Alternative treatments for anxiety

Anxiety is a common GP presentation1 and there are many non-drug approaches that may help reduce anxiety symptoms.2,3


Two randomised control trials (RCTs) were identified in a Cochrane review finding meditation comparable to other relaxation therapies, but no conclusions could be drawn for its role in the treatment of anxiety.4


Many studies have shown the benefits of music for stress and anxiety in patients undergoing surgical and dental procedures. A Cochrane meta-analysis of 23 RCTs of 1461 patients found that listening to music had a beneficial effect on BP, heart and respiratory rate in people with heart disease and was effective in reducing anxiety.5

Fish oils

A 12-week double-blind RCT of 68 healthy students found supplementation with fish oils helped reduce anxiety symptoms by 20% compared with placebo.6 Another study of