While most people turn to acupuncture for pain relief, it is becoming an increasingly popular treatment for anxiety management.
People are often left feeling helpless when dealing with the overwhelming feelings of anxiety. Prescription medicines can provide relief but they sometimes come with unwanted side effects.
Acupuncture can be an effective and natural alternative for managing anxiety.
Acupuncture is built on the principle of treating the root cause of illness rather than only addressing the symptoms. This is an important consideration with mood disorders such as anxiety and depression as all aspects of a person’s life should be taken into account to improve their mental health and wellbeing.
What are the benefits of acupuncture for anxiety?
There have been a number of studies supporting the benefits of acupuncture for anxiety. One study has shown that acupuncture is a successful option for adults that have not had success with other forms of treatment such as medication.
Acupuncture is a holistic technique where fine needles are inserted into strategic points in the body to release blockages and stimulate the nervous system.
This stimulation is said to trigger the release of chemicals and hormones such as endorphins and serotonin which, in turn, encourages the body to self-heal and regulate internal imbalances.
Other potential benefits of acupuncture include improved circulation, function and healing and the ability to take your body out of fight-or-flight mode. This is important because when suffering from an anxiety disorder, your body activates the sympathetic nervous system as a survival mechanism even though no real danger is present. Acupuncture takes you out of this stress response and into the parasympathetic rest-and-relax mode.
Acupuncturists focus on easing tension and stress and restoring inner balance to manage anxiety. The release of endorphins, your body’s natural pain killer, promotes relaxation and helps reduce anxiety.
Through the use of acupuncture for anxiety management, you may experience other benefits such as more restful sleep and increased energy.
Your practitioner will aim to treat the underlying cause of your anxiety as well as the symptoms. They can guide you to make better lifestyle choices that will improve your overall health and wellbeing.
How does it work? What happens during an acupuncture consultation?
Your acupuncturist will begin with an in-depth consultation to learn about your medical history and health concerns. They will be able to create a personalised treatment plan to improve the areas of your life that need support. Along with acupuncture treatments, this may include nutritional advice, lifestyle adjustments, exercises, herbal supplements and mindfulness techniques.
Your practitioner will locate specific acupoints in your body that may be holding pain or stress. They will insert fine needles into these acupoints and gently manipulate the needles if necessary.
After insertion, the needles are left in place for around 10 – 20 minutes. This process is relatively pain-free as the needles are very thin and often not felt at all. Some people do feel a mild tingling or aching during the needle stimulation.
Following removal, people usually experience a sense of relief and deep relaxation. This may be immediate or delayed. The therapeutic effects of acupuncture promote physical and emotional wellbeing.
Are there any side effects?
There may be some light bleeding from the needle insertion but with the safe practices of a qualified acupuncturist, there is no cause for concern. While adverse side effects are rare, some people do experience mild tenderness and bruising from the needles.
Because of the low risk of side effects, acupuncture is a popular natural alternative to anti-anxiety medications. Acupuncture can be used as a complementary medicine alongside prescription medication but we do recommend speaking to your qualified acupuncturist for more advice.
If you want to experience the benefits of acupuncture for anxiety, book an initial consultation with one of our Acupuncturists. Enter the code ACU20 to receive 20% off your initial consultation. Or call us on (02) 8313 8983 to find out more.