Can Acupuncture Help Control Anxiety?

If you are feeling anxious, acupuncture may be worth a try. Research has shown that the practice can be effective in reducing anxiety symptoms. There are minimal risks and side effects of doing acupuncture when done correctly and with sterile needles. Read on to know more.
Acupuncture

Acupuncture eases off anxiety by regulating your nervous system, specifically by bringing your nerves back into balance

Millions of people across the world suffer from mental health issues like anxiety, which refers to excessive worrying which is hard to control and often impacts your daily life. Experts mostly treat the condition with psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of both. However, there are many other alternative ways of treatment, which can help you feel much better.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese therapy through which you can pierce multiple needles on your skin that help with the symptoms of anxiety. However, researchers say they are still trying to determine the effect of acupuncture on specific types of anxiety like panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Does Acupuncture Work for Anxiety?

Experts feel acupuncture eases off anxiety by regulating your nervous system, specifically by bringing your nerves back into balance. It also helps shift your body into a relaxed state where the sympathetic system is more balanced and no longer dominating. During the therapy, your acupuncturist will insert long and thin needles into different pressures across all areas of your body. Depending on these pressure points the acupuncturist would add an electrical pulse to them and leave the needles in for up to 20 minutes before carefully removing them.
Experts say these treatments would be repeated several times before you may start noticing a change in your symptoms.

Where Do Acupuncture Needles Go for Anxiety?

Experts say the needles can be inserted into specific areas, based on your physical or mental symptoms. Points for anxiety may include:
  • Between your eyebrows
  • Insides of your wrists
  • On the feet
  • Your breastbone or ears

What Are the Benefits of Acupuncture?

Studies say acupuncture is extremely helpful for people with generalized anxiety disorders and helps treat symptoms like:
  • Agoraphobia
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Phobias
  • Selective mutism
  • Separation anxiety disorder
  • Social anxiety disorder
According to experts, acupuncture for anxiety is also helpful for surgical procedures. A study compared acupuncture and pharmacological treatment as those who had acupuncture before gallbladder surgery or hernia repair had less preoperative anxiety than those who took the anti-anxiety medication Midazolam, a type of benzodiazepine. Acupuncture also has other benefits, most of which include therapeutic effects on low-back, neck, and knee pain and headaches.

Side effects and risks

Even though it is a relatively safer treatment to follow, there are several things you must do to take care of side effects like the risk of bleeding, injuries, becoming unconscious, bruising, and pain from needles. A few of these include getting the procedure done only by licensed and qualified acupuncture practitioners.
Also, those with other health conditions should not have acupuncture. You should avoid it if you:
  • Have a pacemaker
  • Have a bleeding condition like hemophilia
End of Article
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