The idea of pricking your body with needles in order to relieve pain may seem counter-intuitive, but thousands of acupuncture patients swear the treatments are effective in addressing pain of all kinds. But can all those needles treat issues like anxiety?
Researchers from UC San Diego to UC San Francisco are finding the answer is YES. If you’re looking for a natural remedy for your anxiety and a long-term solution that doesn’t involve prescription drugs and hours of counseling, acupuncture can definitely be the way to go.
The idea behind acupuncture is to restore balance. Anyone experiencing anxiety may tell you they feel out of balance. By inserting needles into specific points, acupuncture practitioners believe that improved energy flow will remove blockages and allow for calm and clarity. This stimulation also boosts your body’s natural painkillers, increases blood flow, and reduces cortisol, all of which provide antidotes to anxiety.
According to UC San Diego, Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on an ancient philosophy that describes the universe, and the body, in terms of two opposing forces: yin and yang. When these forces are in balance, the body is healthy. Energy, called “qi” (pronounced “chee”), flows along specific pathways, called meridians, throughout the body. This constant flow of energy keeps the yin and yang forces balanced. However, if the flow of energy gets blocked, like water getting stuck behind a dam, the disruption can lead to pain, lack of function, or illness. Acupuncture therapy can release blocked qi in the body and stimulate function, evoking the body’s natural healing response through various physiological systems.
But how can acupuncture improve mental health? Because the body operates in harmony with other systems, repairing one system helps another. Acupuncture therapy stimulates the body’s various systems, and helps to resolve pain, and improve sleep, and sense of well-being.
For instance, in a study published in October 2013 in the Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, students who underwent a 20 minute acupuncture session were found to have less anxiety and better memory immediately afterward than those who didn’t have acupuncture. Why does it work? External circumstances beyond your control can set off your anxiety, but acupuncture allows your body to take back control.
Many patients find the treatment very relaxing and experience a feeling of well-being. Often patients are surprised at how comfortable they are during the treatment and how easily the needles are placed. You too can experience success with acupuncture treatment to address anxiety. Contact our compassionate, experienced team at Water’s Edge Natural Medicine today to schedule an appointment or consultation.
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