Around five years’ ago, I had a very stressful period of time, when we were living in a settlement across the Green Line, and my daughter was getting bullied at school, and then getting pretty sick, as a result of the bullying.

It was the time when Arabs were going beserk in Jerusalem with bulldozers, and I can’t tell you how many Arabs in bulldozers were driving around my settlement at that time, building houses.

I’d always had a big ‘scared’ streak, but my fear kept going up and up and up, to the point that I was scared to death of letting my children out of the house, in case they went near an Arab with a bulldozer.

But what really pushed me over the edge, fear-wise, is when my settlement got hit by a spate of burglaries. We all knew it was Arabs; we all secretly worried that if Arabs could break in to steal stuff, they could also break in to do other terrible things, G-d forbid.

Nearly all the burglaries happened on my street. Literally, every few days, we’d hear of some other house being hit, and even though I’d never used Arabs – not even Jihad, the pro-aliya plumber – and I had bars on the windows, I was freaking out.

Long story short, we decided to move, and G-d did a miracle for us and got us out of there within a month of us making the decision to leave. By the time we left, only two houses plus ours hadn’t been burgled, and the whole street was on edge, whether they admitted it or not.

The whole time my fear buttons had been pressed, I was on super-high alert, but generally healthy (not counting the nervous breakdown). When I got to the nice, quiet, civilised new place where I was going to live, I got hit with a number of health issues that I’d never had before.

I was completely exhausted, unable to stay up past 8pm. But I was also waking up a lot in the night, usually with a very dry mouth that wouldn’t go away no matter how much water I drank.

As my energy continued to wane, and other weird symptoms started to flourish, I went to a few alternative health experts to get some advice and help. One told me I had parasites (she was right, I did). One told me I had candida (right again). Another told me I had to start eating much better (ie, lettuce and whole grains). They were all right, and it all helped me feel better.

But I still wasn’t 100%.

One of my friends at the time, a nurse, mentioned that she thought maybe I had adrenal exhaustion. I went to look that up on the internet (which is such a bad idea, but we still feel compelled to do it) and according to everything I read, the only answer for exhausted adrenals was to lie in bed for weeks or months until they got some juice back.

I took it easy for a year (I had no choice) – and I ate healthy and took all the disgusting super-bitter grapefruit extract to kill off all the parasites etc, and finally, I started to feel better.

I’ve just come through another crazy time in my life, and again, I was noticing my mouth was starting to feel pretty dry when I woke up in the morning. Lucky for me, this time round G-d arranged for me to be doing a Women’s Energy Medicine module, and guess what they were talking about: exhausted and burnt-out adrenals.

Apparently, having a dry mouth is one of the warning signs that your adrenals are frying out.

But this time round, I learnt that there are things you can do to recuperate much faster, and get the energy flowing back into exhausted adrenals.

Adrenals are governed by – you guessed it – Triple Warmer meridian, which is a Fire element meridian, according to Chinese 5 element theory. It’s co-meridians on Fire are Heart, Small Intestine and Circulation-X (there should be an ‘se’ before that x, but I so don’t want that word to get picked up by web-bots).

Using the relevant acupressure points, if you strengthen heart; sedate and then strengthen circ-x; and sedate and strengthen TW, you can get your adrenals going again in a matter of days, not weeks.

I’ve been following their advice for a whole DAY, so I’ll let you know what happens. But one thing I can tell you is that my mouth already feels a whole lot less dry, which is a good start. And it certainly beats lying in bed for the next 8 months when I’ve got a book to write…

A few years’ ago, we moved house a month before hayfever season, to a new neighbourhood in Israel. A few weeks’ later, my eldest daughter woke up wheezing and struggling to breathe. We panicked, and like all good, responsible parents, we rushed her off to the emergency clinic (where else?). A couple of hours’ later, she came back with a whole breathing machine, a face mask, a few packets of various drugs, and an official diagnosis of ‘asthma’.

The doctor who diagnosed her was a genuinely caring, sweet, lovely religious man, which only underscores some of the enormous problems with modern medicine, because he was clearly trying to help us, and my daughter.

Yet no-one told us that asthma is often connected to stress, or emotional issues. No-one suggested that maybe, the asthma wasn’t even really asthma, and maybe was just an allergic hayfever reaction, given the time of year (my daughter already had multiple food allergies, at that point).

We were just given a very fast diagnosis, a blue and a brown inhaler, and at the tender age of 6, my daughter turned into an ‘asthmatic’ overnight.

My daughter is very sensitive. Now she knew she was officially an ‘asthmatic’ with breathing problems, her stress shot through the roof, and her asthma worsened accordingly. She got stressed when she thought about exercising with asthma; stressed about school outings with asthma; stressed about doing exams with asthma – and as soon as she got stressed, on cue, the asthma would appear.

In all the years I’ve been refilling the prescription for the Ventolin, not one doctor ever explained to me that the same inhaler that was helping my daughter to breathe better in the middle of a crisis was actually also worsening the fundamental problem. It’s scientifically proven that the more you use inhalers, the more asthma attacks you get. Why didn’t anyone tell me that?

Why didn’t anyone mention that people have died from over-using certain brands of asthma inhalers? I had no idea that inhalers were even remotely dangerous until a year ago when my daughter came back from a school trip with blue lips, and severe breathing issues, from using her puff 8 times in a row.

That’s when I started to really research this amazing, safe, solution to my daughters’ asthma, and I was shocked to see all the potential issues, side-effects and long-term problems associated with using inhalers (some of which have already been withdrawn from the market, as the stats on deaths from using ‘beta agonists’ are starting to stack up).

For example, a lot of the ‘regular’ (ie, not considered to be serious) side affects from inhalers show up in tachycardia, heart palpitations and tremors.

Three years’ after my daughter’s ‘asthma’ diagnosis, she went through a very stressful time in school, and was using her puff 4-5 times a day (well within prescribed limits). Within a couple of weeks of that episode, she was at the doctor with a bad case of flu when he listened to her heart, and told me I should go and take her for an EKG…

Baruch Hashem, nothing came of that. But only recently did I realise that what was causing the ‘heart problem’, whatever it was, was her asthma inhaler. How come the doctor didn’t make that connection?

Last year, we started to make a concerted effort to get her off the puff, and thank G-d, her use is now way, way down. All this happened before I learnt energy medicine, so it took a lot of praying, a lot of essential oils and Su Jok, and a lot of massage – in that order.

We still have the inhaler (I got given four on my last visit to the doctor…) – but it’s strictly for emergencies, now that we know that it’s actually a dangerous drug. But as I said, the less we’re using the puff, the less asthma my daughter actually has – and life’s still been pretty stressful.

With hindsight, I don’t think she had asthma in the first place. I think she had severe hayfever (she gets hayfever every year). By being so quick to diagnose asthma, that kind, caring doctor set my daughter on a path where she was scared to exercise (exacerbating the problem…); stressed about being away from her puff (exacerbating the problem…); and starting to get unexplained heart palpitations from her prescription medicine (exacerbating the problem…)

There has to be a better way, don’t you think?

I was talking to someone a little while ago about the number of people taking SSRIs (what we’ll generically call ‘Prozac’), when they said: “You know, when you told me that half the people in your town were taking Prozac, I really thought you were exaggerating. But yesterday I was talking to one of my neighbours, and they started telling me about what’s going on with the people in my neighbourhood, and half of my village is also on them! The woman I was talking to was a pharmacist, and she told me that as fast as she’s stocking them, people are cleaning them out. It’s an epidemic.”

Since the latest war in Israel, anxiety has become a major problem for a lot of people. It’s easy to understand why: anyone with eyes in their head can see that the threat to Israeli security posed by Gaza and Hamas was only temporarily curtailed. Sooner or later, the rockets will be back, and they may well be joined by other rockets from Hezbolla in Lebanon, and who knows what else from ISIS, currently camped out on the Jordanian, Syrian and Egyptian borders.

And the economy? Pleeze, let’s not talk about the economy. Until now, Israel has escaped most of the ‘down’ experienced by the rest of the world, but the cracks are starting to show. I live in Jerusalem, and businesses are starting to close (including my own, in the Old City). Money is starting to be pretty tight. Banks are starting to pull in their credit in quite an aggressive way.

All of this puts a lot of stress on most people’s nervous systems. As a result, they are more on edge, more likely to fight with their spouses, more likely to have kids acting up and acting out, and finding it harder to unwind, relax and even to sleep.

It’s a vicious spiral down, and many people are struggling to cope, and hoping that drugs like Prozac are the magic panacea that’s going to solve all their problems.

One day soon, I’m going to write a few detailed posts (with citations) showing why SSRIs are dangerous drugs, that usually cause far more problems than they solve. But today, I want to focus on natural alternatives for reducing anxiety, because if more people knew there were other things out there that really worked to reduce their anxiety, they’d probably be less inclined to start trying to drug their problems away.

The first thing you can do if you’re feeling incredibly anxious is to gently hold the neurovascular points on the front of your forehead (the bony bits just above your eyebrows) for a couple of minutes. It’s a very simple technique, but it brings blood back into your forebrain and away from the limbic system, and helps to eliminate the physical ‘stress response’ that causes anxiety.

Just actively bring to mind the thing you’re worrying about, gently hold the front neurovascular points for up to five minutes, and you’ll see that it’s somehow ‘de-compressed’ the problem.

You can still think about the issue or worry, but without the pounding heart, nausea, dry mouth and sense of panic. You can go through all your worries one by one, and defuse them with this technique.

The next thing you can do is use aromatherapy. Put a few drops (up to 6) of sweet marjoram or chamomile (or another ‘sedating’ essential oil) in the bath, soak for 20 minutes and you’ll feel physiologically much calmer and able to deal.

The next thing is to turn off the news. Go ‘news-free’ for a week, and I guarantee you’ll notice a marked difference in your equanimity and peace of mind.

The last thing is to start talking to G-d about what’s bothering you. Drop the mask, and come clean, because the more we try to shove our issues and anxieties under the carpet, the larger they start to loom in our subconscious.

Today, we are all full of worries, fears and anxieties, whether we want to admit that or not. Running away from our problems is not an answer – the anxiety we continue to feel at an unconscious level will simply seep out into myriad health issues, ‘stress’, insomnia and anger.

We need to face our anxieties head-on; we need to be honest about what’s worrying us; we need to put G-d in the picture – and then we need to hold our neurovasculars in the bath for five minutes.

And if we do all those things, we’ll start to feel calmer, happier, and less anxious, and we won’t need the Prozac any more.