According to the most up to date evidence, acupuncture is an effective treatment for anxiety. Acupuncture has been shown to improve the body’s ability to cope with stress. One of the ways that it does this is by increasing the release of endorphins, the body’s own ‘feel-good’ chemicals, which play an important role in the regulation of physical and emotional stress and anxiety responses.
A course of acupuncture is an incredibly powerful way of transforming stress, calming anxiety and restoring balance. When we’re feeling stressed it’s common to feel exhaused, overwhelmed, or even depressed so finding support is vital. Stress and anxiety not only undermine our energy, sleep, sense of well-being and ability to cope, but can also be the cause of many chronic painful conditions, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Gastric pain, Headaches or Menstrual pain. The more prolonged the stress and anxiety the more likely it is that there will be long-term health impacts.
A course of traditional acupuncture helps to target the root cause of the problem as treatment is unique for each individual. Typically stress and anxiety are caused by a variety of factors, including overwork, emotional stress, trauma, or the loss of a loved one. Whether we’re overworked or dealing with emotional loss, a similar psychological, emotional and stress response is evoked: traumatic or stressful events rewire your nervous system, keeping the autonomic nervous system (ANS) in a constant physiological state that supports fear and anxiety. This can make you hyper-aroused or vigilant causing muscle tension, typically in the neck, shoulders and chest, changes in sleep/digestive patterns, chest tightness and other palpable feelings of anxiety.
When acupuncture is combined with a specific treatment plan, which addresses emotions, diet, exercise and lifestyle, many of my patients find traditional acupuncture to be a wonderfully relaxing experience.