Being anxious is a normal emotion. We get anxious over things like our job, a test or other changes to our normal routine. Anxiety disorders are different and there are a number of treatment approaches for anxiety disorders. Acupuncture may be especially effective when combined with other treatments, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and then, for some, acupuncture treatments provide enough relief as a stand-alone therapy.
Managing anxiety can be difficult, as it may include therapies and medications that can take weeks to months to feel positive results. Medications may also produce undesired side effects. Often people can feel their symptoms diminish after only a few acupuncture treatments, while others may take longer. Whatever the case, the whole body is taken into consideration when devising a treatment plan with Chinese medicine allowing acupuncture to get to the cause of the problem for each individual person.
Acupuncture works by inserting hair thin needles into the skin, stimulating points on the body that unblock and bring balance to the flow of qi that run through channels, or meridians. The phases of wood, fire, earth, metal and water each correspond to these channels and are responsible for the organs in the body. These phases are effected by external and internal forces, which prompt imbalances of the flow of qi to occur. Phases can have nourishing or inhibiting effects on each channel and organ and therefore can have excesses and depletions, depending on the interaction of the phases.
A way Chinese medicine looks at anxiety is, that there is an imbalance in the relationship of the heart (fire, joy) and kidney (water, fear). If there is not enough water to control the raging fire, placing needles on appropriate points can significantly reduce anxiety.
If you are currently being medically treated for anxiety, you might want to try adding acupuncture to your current treatment plan. After a series of treatments, if you decide it works for you, you can talk with your doctor about carefully weaning slowly off anxiety medication.