Acupuncture may seem like it's only for hipsters who don't believe in Western medicine or your elderly dad with chronic back pain, but a growing body of research reveals that it can help treat a problem that affects everyone from time to time: anxiety.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, managing severe anxiety can be difficult because it usually entails therapy, which might take months to produce improvements. Furthermore, it may need the use of anxiety medication, which might have dangerous negative effects. However, when acupuncture treatment for anxiety is effective, symptoms can improve after just a few visits, and practitioners are convinced that it addresses the problem at its source.
How Does Acupuncture Help With Anxiety?
According to the University of Chicago Medicine, ancient Chinese medicine outlines an energy force called Qi that maintains the body's general health. Qi, like blood, circulates throughout the body via passageways known as meridians. According to the University of Miami Health System, when factors such as injury, stress, poor diet, or a change in environment interrupt the flow of Qi, health problems ensue. Acupuncturists restore the balance of Qi and the overall health of the body by inserting needles at precise spots in the body, according to the University of Chicago Medicine.
Some may find this concept out of date; however, many practitioners believe that Qi is simply a metaphor for metabolic activity or the chemical interactions that constantly occur in the body.
Acupuncturists place each needle near a specific nerve. Acupuncture can trigger the neurological system to create painkilling chemicals, kick-start the body's natural ability to heal itself, or activate the area of the brain that controls emotions, including anxiety, depending on where the needles are inserted. All of these findings have the potential to help people feel more balanced and treat a range of ailments.
Acupuncture's Mechanisms for Anxiety Management.
Acupuncture has grown in popularity since the 1970s simply because it works, and there is now substantial research proving its efficacy for anxiety and other mental illnesses.
For example, in research published online in the Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies in October 2013, students who received a 20-minute acupuncture treatment had less anxiety and improved memory immediately afterwards than those who did not receive acupuncture.
What makes acupuncture so effective?
According to traditional Chinese medicine practitioners, external factors beyond your control might trigger your anxiety, and acupuncture allows your body to reclaim control.
“When we are continually under stress and pressure to perform, it can lead to sickness and other major health problems. Acupuncture is excellent for maintenance.” It contributes to the transformation of a long life into a higher-quality one.
How does acupuncture function?
Acupuncture, according to Georgetown University researchers, decreases the body's creation of stress chemicals. Their study was published in the Journal of Endocrinology in April 2013.
Few techniques are guaranteed to work 100 percent of the time. This includes acupuncture, but it has advantages that traditional treatments such as psychotherapy and medicine do not. Negative effects, such as bruising and dizziness, are minor and uncommon, whereas certain prescription medicines can have major side effects and lead to addiction.
In contrast to counselling, persons who receive acupuncture frequently show effects after just one session, and the outcomes improve with continuous treatment. Acupuncture is very beneficial for patients who desire to decrease or discontinue their drug use, whether prescription or illicit. Acupuncture, because it naturally controls the body's chemical equilibrium, can even prevent patients from needing medication at all.
How to Begin With Acupuncture
By trying acupuncture you have nothing to lose. The hazards are essentially non-existent with a qualified acupuncturist and significantly surpassed by the possible benefits. After just a few sessions, most acupuncture patients say that they sleep better and have a stronger sense of overall well-being.
If you're already getting therapy for anxiety, you should consider adding acupuncture to your routine. If you determine it works for you, you can work with your doctor to gradually wean yourself off of your anxiety medication. To begin, contact the major acupuncture registers, such as The Association of Acupuncture Clinicians, to see if there are any acupuncturists in your area. Then consult with a practitioner, asking questions and openly discussing a possible treatment plan.
Anxiety Exercises You Can Do At Home:
Breathe Your Way to a Calmer Mind and Body
Nothing worse than experiencing the familiar throat-clenching and chest-grabbing shortage of oxygen that threatens to make you hyperventilate, pass out, or both if you suffer from anxiety. When you suffer from acute anxiety, it is really difficult to get yourself back on track. You might ask your doctor for medicine to help you, but you can also try some basic breathing methods to help you deal with your anxiety.
* Recognize What Anxiety Isn't
Everyone is born with a fight or flight response, and acute anxiety is simply that normal response gone awry. It is natural to feel apprehensive in the majority of the scenarios in which you are likely to feel uncomfortable. However, even if your heart is racing, you are unlikely to die from anxiety.
* Stop and Stay.
Instead of allowing the panic response to take over when you are experiencing intense anxiety, stop and stay. If you allow yourself to flee, you will simply train your body to maintain the excessive response to regular stimuli. Instead, pause and concentrate on anything that is likely to be present in any area, such as a light fixture or a clock.
* Take a deep, slow breath in.
When your heart begins pounding and your breathing gets rapid, you tend to take in too much oxygen. Excessive oxygen causes rapid heartbeat, euphoria, and maybe tingling hands and feet. Keeping your mouth closed, take a slow, deep breath in via your nose, filling your chest with air, then slowly expel the air through your mouth.
* Attempt Holding Your Breath.
If slow breathing isn't helping, try holding your breath initially to assist stop the terror nearly instantly. By preventing too much oxygen from reaching your brain, you can allow your body to catch up, allowing you to practise the deep breathing strategy described above.
* Practice makes perfect.
Most things in life do not come effortlessly, and breathing in this manner is no exception. When you are not in a stressful situation, try practising deep breathing for 10 minutes every day. Sit or stand comfortably with your upper body erect to offer your lungs plenty of space. Breathe in deeply and slowly, dragging air all the way to the bottom of your lungs, then exhale gently.
* Practice Monitored Breathing
Perform the preceding exercises and alternate between them and normal breathing. The habit of breathing quite shallowly, that many of us have developed, deprives us of oxygen until we suffer a panic attack, at which point we overdose. So, when you're doing your typical breathing, think about it attentively. Check that you are breathing into your diaphragm. Consider how a baby appears when breathing. That is the proper method.
Breathing properly at times of stress can help you reduce your anxiety levels many times over, but you must practise doing it when you are not nervous to ensure that you can take command of the situation. If you have a companion, instruct him or her to help you breathe by telling you to stop, stay, and breathe.
This article is brought to you by Frome Acupuncture Practice