In traditional Chinese medicine, emotions and physical health are intimately connected. Sadness, anxiety and anger, worry, fear, and weariness are each associated with a particular organ in the body. For example, irritability can affect the liver and result in menstrual pain, headache, redness of the face and eyes, dizziness and dry mouth.
Acupuncture for Anxiety
Anxiety can trigger a variety of responses in the human body, from physical responses such as sweating, nausea, diarrhoea, palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, cold hands and body aches, to emotional responses such as disturbed sleep, irritability, fear and poor concentration, as well as behavioural and cognitive responses. The mental strain of a fast-paced modern life can easily lead to this myriad of unpleasant symptoms.
Conventional treatment for anxiety disorders include psychological therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy, and medication such as antidepressants. All drug treatments have side effects, and many may cause withdrawal symptoms.
Acupuncture can be used to effectively treat anxiety. Research has shown that acupuncture helps to ease anxiety by acting on areas of the brain in charge with reducing sensitivity to pain and stress, hence promoting the relaxation response. Acupuncture regulates hormones and neurotransmitters that are known to affect our mood and well-being, such as endorphins, serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine. Acupuncture can be also used safely and effectively in conjunction with conventional drug treatment, minimising the unwanted side effects.
Treatment is always based on a full case history before deciding on a treatment plan that may consist of acupuncture, herbal medicine, lifestyle and dietary advice.
Stress related conditions
With our busy lives, stress now seems an inevitable part of daily life. Whether it be work, personal relationships or even keep up hectic social schedules, there is often very little time to truly relax.
Tension across the shoulders, headaches, short temperedness, insomnia, tiredness, aches and pains, digestive disorders or pmt are all made worse when the body is stressed.
When something stresses us, our qi stagnates. If something annoys us, it makes the body tense. This impedes the free flow of energy, blood and qi and problems occur. When this smooth flow is re-established, we feel relaxed and whatever imbalance was previously caused is restored.
The movement of qi and the ability to relax the body is one of acupuncture’s best attributes. Acupuncture leaves the majority of patients feel “chilled out”, “serene”, or simply very relaxed. For this reason many patients continue to come for acupuncture long after their original complaint has gone.