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Tech & Devices

Virtual EMDR

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What is Virtual EMDR?

Virtual EMDR is an Internet-delivered form of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing psychotherapy. Originally, EMDR was created to manage traumatic memories, and the distress resulting from them. It is a self-guided therapy appropriate for many health conditions and treatment protocols. These include depression, addictions, PTSD, trauma, phobia and fears, grief, or loss, among others. EMDR works by encouraging a patient to focus on one problematic area, like trauma, while simultaneously being exposed to bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements. It is thought to reduce the vividness and emotional distress associated with traumatic memories. 

This virtual psychotherapy program fits both beginners and advanced users, who can use Eye Movement therapy at home without the need for a therapist. The program follows professional standards and treatment protocols established by EMDR practitioners worldwide. Furthermore, this virtual psychotherapy has been found to be effective with one session only, however, some patients may need more sessions to achieve a therapeutic effect. It is easy to follow a treatment plan with step-by-step guidance. Thousands of satisfied clients practice it at home for management of daily distress or anxiety states among others. No special equipment is required, only a set of headphones and a computer or tablet with a large screen. A therapy session may start immediately regardless of time of day.

It is possible to combine virtual therapy with the in-person Eye Movement therapy. This can be done by using virtual EMDR on the days when a patient does not have an appointment with a therapist. As the Emotional Distress Rating (a scale of 1 – 10 reflecting your current negative emotions), differs in patients, the number of sessions is tailored individually. Patients are typically required to undergo 3 to 12 sessions.

Each session may be ongoing at home or in any other setting free of noise and other people. A patient may need a set of headphones in conjunction with a computer or a tablet with a large-screen. 

How does Virtual EMDR compare to EMDR in person?

Virtual EMDR is a self-guided program for which a therapist’s help is not required. Although direct comparisons between virtual and in-person EMDR are not yet available, the efficacy of virtual EMDR compared to intentional deep breathing for test-taking anxiety was the subject of a 2015 Ph.D. The multiple studies conducted for this concluded that that treatment was effective for reducing test-taking anxiety, even in a classroom setting, and after just one minute. The only other published research on virtual EMDR specifically examined the effect of virtual EMDR combined with virtual cognitive behaviour therapy (another common therapy) on PTSD in adults. This study observed significantly reduced symptoms of PTSD, depression, anxiety, and distress, from pre-treatment to three-month follow-up, and noted that these results compared favourably to several face-to-face intervention studies. These studies suggest that virtual EMDR can be just as effective as face-to-face therapy, but if you believe you need professional support from a therapist for Eye Movement therapy, please refer to a specialist in your area, prepay coaching for virtual sessions or switch to EMDR in person.

What does the research say about virtual EMDR?

EMDR has been the subject of a growing number of scientific studies. Many positive results have been observed for a variety of conditions.

For example:

  • EMDR was studied for efficacy alongside Internet-delivered cognitive-behavioral therapy (iCBT). 11 participants with PTSD symptoms completed 6 sessions of EMDR and iCBT with post-treatment questionnaires. All subjects showed improvements in PTSD symptoms, depression, anxiety, and distress. In a post-treatment follow-up, 55% of the participants did not qualify as clinically depressed or distressed.
  • EMDR efficacy for psychological and physical symptoms was reviewed in a meta-analysis. 24 controlled trials were included and supported the use of EMDR therapy for emotional trauma and other negative life circumstances. 7 out of 10 studies reported EMDR to be more effective than cognitive-behavioral therapy. 12 studies reported a reduction of negative emotions and disturbing images with EMDR. 8 studies reported a myriad of other positive memory effects. 

What conditions are virtual EMDR used for? 

This virtual psychotherapy is used for various conditions including mental health conditions.

Virtual EMDR for depression

  1. EMDR as a treatment for long‐term depression, 2017
  2. The Efficacy of EMDR in the Treatment of Depression, 2016

Virtual EMDR for anxiety 

  1. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and the Anxiety Disorders, 1999

Virtual EMDR for PTSD 

  1. Treatment of PTSD: Stress inoculation training with prolonged exposure compared to EMDR, 2002
  2. A controlled study of treatment of PTSD using EMDR in an HMO setting, 1997

Virtual EMDR for OCD

  1. EMDR Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: Preliminary Research, 2012
  2. Comparison of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing with citalopram in treatment of obsessive–compulsive disorder, 2011

Virtual EMDR for bipolar disorder 

  1. EMDR Therapy Modulates the Default Mode Network in a Subsyndromal, Traumatized Bipolar Patient, 2013

Virtual EMDR for chronic pain

  1. EMDR in the treatment of chronic pain, 2002

Virtual EMDR for consciousness expansion

  1. EMDR as a Transpersonal Therapy: A Trauma-Focused Approach to Awakening Consciousness, 2018

How does Virtual EMDR work?

A patient should have a set of headphones alongside a large-screened computer or tablet. A program uses eye movements alongside side-to-side audio tones to change how you react to negative feelings.

Preparation

  1. Prepare mentally for a session. 
  2. Find a quiet and comfortable place, and start the program.
  3. Set aside at least 20 minutes for one session and 30 minutes if you are new to Eye Movement therapy. The program will ask you how much time you have.
  4. Indicate the problems prompting you to start a session.
  5. Select a protocol. There are Standard, Addiction, PTSD and Trauma, Phobia and Fear, Grief, and Loss or Depression protocols.
  6. Set up visibility, color, speed, audio tone, and time. 

Target Selection

  1. Start the Eye Movement tool. 

Desensitization

  1. Process a target using Eye Movement.
  2. Focus on a negative memory or trauma causing distress or pain and move your eyes following the colors on the screen.
  3. Negative associations resulting from trauma or any other distress-related experience will start to neutralize.

Installation

  1. Try to empower yourself with new beliefs over negative moments from the past using Eye Movement.

Closing

  1. Follow the exercises to calm the body and mind before returning to daily activities.

Ensure to follow the closing steps to get centered.

What will I feel during a virtual EMDR session?

The effects may vary in patients, however, as you are revisiting painful memories, you are likely to experience a deep concentration on your negative feelings that may empower yourself to react positively. This can cause a feeling of light-headedness, which some people liken to having drunk a couple of glasses of wine. People have reported a variety of emotions and states, from feeling mentally exhausted, to laughter and crying. These feelings are normal, but if you have any concerns over how you are feeling you should get in touch with a trained professional.

What will I feel after a virtual EMDR session? 

The effects may vary in patients from session to session. Most patients report positive changes after one session and some may reduce their Emotional Distress Rating by 2 points after a single session.

How much do Virtual EMDR sessions cost?

The cost may vary depending on the provider, but typically range from $69 to $149 per month for unlimited access. Also available to buy are coaching packages, which allow you to speak to a therapist before and after the sessions.

What are the risks of Virtual EMDR treatment?

Like all treatment, this virtual psychotherapy may cause side effects. However, these are fewer compared to the prescription medications used for alleviating depression, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, or other conditions. 

Virtual EMDR may cause the following adverse reactions:

  • vivid dreams;
  • distress from negative memories;
  • lightheadedness;
  • the onset of new traumatic episodes from the past.

These side effects vanish as therapy continues and the patient learns how to deal with negative memories and empowers themself with new positive emotions.

Is it safe to do EMDR without a professional present?

Virtual EMDR is considered to be a relatively safe therapy if a patient does not have severe mental health conditions that require another treatment protocol. If you believe you need a guideline or support from a therapist, some providers offer personalized coaching options. You may talk to a coach before, during, and after the Eye Movement session.

How do I get started with virtual EMDR?

Contact one of the providers of Virtual EMDR in your area to discuss how to enroll. Speak to your physician to check if this therapy is a good fit for your particular case.

Disclaimer: This website does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911

Categories
Energy & Holistic

Melatonin for Anxiety

The Bottom Line 

  • Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by the pineal gland.
  • Available in the OTC supplement form.
  • Used for managing anxiety symptoms caused by imbalanced sleeping, jet lag, and surgeries.
  • Helps with sleep work disorder.

What Is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone produced in the brain by the pineal gland that regulates sleep processes. It controls day and night cycles, cardiac rhythms. Its peak efficacy is found at night when it is produced in large amounts allowing one to fall asleep faster. During the day, the Melatonin level is reduced to keep a person awake. 

Melatonin for anxiety is an over the counter (OTC) supplement used to treat sleeping disturbances. Extensive evidence exists to effects on anxiety treatment. Melatonin is believed to work by improving the quality of sleeping, sleep/wake scenarios, and sleep onset. Melatonin for anxiety shows progress in reducing anxiety symptoms such as nervousness, complicated breathing, extreme tiredness based on improved quality and amount of sleep. 

As per the FDA, Melatonin for anxiety is classified as a dietary supplement. It does not fit for long-term treatment but shows efficacy of short-term application after trauma or depression episodes that could cause sleep disturbances. It is used to affect sleep work disorder. Some uses are directed to manage jet lag anxiety, a feeling of tiredness acquired from changing the time zones during travels.

Melatonin is a derivative of the amino acid tryptophan. It allows the retina to detect and synthesize light. Photoreceptor cells of the retina alert the hypothalamus in the brain about the light phase, and it initiates the adjustment of body temperature, respiration rate and emotional state to promote fast and healthy sleeping. 

Melatonin for anxiety supplement is available in various forms. 

Can Melatonin Be Taken for Anxiety?

Melatonin for anxiety is an off-label supplement. It is believed to help with anxiety by improving the quality of sleep. 

Is Melatonin FDA Approved for Anxiety?

Melatonin for anxiety is a dietary supplement under the Dietary Health and Education Act. Dietary supplements are not regulated by the FDA. Accordingly, Melatonin is not approved for anxiety treatment by the Food and Drug Administration. 

What Research Supports Melatonin for anxiety? 

There is evidence in clinical studies, research on the use of Melatonin for anxiety.

  • Melatonin for depressive symptoms and anxiety was studied in 240 patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS). The application of Melatonin during 3 months has shown efficacy for depressive symptoms, sleep, cardiac issues, and anxiety. It was recommended as the first-line therapy for senior patients aged over 55. It proved an anxiolytic and analgesic effect with low toxicity properties. The overall study showed its safe application and relevance in ACS patients. 
  • The response of Melatonin for sleep anxiety and major depressive disorder (MDD) was found in the application of 25mg dosages of agomelatine (melatonin agonist). It improved neurogenesis in patients who have suffered from a stroke. It showed the efficacy of behavioral improvement. The studies were also directed to check animal neuroprotective activity after ischemic stroke. They resulted in low toxicity and suggest Melatonin for human stroke treatment in the future.
  • Melatonin was checked for efficacy in reducing anxiety scores and fear of surgery in patients. The scores were reduced from 5 to 3 during the surgery. And, 5 to 0 after the surgery.

What do experts say about Melatonin for anxiety?

MD, Ph.D., a board-certified integrative medicine physician says

"Your body creates melatonin on its own, but some people just don't make enough, and that can lead to issues sleeping and relaxing as well as general anxiety issues... Luckily, melatonin products are available to supplement your body's natural production. And that, in turn, can ease those anxiety-related feelings, improve sleep, and even help regulate your circadian rhythms."

What Are the Possible Side Effects?

Melatonin help for anxiety has mild side effects. 

  • Headache;
  • Nausea;
  • Drowsiness;
  • Agitation.

The medication is responding safely with short-term treatment. The long-run application for anxiety treatment may reduce the body’s natural ability to produce this hormone. If you drive machinery or operate hazardous equipment, abstain from Melatonin intake due to the drowsiness outcome. It is contraindicated for use in patients with autoimmune diseases. Don’t take it if you are allergic to Melatonin and other ingredients found in the supplement. It is accepted for use in children over the age of 4. Pregnant women should speak to their doctor about the possibility of application. In some animal studies, Melatonin led to low birth weight.

Does Melatonin Have Interactions with Other Medications?

Speak to your doctor about taking the following medications for anxiety treatment alongside Melatonin. They may interfere with or alter the efficacy and cause side effects.

  • Sodium Oxybate;
  • Blood thinners;
  • Anticoagulants;
  • Blood pressure drugs;
  • CNS depressants;
  • Contraceptive and diabetes medications.

The interactions with these medications may possibly lead to bleeding, dropped blood pressure, additive sedative effects, increased sugar levels. 

How to Take Melatonin?

The anxiety treatment with Melatonin is not clear in terms of the best doses. Speak to a physician to adjust it based on your health condition. As per clinical studies, patients have been successfully treated with 3-10mg doses prior to sleeping. Start with the low doses only. The higher doses for anxiety relief may lead to overdose or side effects such as vivid dreams. A tablet can be cut in half. Take it with or without meals. 

For insomnia and anxiety. The medication is used 30 minutes to 1 hour prior to sleeping. 

For jet lag. It is suggested to take Melatonin 4 days straight after traveling 30 minutes before bedtime.

Please, take it as directed. Melatonin absorption differs in patients and may require certain precautions with the application. Don’t abruptly stop the intake. Some people become addicted to melatonin and after discontinuation find it hard to fall asleep. It is not safe to interact with alcohol.

Are There Alternatives to Melatonin? 

Prescription medications as Alternatives to Melatonin for Anxiety

Melatonin for anxiety is an OTC supplement for reducing anxiety symptoms such as nervousness, complicated breathing, extreme tiredness based on enhanced rates of sleeping. 

  • Klonopin

  • Buspirone

  • Lexapro

  • Prozac

  • Paxil

  • Xanax

  • Valium

  • Inderal

  • Cymbalta

  • Tofranil

  • Hydroxyzine

  • Zoloft

There are various alternatives. If you’d like to learn more about whether Melatonin, another medication or treatment modality is right for you, we recommend that you speak with a licensed psychiatrist. Here are the best online psychiatry platforms so you can speak with someone right away!

Therapy as an Alternative to Melatonin 

Learn more about different therapy options for anxiety  here

Energy & Holistic Modalities as an Alternative to Melatonin 

Learn more about different energy & holistic modalities for anxiety here

Tech & Devices as Alternative Treatments to Melatonin

Learn more about tech & devices for anxiety  here

Disclaimer: This website does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911. 

 

Categories
Energy & Holistic

Crystals for Anxiety

Why use crystals for anxiety?

For centuries, shamans and wisdom teachers have claimed that crystals (or worry stones) can ease a variety of ailments. In our modern world, though, this knowledge has been largely replaced by rational thought. Well, except maybe for with Miranda Kerr, right? Could these healing stones actually be effective at relieving anxiety? And what are the best crystals for anxiety? Pharmaceuticals certainly can be used to camouflage the symptoms of anxiety and depression, but according to alternative medicine practitioners, good crystals for anxiety have the ability to address the underlying causes of the condition.. 

 

The benefits of worry stones and their healing, vibrational energies are obvious. Over the years, I’ve come to rely upon them for their beauty and calming influence.

As I travel quite a bit for work, I used to have to drink a glass of wine to even get on a plane. But knowing the best crystals for travel anxiety (hint: it’s Lapis lazuli), I’m many years sober and happy as a clam on a plane.

 

And did you know that the color and texture of a crystal is determined by the composition of minerals in their atomic structure.? Every worry stone has unique properties and underlying, hidden attributes. These esoteric attributes affect not the stone’s outward appearance, but their inner essence as well.

 

The unique molecular shape of a crystal is succinctly described by Stanford University’s website: “If you could shrink yourself to the atomic scale and walk inside a perfect single crystal, everything would look, more or less, the same in every direction.”

 

Let’s take a deeper dive into the inherent, ancient wisdom possessed by these beautiful worry stones for curing anxiety… They might just be able to alleviate anxious disposition, change your attitude, and result in a worry-free mentality.

What type of crystals are best for anxiety? 

Yeah, let’s get down to basics: What’s the best worry stone for anxiety?

 

Of course, the best type of crystal for you depends on your own unique physical and mental state. It can vary from person to person. Based on my own experience, It’s important to trust your intuition in choosing the right healing stones for your anxiety.

Here are some general points to keep in mind when making the choice to try out different worry stones…

Best worry stone for calming the racing mind: Blue Lace Agate

Blue Lace Agate is perhaps the best precious crystal for anxiety and panic attacks. For nervousness and stress alleviation, Its periwinkle coloration emanates a distinct quiet. These anxiety-mitigating vibrations convey a deep serenity and can help enable you to unwind. Imagine taking a long, hot bath surrounded by these stones — that’s what we’re going for here.

Rock-shop enthusiasts and holistic health practitioners note that even holding these precious stones can really assist with calming your nerves and decreasing your anxiety. 

In the event that you are one of “those people” — myself included — that experiences tension constantly, consider wearing a bracelet made of Blue Ribbon agate or keeping one of these worry stones in your pocket. In the event that you feel overwhelmed, just reach down and rub one of the best sorry stones for anxiety and stress… as the stone moves between your thumb and forefinger., you might just feel a little something special!

Highlights:

  • Blue Lace Agate is universally-lauded to provide solace for chronic anxiety. 
  • The blue trim variety is another great option and has traditionally been used to calm hyper or aggressive pets.

Good crystal for calming the body: Black Jasper

Many people use Black Jasper as protection against negative vibrations. Its grounding energy can also help you to connect to higher realms of experience. This healing stone for anxiety is also known to be useful for those dealing with chronic pain conditions and various other ailments. This is the worry stone you want around when the crazy ex-boyfriend pops up, the cancer comes back, or your business is dissolving. 

I’ve had all there happen — at the same time — and I had a pocketful of Black Jasper the entire time. I can attest that it’s a very powerful, healing crystal for alleviating anxiety. It has been “continually rediscovered” by many of my friends and said to have identical properties.

Highlights:

  • It’s gorgeous color reflects a translucent, ephemeral glow that is unmistakable.
  • A century ago, it was thought to have negative effects and was associated with certain charlatans of the spiritualist movement.
  • Depending on the polish, it can appear rough, striated, or extremely smooth.

Best healing crystal for calming aggression and anger: Amazonite

Amazonite is balancing and harmonizing for the whole body-mind system. Advanced yoga practitioners, contemplatives for all traditions, and shamans all agree: the spiritual benefits from its unique qualities are undeniable. 

Amazonite has long served as a “true antidote” to anger and the symptoms within the body caused by stress.

Highlights:

  • It is very helpful for working with the throat and the heart chakras.
  • The deep green color is mesmerizing to contemplate.

Best worry stone to get restful sleep in times of stress: Lepidolite

One of the best gems for uneasiness and agitation is Lepidolite. It actually contains lithium inside its structure, which as you may be aware, is frequently utilized in Western medicine to treat Bipolar disorder and nervousness in general. Interfacing with this healing stone for anxiety can bring balance during times of pressure and tumult. 

 

For me, Lepidolite is superb to use during meditation. By holding it above your third eye or placing it in one of your hands, you  can quickly and effectively bring about peace and serenity. Any meditation technique that utilizes the third eye or works with the Crown chakra can be enhanced by Lepidolite as well.

 

Highlights:

  • Lepidolite helps with the dissolution and reorganization of old behaviors and psychological patterns, gently promoting change.
  • It is a relatively low frequency gem, meaning its effects are subtle and generally safe.

Best crystal for protection from anxiety: Black Tourmaline

Similar to Black Jasper, Black Tourmaline is also often used for protection. It’s especially effective at riding the psychic space of your home against harmful emotional pollutants and other negative energies. Some panic-attack sufferers believe that it reduces their frequency, intensity, and duration of anxiety. I can personally attest to this. Clinically diagnosed, I consumed pharmaceutical based-sedatives — at relatively low doses — for years to function. Tourmaline allowed me to transition away from psychiatric medication, slowly, under the care of my psychiatrist — and with confidence.  

Highlights:

  • Some people use Tourmalines as protective shields from radiation emitted from electronic devices like laptops and smartphones. There is an enormous body of evidence to support the amazing properties of these healing stones.
  • This semi-precious stone was once renowned by Cherokee as an effective contraceptive. 

How to use crystals?

You can use crystals in a variety of different ways. 

Just by placing them in the rooms of your home, there can emerge an immediate effect in the body, mind, and heart. In the bedroom, they can help you fall asleep faster and have a deep, restful night’s sleep. In the kitchen, they can help you raise your awareness of the flavors, odors and tastes of the food that you have prepared.

Many of my friends — many of whom are alternative medicine practitioners —  wear crystals as jewelry. In addition to their beneficial, anxiety-relieving properties, they can also add just a touch of earthy glamour to any ensemble. 

Besides, if you’re looking good, you’re probably feeling pretty good, too!

The traditional places crystals are placed include:

  • On the human body, usually above or below a chakra
  • Around the body during meditation
  • Within the home to stabilize energetic flows
  • As a protective border around a doorway
  • Work secretively, hidden within clothing
  • Placed in gardens or outdoor spaces

Some crystals can be used to enhance your meditation practice. Within the Vajrayana Buddhist tradition, crystals of various types have been used for over a thousand years to create beautiful prayer beads — called malas — that are said to assist with achieving higher states of consciousness. 

A relatively new method for utilizing crystals involves placing them in beverages. You can put them into your drinking water and let the water absorb the special qualities of the stones. Another similar, but distinct method, involves placing the rocks underneath your pillow at night. I’ve found this to be just as effective as drinking crystal-infused beverages for relieving my anxiety, dissolving stress, and enhancing my mood. 

Another option I’ve tried recently is to buy a grab back at your local rock shop for $5 dollars. You will get a little bit of everything. Then, you just leave one stone a day where it’s certain someone will find it. Maybe it’s at the office, a park, or someplace in your neighborhood. You can include a small note, saying, “This will bring you good fortune,” or place it in a small, recyclable container. This allows the recipient to understand it was placed there for them specifically and they’re not stealing anything.

Creative use of crystals 

There are virtually limitless possibilities to work with crystals and derive benefit from their use. When practicing, allow yourself to come up with novel and untested ideas about how you can use them for benefiting yourself and others.. 

 

The true magic emerges when you let yourself become sensitive to the atmospheric density of the different crystals and experiment. Make sure to explore and hypothesize with all kinds of different shapes and sizes — and see how you can make them work for you!

 

Disclaimer: This website does not provide medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.