Treating Anxiety With Acupuncture
Updated: Jan 27
It's no secret that the mental health of Canadians has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Fears about the virus and uncertainties about the future have only gotten worse. Simply put — stress and anxiety disorders are on the rise.
While anxiety and stress are perfectly normal reactions to the strange times we find ourselves in, when they become disproportionate to our other feelings and ultimately unmanageable, our lives begin to feel chaotic and out of control.
Is Your Anxiety Problematic?
Anxiety can look like different things for different people. Most times, anxiety is characterized by intense feelings of tension, racing thoughts and physical symptoms like increased blood pressure, sweating, a racing heart or hurried breath.
For many people this year, anxiety is a new feeling. The stressors of the pandemic have caused an influx of foreign feelings. It might be a sudden panic at work that leaves you feeling breathless. It might be a fixation on an event that happened at work that might not have bothered you before. Nut now, it feels like it means you might lose your job.
Because you might never have had anxiety before, thinking about natural ways to treat it might also feel foreign to you. But, for the millions of Canadians who suffer from anxiety and anxiety disorders, acupuncture has become a natural remedy that has improved their lives exponentially.
What Is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine that is directed by the belief that an energy force called QI regulates the body. Qi moves throughout the body via pathways called meridians. When factors like stress, poor nutrition, and anxiety disrupt the flow of QI, physical health symptoms start to occur.
If this feels a little corny to you, think of Qi as another way of saying metabolic function. By inserting acupuncture needles into specific points of the body, a practitioner can restore the balance of QI and alleviate mental and physical symptoms.
Also Read: The Benefits Of Electroacupuncture
How Does Acupuncture Work?
Acupuncture needles are inserted approximately half a millimeter away from a nerve. This causes the body to release different chemicals, allowing the body to naturally heal itself and regulate emotions including anxiety.
The great thing about using acupuncture for anxiety is that it essentially has no risks involved, but the potential benefits are endless. Countless studies have shown that acupuncture helps mitigate the feelings of anxiety, aids in sleep and promotes a healthy mental wellbeing.
For example, a study published in the Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies found that patients who underwent a 20-minute session were found to have reduced anxiety immediately after those who did not receive the treatment.
Another study published as recently as 2021 found there were effects of acupuncture on reducing anxious symptoms in patients with anxiety disorder, and that it was both safe and had good compliance.
Never Tried Acupuncture Before?
While acupuncture continues to grow in popularity here in Edmonton, there are still many people who have yet to see the benefits in their own lives.
If you have questions about acupuncture, like whether it hurts or what to expect on your first appointment, check out my recent blog post here. If you are interested in learning more about how you can use acupuncture as a complementary tool to your current mental health plan, contact me.
As a certified acupuncturist and holistic practitioner in Edmonton, my goal is to do everything I can to help my patients live healthier and more fulfilled lives. While this might seem harder than ever, there are so many tools at our disposal, including acupuncture.