Anxiety is the most common mental health condition in Australia and more and more people are using acupuncture to relieve anxiety.
Anxiety is the body’s natural response to possible danger. Emotional symptoms include feelings of worry, fear, bad dreams, and overthinking. Physical symptoms can include fatigue, insomnia, muscle tension, high levels of cortisol, and a fast heart rate.
Although this response to danger is normal, anxiety becomes a problem when anxious feelings do not go away or arise when there is no real danger. An anxiety disorder is when anxiety affects a person’s ability to focus, sleep and carry out daily tasks.
1 in 4 Australians are affected by an anxiety disorder during their lives.
There are many causes of anxiety disorders. These include, external events, overwork, emotional stressors, and chronic pain and illness are common triggers. Anxiety is more common in women than in men, as hormonal imbalances can contribute to anxiety disorders. However, sometimes anxiety disorders arise with no clear trigger.
The most common types of anxiety disorders include:
– Generalised anxiety disorder;
– Post-traumatic stress disorder;
– Social anxiety disorder; and
– Panic disorder.
Western treatment for anxiety includes antidepressants, anxiolytics, counselling or psychotherapy. However, many medications take up to six weeks to work and one-third of patients have an inadequate response. In addition to this, some patients have side effects from these medications. For these reasons, many patients seek out complementary medicines to help their anxiety.
How can Acupuncture help?
Acupuncture has long been used in China and other East Asian countries to relieve stress and anxiety. In Chinese Medicine, mood disorders are believed to be caused by blockages to the smooth flow of Qi. Therefore, the aim of treatment is to restore the smooth flow of qi and calm the mind.
Research has shown that acupuncture can help improve the symptoms of anxiety. Yang (2021) reviewed current clinical trials into the effectiveness of acupuncture for anxiety disorders and found the following;
Firstly, acupuncture reduced the symptoms of anxiety more than control groups who had standard medical treatment.
Secondly, six acupuncture treatments were shown to reduce anxiety.
Finally, seven studies found that treatment with acupuncture had fewer side effects than treatment with western medication (Yang, 2021).
Anxiety can be overwhelming, but acupuncture help. If acupuncture is not for you, Chinese Herbal Medicine and Chinese Massage with acupressure points can also reduce anxiety. Find out more about Chinese herbal medicine here Traditional Chinese Medicine Brisbane | AcuNatural Health.
If you have any questions about how AcuNatural Health can help anxiety, please call or email us.
Alonso J, Liu Z, Evans-Lacko S, Sadikova E, Sampson N, Chatterji S, et al. (2018). Treatment gap for anxiety disorders is global: Results of the World Mental Health Surveys in 21 countries. 35:195–208.
Bystritsky A, Khalsa SS, Cameron ME, Schifman J. (2013). Current diagnosis and treatment of anxiety disorders. Pharmacy and Therapeutics. 38(1):30–57.
Kawakita, K & Okada, K. (2014). Acupuncture therapy: mechanism of action, efficacy and safety: a potential intervention for psychogenic disorders. Bio Psychologal
Sniezek, D.P. & Siddiqui, I.J. (2013). Acupuncture for Treating Anxiety and Depression in Women: A Clinical Systematic Review. Medical Acupuncture Vol. 25, 3
Yang, X., Yang, N., Huang, F, Ren, S & Li, Z. (2021). Effectiveness of acupuncture on anxiety disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Annals of General Psychiatry. 20:9. http://doi.org/10.1186/s12991-021-00327-5