Getting up in front of a crowd is a nerve racking experience. Most people do not want to stand up and have a room full of eyes staring back at them. Patients in my practice often express a fear of being judged by others. This is a prevalent phenomenon. It is uncomfortable to be the center of attention, to know that everyone is directing their eyes and ears in one direction and hanging on every word waiting to see what will come next. It doesn’t matter if it is a presentation for work, a speech at a family gathering or celebration, or even a recreational performance such as a community theater production or a sports league competition. It does not have to be a speaking endeavor to feel the weight of all the eyes watching. I had one patient describe to me how she loved playing sports with her coworkers, but only soccer because everyone was on the field working together at the same time. She had tried to play softball and could not handle getting up to bat with her team and the opposing team all watching her strike out.
When I first finished medical school and had to speak in front of groups, even as small as 5 or 6 people, I could feel the sweat beading up on my bald head. It wasn’t a panicked feeling. It was an anticipation and excitement too difficult to keep bottled in. I would constantly have to remind myself to breath and slow down so as not to get tongue tied and leave my audience behind. Fortunately with hundreds of group speaking engagements and nearly a decade of practice, that is seldom the case now. I’m comfortable talking about health and healing philosophy in front of a group.
Overcoming public speaking anxiety
Practice and repetition is a great way to overcome this type of anxiety. There are organizations and clubs across the United States that facilitate this type of development. Toastmasters is one such group and might be the perfect starting place. For some even contemplating this endeavor may be too much to handle. In previous articles I have listed specific homeopathic remedies that are worth considering for a particular condition. For this topic, I am going to take a different approach and instead share a few rubrics (the homeopathic term for symptom) and some corresponding remedies that are indicated for the particular rubric. Hopefully this will allow an individual to match the presentation of their anxiety to a helpful remedy. All of these rubrics and the corresponding remedies I am listing are taken from the “Synthesis Repertory 9.1” by Frederik Schroyens, MD. These are not all of the remedies listed for a particular rubric, just the remedies I have found to be most beneficial in practice.
Also, there are many other rubrics that may fit the individual that suffers with anxiety when performing or appearing in public. Please seek the help of a Naturopathic Physician or professional Homeopath if this is something you are dealing with.
For someone that feels timid about appearing in public consider: Carbo vegetabilis, Lycopodium, or Silicea.
For an individual that begins to feel anxiety anticipating an upcoming event or encounter consider: Arsenicum, Carbo vegetabilis, Gelsemium, Lycopodium, Natrium muriaticum, Silicea, or Thuja.
An individual that has fear and dread about appearing in public should consider: Carbo vegetabilis, Gelsemium, Lycopodium, or Silicea.
For someone suffering from stage fright consider: Gelsemium, Mercurius solubilis, Natrium muriaticum, or Silicea.
Thanks so much and break a leg. ~Dr. Swanz
Dr. Swanz was awarded the prestigious Daphne Blayden award for his commitment to Naturopathic Medicine, Academic Excellence, Compassion, Perseverance, a Loving Sense of Humor and a Positive, Supportive Outlook by his colleagues and staff at SCNM.
He is a Board Certified Naturopathic Physician with advanced training in classical homeopathy and nutrition. Dr. Swanz is a Fellow of the Homeopathic Association of the Naturopathic Physicians. He currently supports individuals on the journey to health through his Vital Force Naturopathy practice, integrating the best of his conventional and holistic medical training. Dr. Swanz specializes in homeopathy, pediatrics and family medicine. He is passionate about healing and is driven by the desire to see all people be the most healthy individual they can be.