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Acupuncture for Anxiety


Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a psychological and physiological state characterized by excessive, exaggerated Anxiety and worry about everyday life events with no obvious reasons for worry. People with symptoms of GAD tend to always expect disaster and continuously worry about things such as health, money, family, work, or school. With worry out of proportion or unrealistic, daily life becomes a constant state of worry, fear, and dread. Eventually, the Anxiety dominates the person’s thinking and can interfere with daily functioning. It has been estimated that anxiety disorders affect between 5 and 7% of the general population and that up to 29% of people will suffer from an anxiety disorder at least once during their lifetime.  

Stress - At one time or another, all of us experience stress. These feelings are a healthy response to events in our lives that may feel beyond our control. When we are healthy and the stress is short-lived, we are usually able to recover without too much wear and tear to our overall health. However, when the stress is extreme, or if it lasts a long time, our emotional health and ultimately, our physical health begin to suffer.

Acupuncture is a powerful treatment for depression and Anxiety.  Acupuncture seeks to address body, mind, emotions, and spirit. The goal is to create harmony within ourselves and between ourselves and the world. This imbalance can take many forms and is ultimately discerned by the acupuncturist through an ongoing evaluation process which encompasses observation of posture, gait, palpation and asking about symptoms and history.

Our diagnosis describes your physical. General health and neuro-spinal imbalances. Stress, anger, or any intense emotion acts like a traffic jam, blocking the ability of our body to maintain balance. For example, many people who are very stressed out complain of upper back, shoulder and neck pain. This is because stress is causing tension in those areas, creating imbalances, causing pain, tightness, and often leading to headaches.

By inserting needles into the acupuncture points, which lie at specific predetermined anatomical locations, we stimulate body’s energy (Qi) to start the healing process and assist it in restoring its natural balance. Acupuncture points can help energy flow smoothly, and alleviate not only the symptoms of stress and anxiety but the stress and anxiety itself. From a Western viewpoint, acupuncture works to alleviate stress by releasing natural pain-killing chemicals in the brain, called endorphins. In addition, acupuncture improves circulation of blood throughout the body, which oxygenates the tissues and cycles out cortisol and other waste chemicals. The calming nature of acupuncture also decreases heart rate, lowers blood pressure and relaxes the muscles.

Positive changes in lifestyle and exercise are also very valuable to the anxiety sufferer. Activities such as stretch, exercise, and Yoga are excellent forms of mind-body exercise that can improve the ability to control both Anxiety and depression. Diet also plays an important part in the treatment of anxiety. Too much-refined sugars, for example, can cause wild fluctuations in blood sugar and insulin levels, which can significantly affect one’s mood and mental health. They also deplete B vitamins from the body, which can affect the nervous system. Excessive amounts of caffeine can increase anger and anxiety. As an adrenal stimulant, caffeine can ultimately lead to adrenal exhaustion and depression. Substituting refined sugar and caffeine with low glycemic foods and beverages can result in a reduced anxiety. Practicing these changes in conjunction with regular acupuncture treatments will provide the foundation for a positive change and medication free life for the anxiety sufferer. 

The problems with anxiety - Medications - Benzodiazepines-Alprazolam (Xanax), Chlordiazepoxide (Librium), Clonazepam (Klonopin), Diazepam (Valium), Lorazepam (Ativan) A group of drugs that help reduce anxiety and have sedating effects. They work quickly, but they can be habit-forming and are usually prescribed for short-term use. They may cause drowsiness, constipation, or nausea. Buspirone (BuSpar)- An anti-anxiety drug that does not seem to cause drowsiness or dependence. However, you must take it for 2 weeks before feeling any effect. Side effects can include insomnia, nervousness, light-headedness, upset stomach, nausea, diarrhea, and headaches.Antidepressants- Duloxetine (Cymbalta), Escitalopram (Lexapro), Fluoxetine (Prozac), Paroxetine (Paxil), Venlafaxine (Effexor) A group of drugs that act on the same brain chemicals believed to be involved in anxiety.Acupuncture in the treatment of anxiety has many excellences. In the hands of a trained, registered practitioner it is completely safe and free of side effects. It is immediate in result. While not every acupuncture session provides complete and full relief right away, as soon as you leave the acupuncturist (and in some cases the next morning), much of your anxiety should be diminished. 

Compare this to long-term treatments that generally require you to work on your anxiety a little at a time over a long period of time. For those with severe anxiety, that can be advantageous. It resolves the root issue of the anxiety alleviating all of the various symptoms. It does not interfere with other medications or treatments. It is suitable for all ages and states of health and perfectly safe during pregnancy.

An Acupuncture treatment is tailor-made to the patient. This means that rather than looking simply at “anxiety” and inserting “anxiety points”, it looks at how anxiety is affecting the individual specifically. What signs and symptoms are present for this individual at different times throughout their condition and treats accordingly leading to an anxiety free future.

Contact Us for any question in regard to acupuncture care and your condition.

Pro-Holistic Care

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