Anxiety can be a difficult disease to live with, often scaring individuals from social situations or from certain activities. Over two million Australians suffer from the mental health condition, which comes in infinite different forms with varying degrees of intensity.
Fortunately, there are alternatives to modern medicine that are successful in getting to the root cause of the anxiety, and helping to alleviate its symptoms. One of the most popular treatments for anxiety is acupuncture, which has been used in Chinese culture for centuries.
Acupuncture can be used for patients suffering mild to moderate anxiety and works using both external and internal parts of the body and mind. Just as each individual is unique, anxiety can manifest in different ways and the treatment process must reflect this.
Acupuncture can offer a personalised treatment option, that acts as more than just a Band-Aid solution to the problem – as is the case with many prescribed anxiety medications which help to prevent the symptoms of the underlying cause. Where traditional medicine understands anxiety as an ailment of the of the mind, traditional Chinese medicine understand it to be of all organs throughout the body.
Traditional Chinese acupuncture works on a principle of energy flow throughout the body, known as qi. Like blood, qi flows through the body through a number of channels called meridians, which connect and nourish all of the organs and tissues. Essentially, it is an energy superhighway. Smooth qi flow throughout the body is vital for a healthy mind and body, just as traffic might be for a city. When factors such as stress, trauma, injury and poor nutrition disrupt the natural flow of qi, causing stagnation, it can create health issues like anxiety.
During an acupuncture treatment, needles are inserted into specific acupuncture points along the meridians. This stimulates and restores the flow of qi (as well as blood) to the area, clearing blockages and detoxifying the body. Acupuncture has also been known to stimulate the brain’s emotional response centre, which can include the receptors that trigger anxiety.
In traditional Chinese medicine, each organ is associated with different emotions. The spleen or the heart are connected to worry, stress and anxiety. Ever heard of the expression ‘a knot in your stomach’ when you are concerned about something? Worry and stress might cause stagnation of qi flow to the abdominal area, preventing the individual from being able to cope with the emotional response.
Using acupuncture in the area, or in opposing balancing areas, the stagnant qi can be stimulated and circulated, allowing healthy flow once more. An acupuncture therapist works closely with their patients before the first needle has even been placed, assessing the individual inside and out to determine the cause and location of the imbalance. The ultimate goal of acupuncture for anxiety is to achieve harmony and balance within ourselves and between ourselves and the external world.
A key part of helping to cure anxiety long-term is determining and treating the root cause, which is a large part of what makes acupuncture successful. Although anxiety is common, it doesn’t have to be something that takes over your life.
To find out more about how acupuncture can help to manage anxiety, or to book an appointment, please contact us on 5679 351 or via our contact page.