What Is Anxiety?
Occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. But an anxiety disorder, due to brain imbalances, will result in more than temporary worry or fear. With an anxiety disorder, anxious thoughts do not go away and can get worse over time. These feelings can interfere with daily activities such as job performance, school work, and relationships. Examples of anxiety disorders include generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobias and separation anxiety disorder.
How does Oxford help with Anxiety Disorders?
Many approaches to treating anxiety involve using tranquilizer-type medications, called anxiolytics, such as benzodiazepenes and barbituates, as well as various kinds of therapies. Sadly, for many, these anxiolytic medications can actually increase anxiety over the course of time. And while counseling and psychological therapy can address less severe forms of anxiety, it cannot address the root cause of underlying brain imbalances.
So, what are the root causes of anxiety? Recent advances in neuroscience reveal the root causes include a lack of blood flow and oxygen to the brain, lack of specific brain chemicals, and brainwave imbalances.
Let’s look at all these causes a little more in depth: Inside the brain, we have billions of brain cells, called neurons, sending electrical signals to each other, which we measure as brainwaves. These electrical signals cause the brain cells to release small chemicals called neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine, and adrenaline.
This vast network of brain cells is fed with oxygen and other nutrients by blood from over 100,000 miles of blood vessels inside the brain. In children and adults with anxiety, there are often not enough of these blood vessels supplying oxygen and important nutrients.
This lack of nutrients begins to cause brainwave imbalances, as measured by an EEG scan. People with anxiety typically have too much brainwave activity on the right side of their brain, usually in the temporal lobe of the brain.
This, in turn, causes a downstream effect on brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, meaning that the brain cells start producing too little or too much of the chemicals they need. People with anxiety are usually deficient in serotonin and GABA neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters imbalances are further exacerbated by nutritional deficiencies in the person’s diet, especially of key vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids.
So, how do we start correcting a potentially multifaceted problem?
One of our most important tools at Oxford Recovery Center is called hyperbaric oxygen. This therapy actually causes new blood vessel growth in the brain and causes the brain to generate new stem cells which turn into new brain cells. (See our video about hyperbaric oxygen here.)
Another important tool is neurofeedback therapy. We use neurofeedback to scan your brain’s electrical signals and reset them with non-invasive feedback in the form of sound. (See our video about neurofeedback here.)
And finally, neurotransmitter therapy and dietary coaching is used to correct nutritional deficiencies which are underlying the brain chemical imbalances—imbalances that we can find through laboratory testing we provide.
We strive to offer the most comprehensive research-based recovery program available for anxiety disorders, and we are happy to serve you by taking as much time as we need to answer your specific questions.
- An anxiolytic-like effect of hyperbaric oxygen in the mouse light:dark exploration test: Researchers found that HBOT treatment produced an anxiolytic (anxiety-inhibiting) effect in mice. The effect may involve NO, cyclic GMP and the benzodiazepine binding site.
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