Mixed anxiety and depression is the most common mental illness in the UK. Caused by stress, trauma or a by-product of another mental disorder, anxiety can be tough to crack. However, acupuncture can work wonders for anxiety problems. But does it actually work? Acupuncture That Works brings you a handy guide for acupuncture for anxiety.
How does acupuncture work for anxiety?
In Eastern medicine, the flow of Qi, or internal balance of energy, is crucial for good health. Qi is affected when you’re facing prolonged emotional and physical stresses. The Qi is disrupted and you become anxious. Acupuncture helps you to understand your own natural energy and make links between supposedly unconnected symptoms. We use the needles and sometimes moxibustion as part of treatment, but you may need to consider your diet, fitness levels and your general lifestyle. Traditional Chinese Medicine links anxiety to imbalances in the heart and the kidney. The needles are used on points around the heart, kidney, ears and spleen to treat anxiety. However, there are various types of Qi deficiencies with different symptoms as listed below:
- Liver Qi Stagnation Affecting the Spleen
Unfocused mind, worried thoughts, palpitations, insomnia, low appetite, biting your tongue, weak pulse, moodiness, constipation or diarrhea, dry mouth.
- Kidney Qi Deficiency
Feelings of fear and dread, weakness in the knees, decreased libido, cold hands/feet, weak pulse, feeling the need to urinate constantly, lower back weakness.
- Heart/Spleen Qi Deficiency
Obsessive worry, palpitations, insomnia, low appetite, tense muscles, fatigue, low appetite, weak pulse
- Lung Qi Deficiency
Mood swings, sadness, fatigue, profuse sweating, tongue with thin white coating, weak pulse, shortness of breath, feeling as if you have a lump in your throat.
General benefits of acupuncture for anxiety
- Relieves stress
- Boosts energy
- Improves mood
- Reduces sweating/palpitations
- Immediate results
- Regulates your digestive system
Acupuncture can be an immediate treatment for anxiety and provides relief straight away. After your first session you’ll feel more relaxed as soon as you walk out of the door. However, not every session will give you full, immediate relief. It’s highly advisable for those with long-term anxiety problems to attend a course of sessions to reap the benefits. It’s also important to combine acupuncture with other treatments.