Can Acupuncture Help With Anxiety?

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders are the most common illness in the U.S.A. Studies have shown that at least 1 in 4 adults will suffer from an anxiety disorder in their lifetime – but a very small percentage actually seek treatment for it. 

Some are wary of over the counter medicines which they feel may carry a stigma or have undesirable side effects. Others opt for more natural options and include a healthy diet and physical exercise as part of their anxiety management program.

Acupuncture has been chosen by some as a natural treatment for anxiety. Does it work?

Acupuncture for Anxiety – Does it Work?

Anxiety disorders can include panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), phobias and similar emotional or psychological issues.

The practice of acupuncture comes from traditional Chinese medicine and the belief that the energy channels within the body can become blocked. From a personal belief perspective, you may or may not subscribe to these theories. However, in 1997 the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognised acupuncture as a legitimate treatment for pain management and other conditions.

The results from studies done on acupuncture for anxiety show that this treatment has a calming effect on the body and mind.

In addition, it has been shown to release endorphins – the body’s foremost “happy hormone” which tend to be in short supply during times of acute stress. The insertion of fine needles in specific areas has been found to activate the body’s natural painkillers and has assisted in promoting better functioning of the organs.

A 2013 study published in the Journal of Endocrinology states, “We found that electronic acupuncture blocks the chronic, stress-induced elevations of the HPA axis hormones and the sympathetic NPY pathway…. Our growing body of evidence points to acupuncture’s protective effect against the stress response.” (Source)

It’s important to note that most disorders require won’t be “cured” after one treatment, one session or one dose of medicine. Rather, they require ongoing lifestyle changes and adjustments to see what works best. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.

If you would like to explore the viability of treating your anxiety with acupuncture, please give Dr Sanua a call and schedule your appointment today.


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