Benefits of Acupuncture for Anxiety
Most people who are familiar with the practice of acupuncture are generally aware that it’s used to treat a variety of painful conditions including headaches, migraines, neck pain, lower back pain, osteoarthritis, and even respiratory disorders. A traditional component of Chinese medicine, acupuncture has become an integral part of an overall approach to wellness, especially for stress relief and management.
Practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine (otherwise known as TCM) believe that acupuncture helps to restore the balance and flow of energy, called “chi”, within the body and its pathways, or meridians. Through the strategic placement of fine needles along different parts of these meridians, energy that becomes blocked can be released. Many practitioners also believe that this helps to stimulate the body’s natural painkillers and circulate them through the body more efficiently to promote healing.
More research is now showing that acupuncture can also be effective in treating forms of anxiety that can otherwise take months of other therapy and medications to treat. While acupuncture isn’t considered the first line of treatment, there is evidence to suggest that symptoms can be reduced through repeated sessions.
Why acupuncture is effective for anxiety
Like other forms of stress, anxiety can have a drastic effect on your overall mental health and impact your daily living. It may generate a wide range of physical symptoms such as restlessness, shaking, fatigue, and more, or it may have unconscious effects on your sleep habits and nutrition. Anxiety differs greatly from person to person, but if left untreated can lead to ongoing chronic conditions as well as additional issues with your cardiovascular and immune system.
Acupuncture is believed to provide appropriate stimulation to the nerves, muscles and connective tissues to draw negative energy out and promote a calm feeling of relaxation. According to researchers, acupuncture can help people discontinue the use of medications as it works to restore the body’s chemical imbalances and even improve memory. Results can generally be felt as quickly as one session.
Additionally, any side effects from acupuncture are minimal compared to those experienced with medications which can have long-lasting negative consequences.
Things to consider with acupuncture for anxiety
Before trying acupuncture for the first time, it’s always a good idea to consult with a physician as you may have underlying conditions or other health problems that prevent you from being an ideal candidate for the procedure, such as a bleeding disorder or pregnancy.
If you are cleared for acupuncture by your physician, a certified acupuncturist will be able to walk you through what will happen during treatment and address any concerns you may have prior to a session so that you are comfortable with the process and remain relaxed throughout the treatment. Your acupuncturist will determine which areas may need more attention and approximately how many treatments you may need, though the general number is around six to eight to feel the most benefits.
Keep in mind that acupuncture is not a cure-all for anxiety, but it can work very well to reduce symptoms and leave you feeling much calmer overall.
If you have more questions about acupuncture and whether it might be a good treatment option for you, please contact our team today for more information.