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Is Acupuncture Good For Anxiety

It Takes The Body Out Of Fight

Acupuncture For Anxiety and Stress Relief

In todayâs fast-paced world, we’ve become accustomed to operating from our sympathetic nervous system, meaning our fight-or flight-response. It’s intended to keep us safe, but it’s constantly getting activated, resulting in lots of anxiety. So the main benefit of doing acupuncture, Williams says, is to bring the body back to the parasympathetic state where everything slows down and stressful events donât completely derail you.

The Mechanics Of Acupuncture For Anxiety Management

Hsu says acupuncture has increased in popularity since the 1970s simply because it works, and now theres growing research supporting its effectiveness for anxiety and other mental conditions.

For instance, in a study published online in October 2013 in the Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, students who underwent a 20-minute acupuncture session were found to have less anxiety and better memory immediately afterward than those who didn’t have acupuncture.

Why does it work? Eshkevari explains that external circumstances beyond your control can set off your anxiety and that acupuncture allows your body to take back control.

Were constantly under stress and pressure to perform, which can bring on disease and other serious health issues, Hsu says. Acupuncture is great for maintenance. It helps a long life become a better-quality life.

How does it work? Led by Eshkevari, researchers at Georgetown University used lab studies to demonstrate that acupuncture slows the bodys production of stress hormones. Their findings were .

Few procedures work 100 percent of the time. That includes acupuncture, but it does have benefits that conventional treatments like psychotherapy and medication do not, Eshkevari says. She explains that side effects, such as bruising and dizziness, are minimal and uncommon, whereas some prescription drugs can have serious side effects and can lead to dependency.

Advantages Of Acupuncture For Depression And Anxiety

At Sirius Health we are committed to providing our patients with access to drug-free healthcare, including acupuncture for depression and anxiety. Much progress is being shown in the use of acupuncture to treat anxiety and depression, highly prevalent mental health conditions that affect millions of Australians every year. Lets take a look at how acupuncture works and how it may benefit depression and anxiety as a treatment modality.

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Symptoms Of Anxiety And How To Deal With It

Among the physical sensations, palpitations, precordialgia, breathlessness, nausea and tremor. Paleness of the skin, sweat, tremor and pupillary dilation join. It can exist as an exclusive disorder or is associated with medical problems.

The biological sense of anxiety , while being a disabling disorder, is survival . The whole organism prepares itself for a fight or flight reaction .

From a biological point of view, the body prepares the organism to face the threat and this provides: increase in blood pressure and heart rate, increase in sweating, increase in blood flow to the most important muscle groups, decrease in the functions of the immune system and decreased digestive functions.

About 12 and a half million Italians consume drugs to combat anxiety. Conventional anxiety therapy usually consists of prescribing anxiolytic drugs or psychotherapy. First of all, a good medical history and a medical examination are essential for the initial diagnosis of any anxiety disorder, to rule out any organic disease that may cause the same symptoms as anxiety.

Acupuncture and anxiety can interact effectively. Lets see how.

Acupuncture For Anxiety Pdf

How To Get The Most Out Of Acupuncture For Your Anxiety ...

You can download a PDF version of this summary here:

According to the most up to date evidence, acupuncture is an effective treatment for anxiety. In 2017, The Acupuncture Evidence Project, co-authored by Dr John McDonald, PhD and Dr Stephen Janz,4 was published, providing an up-to-date comparative review of the clinical and scientific evidence for acupuncture. This comprehensive document, updating two previous reviews, determined that acupuncture is moderately effective in treating anxiety according to high level evidence.5 Their evidence included a 2016 systematic review with over 400 randomised patients that concluded that the effects from acupuncture for treating anxiety have been shown to be significant as compared to conventional treatments.6 The largest of these studies, which included 120 randomized patients, found that acupuncture had a large effect on reducing anxiety and depression compared to conventional treatment involving pharmacological approaches and psychotherapy, with over twice the reduction in symptoms.7

A more recent systematic review published in 2018 found that all 13 included studies reported an anxiety decrease for their treatment group relative to the control groups. Three of these studies used pharmaceuticals as controls.8

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How Soon Will You Feel Results

According to Williams, the key to seeing success through acupuncture for anxiety is consistency in treatment. She says that many people feel much calmer after each session, but in order to see long-lasting results, it’s best to get treatments regularlyâthe exact frequency varies from person to personâfor an extended period of time. People with deep-rooted trauma or chronic anxiety may benefit from attending acupuncture sessions for longer than someone who has acute anxiety.

In the beginning, Williams recommends you keep your treatments closer togetherâonce or twice a weekâbecause youâre essentially retraining your body to operate in a new way and if you space your treatments out too much, you can easily slip back into the fight-or-flight way of being. Once you do start feeling the zen results, you can scale back on the number of sessions to once a week, then once a month, and so on.

How Many Sessions Are Needed To Treat Anxiety Through Acupuncture

People suffer from various anxiety-related disorders but what is it that differentiates an anxiety disorder from usual anxiety? How can we identify that a person has an anxiety disorder or he is suffering from normal situational anxiety? The simplest way to find the root cause of stress. This helps in formulating the number of sessions needed. The symptoms as per which the individual approaches the disorder are understood to find out what kind of anxiety the person is suffering with.

If in doubt, it is advisable to consult psychologists and psychiatrists for the same. Stressors are one of the major causes that enhance the possibility of an anxiety disorder in an individual. The anxiety disorders are generalized according to the intensity of such emotional responses.

It is seen that people usually start showing signs of improvement in the first session of the acupuncture treatment for anxiety relief. Some people manage to set their lives on the right pathway and unpredictably show better results. They develop their keenness to explore more of their internal states and cope with themselves in a practical way.

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Are There Any Risks From The Use Of Acupuncture

While acupuncture wont make your anxiety worse, , it does have some risks and potential side effects. You can reduce some of those risks and side effects by ensuring you see a certified acupuncturist. Possible side effects are:

  • Soreness
  • Pain during treatment that results from improper insertion of the needles.
  • Infection, especially if your acupuncturist didnt use a new and completely sterile needle.

The Food and Drug Administration regulates acupuncture needles just as they regulate other medical devices. They require that all acupuncture needles be single-use, sterile, steel, solid, safe, properly labeled, and be under good manufacturing practices.

Needles should only be used by licensed acupuncturists and must be disposed of properly after use. Avoid getting acupuncture treatment from an unlicensed acupuncturist, which can be dangerous. An unqualified acupuncturist will use unsterilized needles that can put you at risk of infection, hemorrhage, organ punctures, and damage to your spinal cord or central nervous system.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Acupuncture Treatment For Anxiety

Acupuncture for Stress and Anxiety

The benefits are:

  • The mood gets changed when the proper amount of hormones, such as noradrenaline, serotonin, GABA, dopamine and neuropeptide Y are released.
  • Acupuncture helps in regulating the amount of these mood-changing neurohormones in the body.
  • It also causes a reduction of pain and stress, which are always related to anxiety through ear acupuncture points.
  • It helps in the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the sensation of relaxation.

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From The Western Point Of View Acupuncture May Work By:

  • Influencing the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for regulating many body functions, such as heart rate, digestion, blood pressure, and respiration.
  • Stimulating the central nervous system to release chemicals into your brain that facilitate healing.
  • Stimulating the lymphatic system.
  • Stimulating your brain to release endorphins- our bodys natural pain killers.

Understanding Anxiety And Panic And How Acupuncture Can Help

Lets face it: modern life is stressful. Navigating a busy schedule, managing responsibilities at work, keeping up with the bills: its no wonder that we always seem to feel stressed. For most of us, this type of stress comes and goes over time, without really interfering with our ability to get through the day. Yet for some individuals, feelings of stress, anxiety, and panic are more than a temporary response to a specific stressor. Instead, the feelings of anxiety and panic actually grow stronger over time, even when the source of the anxiety seems to have faded.

If you suffer from excessive worry or anxiety or experience frequent panic or recurrent panic attacks, you know just how difficult it can be to cope with even normal activities such as school or a job. Even everyday social interactions or managing a relationship can be challenging. And anxiety and panic dont simply impact your emotional well-being it can undermine your physical health as well, causing physical discomfort and symptoms such as shortness of breath, elevated heart rate or chest pain, muscle tension, dizziness, trembling and/or numbness in the fingers and toes, and nausea.

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How Anxiety Presents In The Body

Our emotions and thoughts do not just affect our minds. They can have a profound impact on our physical bodies as well. Think of a time when you heard terrifying news. What happened? Did you jump? Shake? Did the pit of your stomach drop? Did you feel a lump in your throat? Did your mouth become dry? Did you become nauseated? I am sure you can relate to some of these physical symptoms. This is because our emotions have a direct impact on our physical bodies

Anxiety can lead to physical symptoms which are both short-lived and chronic. These include:

  • digestive concerns
  • headaches
  • And more!

In some cases, people have not identified that they experience anxiety. They may only experience some of the above physical symptoms and have not correlated their physical ailments to their emotions. In these cases, it is common to seek out medical care and look for a physical cause of their physical pain/ailment which will only get them so far until the emotional aspects are addressed.

Princeton Acupuncture And Oriental Medicine

The Best Acupressure Points for Anxiety

Our patients know just how effective treatments are for these and a host of other problems. Steven Hoffman, a New Jersey Licensed Acupuncturist and Diplomate in Oriental Medicine, will provide you with a thorough intake and evaluation and a clear, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment plan that will insure that your goals are met or exceeded. Do you want to move past these or other problems? We will help you thrive not just survive!

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How Does Acupuncture Benefit Anxiety And Depression

Research has shown that acupuncture treatment may benefit anxiety and depression by:

  • Acting on areas of the brain known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the analytical brain, which is responsible for anxiety and worry
  • Regulating levels of neurotransmitters and hormones such as serotonin, noradrenaline, dopamine, GABA, neuropeptide Y and ACTH hence altering the brains mood chemistry to help to combat negative affective states
  • Stimulating production of endogenous opioids that affect the autonomic nervous system. Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system, while acupuncture can activate the opposing parasympathetic nervous system, which initiates the relaxation response.
  • Reversing pathological changes in levels of inflammatory cytokines that are associated with anxiety and depression
  • Reversing stress-induced changes in behaviour and biochemistry
  • Some of the most recent research suggests that depression is associated with dysfunction in the way that parts of the resting brain interact with each other acupuncture has been shown to be capable of changing the default mode network

Acupuncture can be safely combined with conventional treatments such as medication or psycho-educational therapy, possibly enhancing their beneficial effects and reducing unwanted side-effects. .

Side Effects Of Acupuncture

Some common side effects of acupuncture include bruising, minor bleeding, or soreness in the places where needles were inserted. Rare side effects include dizziness, local internal bleeding, nerve damage, dermatitis, increased pain, and hepatitis B.

You may be at a higher risk for complications if you have certain medical issues. If you have a bleeding disorder or are taking blood thinners, the likelihood of bleeding or bruising increases.

If you have a pacemaker, infusion pump, or another electrical device, you might want to avoid electroacupuncture, which uses a device to generate electric stimulation. Electroacupuncture can interfere with your device.

Some types of acupuncture are believed to induce labor. If you are pregnant, be careful about the types of acupuncture you receive.

Be sure to discuss any alternative treatments you are trying with your doctor.

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How Acupuncture For Anxiety Works

Ancient Chinese medicine describes an energy force called Qi that regulates the bodys overall health, according to University of Chicago Medicine. Like blood in the circulatory system, Qi moves throughout the body via pathways called meridians. When factors like injury, stress, poor nutrition, or a change in environment disrupt the flow of Qi, health issues follow, according to the University of Miami Health System. By inserting needles at specific points in the body, acupuncturists restore the balance of Qi and the bodys overall health, University of Chicago Medicine reports.

This concept might seem outdated to some, but Daniel Hsu, DAOM , LAc, a practitioner at New York AcuHealth Acupuncture in New York City, says Qi is just a metaphor for metabolic function, or the chemical reactions constantly taking place in the body.

Acupuncturists insert each needle half a millimeter away from a nerve, Dr. Hsu explains. Depending on where the needles go, acupuncture can cause the nervous system to produce painkilling chemicals, jump-start the bodys natural ability to heal itself, or stimulate the part of the brain that controls emotions, including anxiety. All of these results, Hsu adds, can help people feel more balanced and treat a variety of illnesses.

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The Symptoms Of Anxiety Include:

Acupuncture for Stress and Anxiety
  • Feelings of worry, fear, or dread
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Digestive issues
  • Muscle tension

These symptoms of anxiety sometimes vary with different anxiety disorders, and these disorders include generalized anxiety disorder , obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, phobias, panic disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Usually, these disorders are treated with medications, CBT, or both. But not everyone responds to these treatments. Plus, there can be crazy side effects, withdrawal symptoms, and the possibility of addiction from using medications. Thankfully, there are several complementary and alternative treatments, including acupuncture, that can help alleviate anxiety for a more holistic approach !

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