Updated: Jul 10, 2020
Anxiety disorders affect up to 30% of the world's population, yet only about 37% of those affected receive treatment! Anxiety medications can lose their effectiveness over time, forcing increasingly higher dosages and shifts between medications to maintain mental health. Theses medications can also cause as unwanted side-effects as well.
Symptoms of Anxiety
Anxiety can present in different ways depending on the individual, but some of the most commonly experienced symptoms include:
Shortness of breath
Feeling restless or "on edge"
Fast heartbeat (tachycardia)
Acupuncture for Anxiety
Acupuncture is incredibly effective for the treatment of anxiety. In fact, studies have proven that acupuncture produces quicker and more effective results than medications and therapy combined! Because it regulates your body’s chemical balance naturally, acupuncture can even prevent patients from needing medication at all.
Acupuncture acts on areas of the brain known to reduce sensitivity to pain as well as stress. Acupuncture promotes relaxation, stimulates the release of endorphins (your body's feel-good chemicals) and it regulates levels of neurotransmitters (such as serotonin, dopamine, and GABA) to combat brain chemistry that perpetuates the cycle of negative moods. Additionally, acupuncture enhances the body's ability to cope with stress by improving heart rate variability (HRV).
The Benefits of Acupuncture for Anxiety:
Calms the nervous system
Stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system
Reduces elevated heart rate
Improves heart rate variability
Lowers cortisol levels
Relaxes muscle tension
While stress from anxiety activates the sympathetic nervous system, acupuncture activates the parasympathetic nervous system to initiate a full relaxation response in the body.
Acupuncture is very effective in treating anxiety, even in patients who are non-responsive to cognitive behavioral therapy or medication. In one study, non-responsive patients were given a course of acupuncture treatments and maintained their improvement on the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) for 10 weeks. (Note: the BAI is a 21-question multiple-choice self-report inventory used for measuring the severity of anxiety.)
Overall, there is good scientific evidence encouraging acupuncture therapy to treat anxiety disorders as it yields effective outcomes, with fewer side effects than conventional treatment.
If you struggle with anxiety in your daily life, you don't have to keep battling it alone! Click here to schedule your FREE consultation and let us help you start your anxiety-free life today.
Anxiety and Depression Association of America. "Facts and Statistics." (n.d.) Retrieved from https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics#
Complement Ther Clin Pract. "Acupuncture and electroacupuncture for anxiety disorders: A systematic review of the clinical research." (May 2018). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29705474
Hunstad, Eric P. "Acupuncture Information Manual (AIM)." (2017).