Acupuncture for Anxiety

In a fast and stressful world, anxiety is a disorder that has become a common part of human lives. Symptoms can vary from insomnia, poor concentration to nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth, sweating and others. Acupuncture, the ancient Chinese system, as well as the newly developed electroacupuncture, may act as a remedy for generalized anxiety disorders or other anxiety related problems like panic attacks, and post-traumatic stress, social anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Acupuncture for Depression
Acupuncture for Depression

Can Acupuncture Really Help with Anxiety

The Journal of British Acupuncture Society published a study in which twelve controlled trials were held which revealed that acupuncture may work as a remedy for anxiety disorders and may be as beneficial as drug therapy.

In another study, one group of female patients suffering from anxiety as well as depression were treated with acupuncture while others were given different control procedures. The group that received acupuncture treatment showed better results with depressive disorder.

How Does it Work

There is no scientific explanation for the mechanism of acupuncture. It is based on the belief that energy (qi or chi) flows through the body. It is when the flow of this energy is disrupted or altered that human beings fall ill. By inserting needles at specific points, an acupuncturist attempts to restore the flow of qi in the body.

Acupuncture Points for Anxiety

Primary acupuncture points for anxiety include the Outer Gate and Inner Gate (forearms), Union Valley (hands), Grandfather-Grandson(Feet), and Central Treasury (front shoulder). Acupuncture is said to be an effective treatment for anxiety as it releases the neurochemical messenger molecules, which may promote biochemical changes as well as regularize body’s homeostatic mechanisms, leading to a sense of well-being.

Safety Precautions

Find a certified acupuncturist because an improper application has the disadvantage of bleeding, scarring or bruising. It cannot be used on some areas like burns, ulcers, back and side of the neck, external genitalia etcetera. Consult your physician before opting for it.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

Acupuncture is safe for both pregnant women and lactating mothers suffering from anxiety, as long as performed by an experienced licensed practitioner.

References:

  1. http://www.healthline.com/health/depression/acupuncture#2
  2. http://www.webmd.com/depression/news/20100222/acupuncture-eases-depression-in-pregnancy 
  3. http://www.acupuncture.org.uk/a-to-z-of-conditions/a-to-z-of-conditions/anxiety.html
  4. http://psychcentral.com/lib/acupuncture-anxiety-depression/