Everyone feels anxious occasionally, but when anxiety becomes a chronic problem, it can be hard to get through the day. Although anti-anxiety medications can help reduce your symptoms, they have a variety of unpleasant side effects, ranging from drowsiness and nausea to impaired thinking and confusion. Acupuncture provides a natural way to relieve anxiety without any side effects.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical treatment that helps improve health by improving the flow of a vital life force called Qi. When Qi becomes blocked, a variety of ailments can occur, including anxiety. Acupuncture practitioners insert very thin needles into the body at strategic points to unclog blocked areas, allowing Qi to once again flow freely.
Practitioners take the time to get to know you before creating a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses your particular problems. Because they truly understand the mind-body connection, they can use their skills to relieve a variety of physical and emotional ailments.
What Is Anxiety?
Although feeling nervous is part of the disorder, anxiety involves much more than feeling a little jittery. If you have anxiety, you may experience any of these symptoms:
- An uneasy feeling
- Fear, panic or dread
- Shortness of breath
- Sweaty or cold hands and feet
- Tingling in the hands and feet
- Nausea and dizziness
- Heart palpitations
- Muscle tension
- Trouble sleeping
What Are the Types of Anxiety?
Chinese medicine divides anxiety into several different types, depending on the location of the blockage. They include:
- Kidney Qi Deficiency: If you have this type of anxiety disorder, you may be preoccupied and experience feelings of dread or fear. Physical symptoms include frequent urination, weakness in the knees and lower back, lack of sexual desire and cold hands and feet.
- Heart/Spleen Qi Deficiency: This deficiency causes excessive worry, preoccupation and a dislike of talking, in addition to insomnia, weak pulse, pale tongue, palpitations, fatigue and loss of appetite.
- Lung Qi Deficiency: You may notice that you feel moody or sad if you have Lung Qi Deficiency. Other symptoms include fatigue, cough, shortness of breath, an uncomfortable feeling in the throat and sweating with little exertion.
- Liver Qi Stagnation: Liver Qi stagnation makes you feel irritable, moody and preoccupied and can cause muscle tension, poor appetite, a weak pulse, diarrhea and constipation.
Does It Work?
Researchers are finally discovering what practitioners have known for years: Acupuncture is an effective way to relieve anxiety. In one study reported in the Global Advances in Health and Medicine Journal, scalp acupuncture with electrical stimulation significantly reduced generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder in patients with severe anxiety.
Other studies have discovered that acupuncture can activate your relaxation response, reduce sensitivity to stress and pain and stimulate the production of hormones that help you feel less anxious, such as serotonin and dopamine.
Looking for a natural way to treat anxiety or other medical or emotional problems? Call us and find out how we can help you feel better.
3 Natural Ways to Alleviate Anxiety
If you suffer from anxiety but would like to avoid taking medication to manage the condition, you have several natural treatment options (including acupuncture!). The following three natural methods for managing anxiety will help you feel calmer and more in control.
Breathing essential oils, such as lavender, can help you feel calmer. Try putting a few drops on your collarbone or placing the oil in an aromatherapy diffuser. Herbal supplements are another option. Both lemon balm and passionflower are helpful in reducing anxiety, excitability and nervousness. Prefer your supplement in liquid form? Brew a cup of chamomile tea and sip your worries away.
Meditation is an excellent way to relieve stress and anxiety. It involves clearing your mind of all thoughts and focusing on an image or a mantra, which is a word or series of words that you repeat. Meditating just a few minutes daily can help reduce anxiety, decrease blood pressure and muscle tension, and improve your ability to concentrate.
Gamma Aminobutyric Acid, or GABA, works by blocking brain cells that play a part in anxiety. If your GABA level is too low, you may experience anxiety and panic attacks. Taking GABA supplements can, not only reduce anxiety and improve your mood, but may also lower blood pressure and help you burn fat more efficiently.