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Can Acupuncture Help With Anxiety

What Is Acupuncture Really

Can acupuncture help with stress and anxiety?

Acupuncture involves the insertion of tiny needles into specific areas on the body known as acupuncture points, according to Dr. Shari Auth, DACM, LAC, LMT, a leading holistic health practitioner and co-founder of New York City-based acupuncture studio Wthn, the cozy and chic, spa-like facility where I received my treatments. This practice, which is a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine , dates back some 3,000 years.

The premise: “TCM believes that our internal body is similar to our external world,” Dr. Auth tells me. “The same way forces of nature need to find balance, so do our bodies. The balance of life force energies, such as yin and yang, all need to be in balance both in quantity and quality to have true health.” In TCM, imbalance translates to illness, Dr. Auth explains. So when you’re suffering from something, whether it’s chronic pain, digestion problems, tight muscles, stress, or yes, even, heartbreak, acupuncture aims to get you back to equilibrium.

Even if you aren’t currently experiencing any of the above symptoms, Dr. Auth says the treatment is actually preventative, so you can “keep yourself healthy and tackle problems, like stress, before they manifest as chronic conditions with physical symptoms.”

Oh, and by the way, the needles are pretty much painless. Occasionally, I felt a pinch depending on the spot, but after a minute, the sensation dissipated, and I melted into the blanketed, heated table.

Acupuncturecreating Balance In The Nervous System

Simply put, acupuncture helps get HRV into optimal ranges, which also keeps our Central Autonomic Network healthy. A 2012 meta-analysis of studies on acupuncture and HRV found that acupuncture does indeed improve patients HRV scores. This helped patients improve their symptoms, which in these studies were heart disease, hypertension, mild anxiety and depression, insomnia, migraines, and muscle pain.

One of the key points that the authors emphasized was the dosage of acupuncture was important in helping patients get results, both in number of points per session, and frequency and duration of the treatment plan. In studies where patients received only 1-3 points per treatment, or got treatment only once every 2-4 weeks, results were decreased. In studies where patients received more points, and treatments at least weekly, results increased.

In our experience, this is also true. Acupuncture is like a physical therapy for the nervous system. With sufficient numbers of treatments and points per session, acupuncture helps the nervous system adapt and re-educate itself to operate in a more optimal way.

What Are The Benefits

There have been several studies done about the effects of acupuncture on anxiety. These studies have focused mostly on generalized anxiety disorder and suggest that acupuncture is helpful in treating general anxiety.

One promising study from 2015, for example, found that acupuncture improved symptoms in people with anxiety that didnt respond to other treatments, including psychotherapy and medication. Participants received ten 30-minute sessions of acupuncture over the course of 12 weeks. They experienced a significant reduction in their anxiety, even 10 weeks after treatment.

However, two reviews of existing research, one from 2007 and another from 2013, note that many studies on the subject arent very reliable. Some had very few participants including the one mentioned above while others were poorly designed. On the other hand, these reviews also point out that acupuncture doesnt seem to have a negative effect on anxiety.

In a more recent 2016 study on rats, acupuncture was found to be effective for reducing anxiety. The researchers suggested that it impacts how the body triggers the fight-or-flight response.

While we need to better understand how acupuncture affects anxiety, panic attacks, and phobias, research is showing promise for acupuncture as a viable and safe option. If you have anxiety that hasnt responded to other treatment methods, or youre simply interested in trying something new, acupuncture shouldnt worsen your symptoms.

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When our nervous systems are in balance, we thrive. As weve seen out our clinic over the course of thousands of treatment sessions, many clients find greater balance after getting acupuncture. Its always been amazing to us, and our patients, how wide of a variety of effects acupuncture can have on our well-being.

The science discussed above paints a good picture of why we can see such improvement in so many of the mental, emotional, relational, and behavioral areas of peoples lives. It paints a picture of why also we find such high levels of success in helping people with stress-related physical issues, such as headaches, muscle pain, digestive problems, respiratory issuesall areas connected by the vagus nerve, and badly affected when the SNS and PNS, CAN, and HRV levels are thrown off by stress.

Finally, we believe strongly in helping people find a long term strategy for stress-reduction. To really get a handle on stress in your life, youll start with an initial series of acupuncture sessions, usually about 5 sessions over 2 weeks. Treatment plans are then customized for each individual. In many cases, a series of treatments over 3 months is the optimal starting point.

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Acupuncture And Massage Therapy Can Boost Mental Health

With a stronger emphasis on safely and effectively managing mental health problems, the use of conventional treatment methods has been a cause of concern for some. The use of prescription drugs, such as antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, can put those who take them at risk of experiencing side effects.

Other conventional treatment methods, such as therapy, are not always effective enough to manage symptoms of these disorders. Alternative forms of medicine, including massage therapy and acupuncture, have been gaining popularity among those who want a more natural treatment method. These types of treatments offer important benefits for those who struggle with mental health problems.

How Acupuncture For Depression Is Practiced

How does acupuncture for depression work? The acupuncturist will insert needles into certain points of your body that are thought to connect to the negative emotions that you are having.

The needles are thought to fix blocked energy or imbalances in your body, which will also influence your mind. This process is something you would receive once a week or several times a week depending on your individual situation.

Below is a list of some of the points that might be used to relieve depression symptoms.

Each of these corresponds to a certain point on your body:

  • Guanyuan : lower back
  • Qihai : below the navel
  • Zhongwan : over the middle of the stomach
  • Hegu : on the hand
  • Master of Heart 6 : underside of wrist
  • Yanglingquan : on the leg
  • Zusanli : below the knee
  • Taixi : on the ankle
  • Shugu :

So, after your acupuncturist has inserted needles in the identified locations, you would lie still on a table in a peaceful setting, such as with music playing, aromatherapy, and mood lighting.

It’s not hard to imagine that this might make you feel better, regardless of whether acupuncture actually treats depression. In fact, the state after receiving acupuncture has been referred to as “acubliss.”

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Generate Results In As Little As 1 Session

Anxiety can leave people feeling on edge, irritable, angry, sad, or even dissociated. It may be difficult to function when stress is high and many people are unable to engage in simple activities like grocery shopping or going to school or work. Immediate relief is often needed. Some anxiety medications take weeks to begin working as they build up in a persons system to a therapeutic level. This can leave patients struggling to process stress and worry during this time and does not provide an immediate solution that allows people to quickly get back to their normal daily lives.

On the other hand, acupuncture can provide relief from anxiety in just a single session. While most patients choose to undergo several sessions, especially at the beginning of their therapy, some improvement can often be achieved during the very first appointment.

Reasons To Try Acupuncture For Stress And Anxiety Relief

Whole Living: Acupuncture can help with stress and anxiety

Im so stressed out! Im under a deadline at work all the time, and I cant shut off at the end of the day. I feel anxious all the time and cant relax. My doctor warned me to reduce stressshes worried about my heart.These statements are all too common in todays frenetic culture. With so much mental strain and pressure in our daily lives, using acupuncture for stress and anxiety relief is the foundation for emotional balance and physical health.You may stop into Merriam Park Acupuncture to treat your stress symptoms, but our treatment approach extends so much further than symptom relief. We care deeply about your healing story and dedicate ourselves to building holistic health and balance in every patient we treat.Book today for an appointment to reduce the effects of stress and anxiety, and to build balance, relaxation, and peace of mind in your busy life.

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Finding Teen Acupuncture For Ocd

Of course, finding a teen OCD treatment program that includes acupuncture is a challenge. Destinations for Teens in Woodland Hills, California provides this alternative therapy along with evidence-based methods and individual treatment planning for teens. For your loved ones recovery from OCD symptoms and problems, consider acupuncture for OCD. Call Destinations for Teens now at .

Acupuncture Can Be An Effective Treatment For Depression And Anxiety

An estimated 17.5 million Americans suffer from depression. Among those, many are seeking alternatives to anti-depressant medication.

Of course, as an acupuncturist, I am interested in staying on top of recent studies and ensuring I can provide my patients with the most up-to-date information regarding non-prescription treatment options. There are some promising recent studies showing how acupuncture can treat depression, anxiety, and stress, as well as providing clear, biological explanations for the clinical evidence I have seen.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America states that evidence for the use of acupuncture… to treat anxiety disorders is becoming stronger. In one example, Reuters Health reported on a study from the University of York, in the U.K. The study recruited 755 people with moderate to severe depression. Seventy percent of the patients were already on anti-depressants and continued on them throughout the study. The study concluded that both acupuncture and counseling had a strongly positive effect on depression, lowering the depression scale from an average of 16 at the start of the study, to 9 for acupuncture and 11 for counseling at its conclusion. The benefits lasted three months after treatment had concluded.

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Why Acupuncture Works For Anxiety Relief

Not just for pain, acupuncture is a natural way to treat anxiety. It works faster than therapy and keeps you drug-free.


You might think acupuncture is for hipsters who dont believe in Western medicine or for your aging parent with chronic back pain, but a growing body of research shows that acupuncture can help treat a condition that affects everyone from time to time: anxiety.

Managing severe anxiety can be tricky because it generally includes therapy, which might not provide results for months, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. What’s more, it can require anxiety medication, which can have serious side effects, says Ladan Eshkevari, PhD, CRNA, LAc, a certified acupuncturist, a physiologist, and the assistant director of the Nurse Anesthesia Program at the School of Nursing & Health Studies at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Yet when acupuncture for anxiety is effective, symptoms lessen after the first few visits, and practitioners like Eshkevari are confident it attacks the problem at its roots.

Improve Symptoms Associated With Anxiety Disorders

Acupuncture Can Help You Deal With Anxiety  Seneca Journalism

Anxiety disorders can cause uncomfortable symptoms like tachycardia , sweating, nervousness, rapid speech, racing thoughts, and sensations of impending doom. In some cases, people having an anxiety or panic attack may feel as though they are dying or having a heart attack.

Acupuncture helps regulate the bodys autonomic nervous system by calming the sympathetic nerve response and engaging the parasympathetic nervous system. It can help lower heart rate, blood pressure, and can improve tolerance to external stressors.

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Acupuncture Is A Great Way To Reduce Feelings Of Stress And Anxiety

I have had many patients say after acupuncture, that it is the most relaxed they have been since the pandemic began. If we can help people in this way, then we are being of service. – Stephanie Gianarelli, Clinic Director

We are with you. During these stressful times, acupuncture and Chinese medicine can be so helpful to help alleviate stress, anxiety and depression. The outside world can creep into our inside realm and help provoke anxiety and depression. We are living in unprecedented times and acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can help ease the stress of the current pandemic that we are all living through.

Anxiety, depression, and other emotional upsets, can stem from an imbalance in the body or now it seems an imbalance in the world. Since this pandemic has started, we have seen people get anxiety who have never had anxiety before. Both internal and environmental factors may affect this balance, and can cause a cascade of events that lead to feelings of anxiety, worry, and depression but to be sure the current state of the world is affecting all of us and acupuncture can help.

Many patients have found relief using acupuncture for:

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