If you suffer from anxiety, don’t worry: you’re not alone. It’s one of the most commonly diagnosed mental health disorders and recently acupuncture for anxiety has become a hot topic in many conversations. At Super Health Chatswood Medical Centre we believe in offering our patients complementary treatment options and holistic lifestyle advice. Let’s take a look at some of the potential acupuncture benefits for anxiety.
Believe it or not, one in four Australians suffer from anxiety and, as that number has increased, so too has the number of people seeking treatment through CAM methods or Complementary and Alternative Medicine. A lot of promise has been shown in treating anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder with different CAM methods, and much interest has been placed on using acupuncture to manage it.
Understanding Anxiety – What Is It?
Anxiety results in unfounded or excessive worrying or mental stress that the sufferer cannot fully control, and which starts to impinge on your daily life and interfere with your day-to-day activities. Many people find that it affects their social life and ability to maintain close relationships with friends and family.
People experience and manifest anxiety slightly differently but many people report that they experience tightness in the chest, problems with their breathing, flushes, hot sweats, dizziness, stomach disorders, blushing and tearfulness as symptoms.
Some people may experience only one symptom of anxiety while others may find they are affected by three or four at once. Some people may experience symptoms that are so severe they believe they are having a heart attack or stroke, when in fact they are experiencing a panic attack as a result of their anxiety.
Anxiety can also be triggered by lots of different incidents, and particularly incidents where you feel very overwhelmed or highly stressed. Some examples include starting a new job (or losing a job), moving house, deadlines, work pressures, school or university stress and relationship troubles. People who have experienced traumatic events may find themselves suffering from anxiety as a result of the earlier trauma.
Why Could Acupuncture Be Beneficial For Anxiety?
Much research has gone into acupuncture for anxiety and different studies have yielded conflicting results. However, studies have shown acupuncture benefits for anxiety in respect of:
A drug-free alternative
Many patients suffering from anxiety have tried various medications and have found them ineffective at managing their anxiety. However in some cases, these medications can have other effects on a patient such as numbing or desensitising them to the world around them. Acupuncture (and acupressure) present a drug-free alternative that does not depress the mood or have side effects on other areas.
Not only that, one study conducted in 2015 found that acupuncture was actually more beneficial for patients who had not responded to other forms of treatment. It is believed that acupuncture may also be able to speed up the body’s recovery from the unwanted side effects of medication.
In a study conducted on rats in 2016 researchers found that acupuncture influenced the rats’ flight or fight responses and thus their stress management capabilities.
Acupuncture promotes relaxation and self healing
By releasing energy blockages and promoting energy flow throughout your body, acupuncture techniques can help the body to relax. When the body is relaxed and its energy flows it is in a better state to self heal.
There has been evidence to suggest that acupuncture assists in the regulation of hormones and the mood, and this can help a patient to slip out of an overwhelmingly negative mindset and into a more constructive and positive way of thinking, which translates into positive action.
Acupuncture may help patients to process emotions differently
When we are in a state of anxiety or stress and we enter the fight or flight state, we tend to judge ourselves. We may feel upset at getting teary or fearful about being dizzy. We may not seek treatment right away – or at all. As a result these effects are left to compound in the body.
By releasing the blockages in the body acupuncture for anxiety may help patients to re-align or rebalance themselves, and better process emotions and emotional responses when they take place.
So … is acupuncture effective for anxiety?
There is no straight and objective answer, suffice to say that Chinese people have been using acupuncture as a treatment for thousands of years with wonderful results.
At Super Health Chatswood Medical Centre we would be proud to create a customised acupuncture treatment plan for you to try if you need a second opinion or have not found relief from other forms of treatment. We also highly recommend acupuncture for patients in need of pain relief, who have not been able to find relief through other forms of treatment.
Still wondering is acupuncture effective for anxiety? It’s always best to consult with a professional so that your personal condition can be evaluated. Please contact Super Health Chatswood Medical Centre today: (02) 9884 9300