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Nutritional and Integrative Interventions for Mental Health Disorders: Notes from a Seminar by Anne Procyk, ND, Part 2

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by Lane Gormley, LPC

Part II – Anxiety

Anne Procyk, ND outlined the possible underlying causes of anxiety and how to address them.

Sleep is, of course, vital. Anyone who does not sleep will be anxious. Eliminate caffeine or cut WAY back on it. You will see the difference it makes in the duration and quality of sleep. If you still cannot sleep, using Melatonin (1-10 mg.) can help. There is also an herb called Valerian that many people use. It is widely available.

daily. Walk a mile or two. Yoga is wonderful for anxiety because of its focus on linking the breath to each movement. If you don’t like yoga, take Pilates or a dance class or play basketball or soccer with friends.

Take vitamins and herbs for adrenal support. Adrenal issues are thought to be a primary cause of panic attacks. There are many good preparations for adrenal support available at Whole Foods, Health Food Stores, or online at Amazon.

If you are a woman, watch carefully to see if your anxiety symptoms are related to your menstrual cycle or menopause. If you think they are, see a naturopathic doctor for hormonal evaluation and support.

Try to eat a whole foods diet. See Michael Pollan on YouTube or read his book: In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto. See Dr. Andrew Weil’s website on managing inflammation through a whole foods diet.

Take a daily B-50 complex vitamin: 50 mg of essential B vitamins plus varying amounts of all other B vitamins.

Anxiety is often caused by a magnesium deficiency. Take a therapeutic dose of magnesium (500 mg) daily at bedtime. This is such a powerful treatment in and of itself. It may solve the problem altogether.

Take 1200 mg of fish oil per day.

IF YOU ARE NOT TAKING A FULL DOSE OF SSRI medication, take 50 – 200 mg of 5-HTP (the activated form of tryptophan). If, with your doctor’s permission, you are titrating off SSRI’s, it can reduce withdrawal symptoms.

See your therapist. Understand why you are anxious and know your history of anxiety. Then you can learn to mitigate and to release the anxiety-producing thoughts. It takes practice, but it can be done.

Please contact me with any questions. I am not a Naturopath, but I will research possible answers.