears and worries with another person. They may also share having similar feelings, which will immediately help you both to put things into perspective. Connection is key to our wellbeing, even if you would view yourself as introverted. This may mean adapting to the current situation with social media, or the old fashioned telephone, or even dropping a friend a hand-written note. Manage Expectations – It’s easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself now, after over half a year managing the Covid situation, and all of the change/uncertainty that many of us have had to face, with how we were before. In terms of concentration levels, stamina, confidence and organisation skills, it is wholly expected that we are not quite where we were. So, go easy on yourself and lower the bar, there is no race. Back to Basics – For most of us, much- needed nourishment in the form of sleep and from our diets can certainly be areas to address. Although we have no control over the greater environment, we can help ourselves enormously by instilling a regular sleeping pattern, and turning off devices at least one hour before bedtime, avoiding caffeine after 6pm, and ensuring that our bedroom space is de-cluttered. Healthy eating will improve mood and sleep patterns, and a commitment to regular exercise at a pace which suits our current level of fitness will help to address stress chemicals and induce natural sleep (again, rather than causing extra stress on our bodies by vowing to run that marathon, be gentle with yourself, recognise where you are at!) Break The Cycle – Identify your patterns of anxiety and trigger points for example, if it’s shortness of breath as the feelings spiral, you may wish to try a simple breathing exercise such as alternate nostril breathing, to bring you back to centre. Journaling, or creative artwork, even colouring can help to ease the mind and bring those cortisol levels down. Create Boundaries and a Routine – Especially if you are now working from home, a routine to avoid home time and work time becoming all a blur, will help you maintain focus when it’s needed and switch off for that all-important relaxation. If you are working from home, ensure to take regular breaks away from your desk to refresh your mind and body. Afterwards you will be able to tackle work issues with renewed vigour and a different sense of perspective. Your body will thank you too. Gratitude and Compassion – it’s time to be grateful for what we do have, and take extra time to notice the small things, perhaps aspects of nature that we are ordinarily too busy to notice; as well as being understanding and gentle to yourself, practise this loving attitude towards your family, co-workers and friends. Reach out to those who may be lonely or struggling, the results may surprise you! Stay Present – That old adage, ‘take one day at a time’, is certainly good for now. It is said that those living in the past experience depression, and those living in the future experience anxiety – so whilst we navigate these times, the present is certainly the ‘sweet spot’. Each day ask yourself what can be done, in the here and now, to improve this situation. Mindfulness and meditation will certainly help you to achieve this state of mind. Dr Sally’s recommendations when Lifestyle Habits need a helping hand are: HERBS FOR SLEEP & RELAXATION These herbs are among Dr Sally’s favourites. Restoring nerve pathways, soothing the stress response, and supporting the adrenals, these herbs are a go-to for Dr Sally’s patients: passionflower, oat straw, verbena and valerian . These can also be used to help with calming nerves and inducing sleep. Used as a herbal tea or tincture, they need to be taken regularly to be effective. Orchard Barn sell a home- blended herbal tisane, called ‘ Night Time ’ tea containing passion flower, see online shop (£5.45) There is also Dr Sally’s remedy ‘ Restore Herbal Tonic No 1 ’ (£10.95 for 100 ml) to nourish and calm the nervous system which has been agitated by prolonged stress. Ashwagandha – a wonderful herb, loved for its relaxing and calming action, it normalises/ reduces cortisol, a stress hormone, and therefore reduces the harmful effects of stress, whilst aiding sleep, energy and immunity. Take as a capsule, tincture, or traditionally as a powder, before bed. For poor sleep, Dr Sally would also recommend Nutri Advanced Magnesium glycinate recommending patients take 2- 3 capsules before bed. For chronic poor sleep, melatonin , which is a prescription only sleep hormone, is one of the most effective options for re-establishing a good sleep routine. This naturally occurring sleep hormone is the reason why it is so important that we switch our devices off before bed, and at least 1-2 hours in preparation, so that the body is prompted to release this light-sensitive hormone, in the waning light, signalling that it is time to rest. Dr Sally is able to prescribe this, subject to consultation. HERBS FOR LOW MOOD & DEPRESSION St John’s Wort is a well-known and effective herbal medicine which can help lift the mood and is taken as a tincture or capsules ideally. It cannot be taken with some medications, including the oral contraceptive pill, warfarin, digoxin, some antidepressant drugs, indinavir, cyclosporin, theophylline, HIV medication and anti-epileptic drugs. Other herbs which are very useful in helping to address low mood are damiana, lemon balm and verbena. Lemon balm makes a delicious herbal tea, infuse 1-2 tsp of fresh or dried herb and infuse for 10 -15 minutes. Drink 3 cups a day for a medicinal effect. Don’t forget that depression may also be caused by low Vitamin D , low thyroid function and hormone imbalance. 1000iu / day of Vitamin D is a good maintenance dose for most adults, but to get immune support for coronavirus too, Dr Sally would recommend getting your levels checked as it may be necessary to have a higher dose of 3-5000iu/day. HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES FOR ANXIETY Aconite , this homeopathic remedy is a favourite of Dr Sally’s for acute fear, palpitations, anxiety and panic. Arsenicum album – this is useful when someone is pacing to and fro, fretting over what may or may not happen, anguishing over their health and that of their family members, and needing company. Chilly and thirsty for sips of water, they may feel worse at or after midnight. They can be controlling, very fussy and critical, particularly when in ill. Calcarea carbonica – this is a remedy for home birds who need security. They also worry about their health and their family. They crave stability, protection and dread disaster. Anxious when things are left undone or not going according to plan. They need order in the home and will tidy and clean if stressed or make lists. Anxiety may manifest as anger, envy, hatred, withdrawal, unresponsiveness, despair or indifference. Lyopodium - is for anxiety due to a severe lack of confidence. The person may have an emotional swagger but are easily intimidated by anyone perceived as more powerful. Responsibility in work or relationships can create debilitating anxiety and fear of failure, which may manifest in irritability, digestive complaints, and claustrophobia. Phosphorus - is for bright-eyed, sociable, loving and empathic people. When frightened, they are excitable, suggestible, “spaced out,” easily vexed and in need of reassurance. They gulp cold water (but then either vomit it or get nauseated by it) and are much worse at night. Pulsatilla - is for sensitive, easily upset people who need a great deal of consolation and reassurance and are as changeable as an April day. They tend toward childish tactics if they don’t get the attention and emotional security they crave, becoming fearful of rejection. Dependent on others for reassurance. They feel worse in warm rooms, being covered in bed, and after eating rich foods; and better from fresh air, mild exercise, and consolation. HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES FOR DEPRESSION Natrum muriaticum - this is for the classic “stiff upper lip” people who are deeply sensitive but often shut down emotionally. They tend to withdraw and can’t express their feelings, can be very self-critical and find it difficult to cry. They may be silent with grief after a loss. They are fearful of tight, narrow spaces, anxious at night, worried about robbers, and secretly terrified of being humiliated or rejected. Anxieties are often cloaked by migraines, tingling in the extremities, palpitations, insomnia, and isolation or feigned indifference. Sepia - is a wonderful remedy for women who are very tired, have fatigue, irritability and low mood. Feeling tearful, worn down and fed up, they have lost their joy. They are irritated and resentful to their husband and children, want to be alone yet also feel lonely. Can be spiteful and vent this on their family, and often feel worse just before a period or during menopause. Herbs and homeopathic remedies are best prescribed by a professionally trained practitioner. Orchard Barn has a team of experienced doctors and therapists, all of whom are highly qualified, passionate and experienced. Patients come from near and far, and some choose to have consultations via Zoom, or telephone. Alongside integrative medicine, which incorporates herbal and homeopathic prescriptions, therapies include yoga, acupuncture, Bowen technique, reiki and massage techniques. Their online shop stocks an extensive range of supplements, teas, tonics, holistic beauty and self-care products, eco-lifestyle and ethical gifts for all age groups. www.orchardbarn.co.uk

https://shop.orchardbarn.co.uk/products/night-time-tea https://shop.orchardbarn.co.uk/products/restore-herbal-tonic-1 https://shop.orchardbarn.co.uk/products/solgar-ashwagandha-root-extract https://shop.orchardbarn.co.uk/products/vitamin-d-test https://www.bea-skincare.com/ https://www.belfastskinclinic.com/ https://www.orchardbarn.co.uk/