Acupuncture for Anxeity – Stick a Needle in it!
Anxiety. That word alone can spark feelings of unease – tension, worried thoughts and uncertainty. Anxiety, as defined by the American Psychiatric Association, is the “experience of persistent and excessive worry that interferes with daily activities. Physical symptoms which can accompany this excessive worry, consist of restlessness, feeling on edge or easily fatigued, difficulty concentrating, muscle tension or problems sleeping.”
If you struggle with anxiety, you are not alone. According to recent medical surveys, as compiled in Forbes, “Over 40 million adults (19.1% of the population) have an anxiety disorder in the U.S…. nearly one third of adults (32.3%) reported anxiety and depression symptoms in 2023.” This number has increased each year. Which is not surprising – we live in uncertainty, the very thing that feeds anxiety causing tension and a sense of “threat” from the unknown.
Mindfulness activities – exercises in focusing on the present moment with awareness – have been beneficial in reducing feelings of general anxiety. While completely accessible, it can be a slow-acting support. This is where Acupuncture comes in – a more immediate release.
There have been several studies done about the effects of acupuncture on anxiety, most of these focused on generalized anxiety disorder or GAD. These studies suggest that acupuncture is helpful, with little known side effects. A recent (2021) study showed significant improvement of symptoms when acupuncture was used as a treatment method. However, systemic review of past studies show some problems within the delivery of the reporting, so more testing is needed.
Even with the discrepancy, researchers agree that acupuncture eases the nervous system, bypassing that “fight or flight” stress response behind feelings of anxiety. And this is significant, because our emotional brain, if it remains in a stressed state, will hijack our abilities to make rational decisions and to act calmly. With calm senses, you can make logical decisions, and even be in a better mental space to assess and discern what caused the emotional attack in the first place.
Does the thought of needles give you anxiety? You may be surprised. The needles are small (not like a medical shot) and flexible. A skilled, professional acupuncturist can make the process easy, pain-free, and…anxiety-free!
Acupuncture treatment for patients who suffer from anxiety will consist of a thorough intake, followed by the insertion of small, single-use needles into strategic points (acupuncture points) on your body. These points engage with the nervous system, re-establishing your body’s baseline, so the parasympathetic (rest and digest response) and sympathetic (fight or flight response) systems will be reminded of when and how to fire appropriately. As you lie on the table while needles are retained, a feeling of relaxation will occur, and sometimes you will even fall asleep! Your session ends with removal of needles, recommendations provided by the acupuncturist, and any questions you may have will be answered. You will also discuss a treatment plan that is tailored to your lifestyle and set goals accordingly.
Ready to ease your anxiety? Our acupuncturist, Michelle Pasciak, has worked with patients consumed by anxiety, PTSD, depression, and other mental illnesses. The results for these patients have been positively life-changing, which is the reason Michelle does what she does.
Book your initial consultation with her – release and let go.