A lot of people are very surprised when they tell me "ugh I've been so anxious lately" or "I always get depressed in the winter" and I respond with you need to try acupuncture! Nothing sounds more relaxing than laying with needles in your body right? But honestly it is in the top five things I treat with acupuncture because it works.
Anxiety and Acupuncture
More than 40 million U.S. adults have symptoms of anxiety, which refers to excessive worrying that’s hard to control and often impacts daily life. It’s often treated with psychotherapy, medications, or a combination of both.
Stimulating specific points can significantly lessen the severity of your symptoms.
Symptoms can include: Restlessness, excessive thoughts, worrying about things you can't control, feeling of weight on your chest, shortness of breath, nervousness, restlessness, or being tense, feelings of danger, panic, or dread, rapid heart rate, rapid breathing, or hyperventilation, increased or heavy sweating, trembling or muscle twitching weakness and lethargy.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is the insertion of very fine needles on various points on the body’s surface to influence physiological functioning of the body.
Acupuncture mobilizes and regulates qi (energy) and blood to stimulate the physiological function of the muscles, nerves, glands and organs.
The goal of acupuncture is to restore balance and health. Helping your body heal itself.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
Qi (pronounced “chee”) is an energy force that runs throughout the body. A person’s health is influenced by the flow of qi in the body. If the flow of qi is unbalanced, insufficient or interrupted, illness may occur.
Meridians are pathways throughout the body in which qi travels. There are 14 main meridians running vertically up and down the body, twelve of which correspond to organs. These meridians are the same on both sides of the body. Like qi, you cannot see meridians.
"One major hypothesis is that acupuncture works through neurohormonal pathways. Basically, you put the needle through specific points in the body and stimulate the nerve. The nerve actually sends signals to the brain, and the brain releases neural hormones such as beta-Endorphins. By doing that, the patient may feel euphoric, or happy, and this increases the pain threshold and they feel less pain,"
What to Expect
We come up with a game plan together, after filling out your paperwork and talking with me about the way you experience anxiety because everybody is different. That will help me determine which acupuncture points will be beneficial specifically for you.
You are in a private room, dim lights and a sound machine to help you ease your mind and relax. I start by having you lay down on your back and use alcohol swabs to clean the areas where the thin needles will be placed, that also gives you a heads up of where we will be going.
Acupuncture points are all over your body, if you prefer none in a certain area or on your face we can absolutely avoid those areas just let me know.
After the needles are placed they stay in for 20 minutes. I will leave the room so you can relax, nap, meditate whatever you need to do!
You likely won’t feel instant gratification. Most acupuncture treatments are intended to be repeated. Some people report immediate improvements but most notice subtle and gradual changes with repeated visits.
How Many Treatments Will I need?
This question will vary from each specific case and your goals. I will say that I most commonly recommend 3-6 visits close together (weekly or bi-weeekly) until we get your symptoms under control. Stacking the appointments helps build on the previous appointments and you tend see results quicker.
Once you feel that you are in a good place with your anxiety we can space out appointments and do monthly "tune-ups" or just schedule when you are having a rough week. I am supportive of whatever works best for you but I will always give you my personal recommendation.
Honestly in todays world with technology at our fingertips 24/7 I think it really is increasing anxiety. I often say just laying there for 20 minutes uninterrupted has a huge impact on your mental well being. It’s also important to keep up with any ongoing anxiety treatment, including prescribed medications, while getting acupuncture. You shouldn’t stop any medications without first discussing with your doctor.