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Have you ever considered acupuncture treatment for your anxiety symptoms? You may have heard that the treatment offers an excellent way to battle back pain, high blood pressure and digestive problems, but might not know that it's also a good treatment for anxiety.
Anxiety affects 40 million adults in the U.S., according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Certain factors, such as your personality, things that have happened to you during your life, or a family history of anxiety, can affect your susceptibility, but anyone can develop the condition. Anxiety doesn't just make you feel stressed and restless, but may also cause muscle aches, upset stomachs, fatigue and headaches, and may affect your ability to get a good nights' sleep. Chronic anxiety can even strain your heart and lead to high blood pressure.
Acupuncture treatments relieve blockages of Qi, the life force that travels throughout your body. Blockages can cause a variety of physical and emotional symptoms. Qi travels through a network of meridians that correspond to certain organs and areas of your body. A blockage at any point in the meridian can trigger painful or unpleasant physical or emotional symptoms.
When acupuncture needles are inserted into the sites of the blockages, normal Qi flow is restored, relieving your symptoms. Unlike hypodermic needles, acupuncture needles are much thinner. In fact, they're not much thicker than a human hair.
The ancient Asian practitioners who invented acupuncture believed that the kidneys, liver, heart, spleen and lungs affect your emotions. When imbalances develop in these organs, called the Zang organs, anxiety can result. Your practitioner will determine the source of your problem by asking a series of probing questions about your symptoms, your lifestyle, personality and family history.
If your anxiety is coupled with depression and insomnia, an imbalance in the heart may be to blame. Spleen disorders can occur if you worry or obsess about a particular issue, while lung disorders may be traced to feelings of sadness. Do you not only feel anxious, but also angry or bitter? You may have a liver imbalance. If your problem originates from your kidneys, you may suffer from feelings of insecurity.
Strong feelings can cause blockages in key meridians and trigger anxiety symptoms. It's not unusual to suffer from both anxiety and depression. In fact, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America reports that half the people who have anxiety are also depressed.
Medication can be helpful in relieving anxiety and depression, but all medications have side effects. For example, Xanax, a medication commonly used to treat anxiety can cause drowsiness, insomnia, poor coordination, diarrhea, vomiting and difficulty concentrating. Acupuncture offers a natural way to treat your symptoms. Thanks to your treatments, you may be able to decrease medication dosages or even stop the medication completely.
Acupuncture offers demonstrated results in the treatment of anxiety and depression. Researchers who conducted a systematic literature review of acupuncture studies discovered that acupuncture has positive effects on generalized anxiety disorder and anxiety neuroses. Their work appeared in Acupuncture in Medicine in 2007
After the acupuncture practitioner determines the source of your problem, he or she will insert several needles into the corresponding meridians. You may feel a slight pricking sensation when the needles enter your body, but the feeling shouldn't be painful. While the needles are in place, you may notice a mild ache, heaviness or numbness. These are all good signs that indicate that the treatment is beginning to work to relieve your symptoms.
The needles will remain in place for a few minutes to 15 to 20 minutes. During your first treatment, your practitioner will let you know how often you should return for treatments. You can expect to visit the office regularly during the initial phase of treatment. As your condition improves, you will need less frequent sessions.
You'll also be given suggestions regarding diet, exercise and lifestyle changes you can make to support the results of your treatment. Chinese herbal supplements may be recommended to help you cope with anxiety and depression symptoms.
Are you ready to find out if acupuncture could help relieve your anxiety symptoms? Call us today to schedule your first appointment.
Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Facts and Statistics
RXList: Xanax Side Effects
Psych Central: Acupuncture, Anxiety & Depression
Psychology Today: Acupuncture for Stress and Depression? Yes, Please!, 9/28,15
Acupuncture Council of Ireland: Acupuncture and Anxiety, a Good Match?
Acupuncture in Medicine: Acupuncture for Anxiety and Anxiety Disorders, 2007