We tend to think of anxiety as a response to stressful circumstances. Whether it’s butterflies in the stomach or can’t-sit-still-nerves, there’s a wide range anxiety we can experience on an occasional basis that is unpleasant, but endurable – and to a certain extent, rational.
In contrast, when people with an anxiety disorder are asked to describe an anxiety attack, they often say a variation of “I thought I was going to die”. Whether it’s a persistent feeling of dread or intermittent panic, the hyperarousal of the fight/flight survival response creates a feeling of urgent fear and ignorable physical symptoms. So how can someone begin to calm down when their body telling them that they are in mortal danger?
Why Use Yoga as an Adjunct Treatment for Anxiety?
The impact of anxiety can be severe, and there are times that people feel dissatisfied with the solutions they are currently presented. While medication is often a vital part of any treatment plan, patients can sometimes be uncomfortable with side-effects or the thought of a difficult withdrawal. According to Baldwin and Polkinghorn (2005), 50% of people prescribed pharmacological intervention reported an improvement in symptoms, and a US-based study concluded that up to 30% of patients may be “treatment resistant” – finding front-line interventions ineffective.