According to Mind, the mental health charity, six in 100 people report experiencing generalised anxiety during any given week in England.
Anxiety is considered one of the most common mental disorders globally, and with numbers rising, many people are now seeking out ways to combat the symptoms.
But how can acupuncture help anxiety?
Acupuncture for anxiety has become increasingly popular in recent years as people seek to manage the condition either without medication or in conjunction with medicine and other therapies.
Acupuncture is regularly used as a less invasive and low-risk therapy option. It is believed to help by stimulating the body’s natural feel-good hormones and activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which reduces the stress hormone cortisol.
By pinpointing specific acupoints, practitioners can help to rebalance the body’s life energy Qi and promote overall wellbeing mentally, emotionally and physiologically.
Acupuncture Points for Anxiety
There is a range of acupuncture points practitioners will use to relieve anxiety symptoms. Some of the most commonly targeted points are:
HT7– This point is located at the wrist crease and in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is thought to calm the spirit. It is often used to reduce blood pressure, help insomnia, night sweats, heart palpitations, nausea and other physical symptoms of anxiety.
GV24 – This point is located in the hairline in the middle of the forehead. It aims to help anxiety by calming any racing thoughts and directing any nervous energy in the head, down and out of the body. It is thought to help relieve panic attacks, feelings of stress and depression.
PC6 – This point is located above the wrist crease and is regularly used by practitioners to reduce nausea, nervousness and stress. It can also help reduce other physical anxiety symptoms in the chest area, like chest tightness and palpitations.
How often should you have acupuncture to help anxiety?
Every individual is different, and after discussing your anxiety symptoms, lifestyle and concerns with your practitioner, they will suggest how often they believe you should attend sessions to benefit from acupuncture.
Most people receiving acupuncture for anxiety will choose to have one to two sessions a week lasting anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. Usually, after insertion, the practitioner will leave the needles to work for 20 minutes before gently removing them.
After a single session, it is unlikely you will notice any difference, although many patients report feeling more relaxed and refreshed after. Acupuncture for anxiety is intended to be repeated regularly and consistently for a person to experience the long-term benefits.