Anxiety Symptoms & Treatments for Youth
A highly reserved male high school student visited our acupuncture and herb clinic with his father. The student was always an athletic individual, but one day when he entered the gym, his heart began pounding and his legs started shaking. This reaction would consistently appear every time he entered the gym, which resulted in the student being unable to participate in any of the practices. It appeared these symptoms would only emerge in the gym and not anywhere else. What was strange was the student would experience these symptoms even though he did not face any possibly relevant issues such as conflict in relationships or a dislike for exercising. Soon after, he met with his family doctor and was recommended some medication, however, he believed that due to this young age and the need to stay active, visiting an acupuncture and herb clinic may be more beneficial.
Unsurprisingly, there are many cases where teenagers still in their physical and mental growth stage often experience similar symptoms in similar situations. Whether there is an upcoming test, a large sports match or a grand presentation to prepare for, many people in this age group experience a pounding sensation in their heart, sweaty feet and nervous shaking. It is completely normal when placed in these situations, to feel these symptoms, and there are cases where some individuals experience the symptoms more severely than others. Once these situations pass, most people quickly return to their normal state and daily lives with no problems.
Identifying the reason for these symptoms is not difficult. These symptoms occur because the sympathetic nerves work excessively as the body reacts to such high states of tension. Imagine a hungry bear standing right in front of you. As your body increases the blood supply in the muscles to run away, your heart pumps at a rapid rate. Appetite is severely reduced as you have to constantly be aware of your surroundings and sleep is the last thing on your mind. Truthfully in this situation, what is the point of worrying about eating and sleeping when your main goal is to simply stay alive?
Treatment is divided into two categories. There are two ways to stabilize the sympathetic nerve: to immediately approach and suppress the stimulated sympathetic nerves, or to increase the power of the parasympathetic nerves to control the sympathetic nerves. The two options would be similar to for example, if there is a fire you can either put the fire out with water or remove all possible substances that can burn from the premises and cut off the oxygen supply. In clinical trials, whether the patient is an introvert or extrovert can be a critical factor in deciding the method of treatment. In this case, the student displayed an introverted personality, a slow pulse rate, and many other factors supported the decision of controlling the sympathetic nerves through targeting the parasympathetic nerves. The best herbal medicine when approaching the parasympathetic nerves is Poria. We chose Poria as the main medicine to treat the patient and acupuncture was administered twice a week. After about two weeks of treatment, the symptoms began to ease and a month later, the treatment ended without any disruption to practice.