Anxiety Disorders & Acupuncture
Did you know that in the UK, there are over 6 million people (according to the most recent Psychiatric Morbidity Survey) suffering from anxiety and depression? There are many ways to treat these conditions, however, have you ever thought about acupuncture being a good solution?
Acupuncture is a well-known treatment extracted from ancient Chinese medicine and is the act of small, fine needles positioned in certain parts of the body for therapeutic or preventive reasoning. It involves the stimulation of senses in the muscles and under the skin. Acupuncture is a treatment that falls outside of mainstream healthcare, thus seen as Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAMs).
How can I tell if I have an anxiety disorder?
Anxiety can feel like a lot to handle. It is broadly defined on Dictionary.com as “distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune.”
There are 5 major types of anxiety:
- Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Panic Disorder
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
- Social Phobia
Anxiety disorders are actually very common. An estimated 13% of the (UK) adult population will develop a phobia at some point in their life and other studies have shown that approximately 2.5% of people may experience OCD at some point in their life.
Generally, anxiety is a long-term mental health condition that results in someone feeling anxious about a range of situations and issues rather than one situation.
If you feel as though you may be suffering from anxiety, it is urged that you visit your GP to obtain a diagnosis. Find out more here.
Can Acupuncture Reduce Anxiety?
Acupuncture is something used heavily within the Asian medical sector, normally for therapeutic reasoning. There are many reports supporting the fact that acupuncture can reduce the severity of generalized anxiety and panic attacks.
According to Health.com, it is common that Chinese medical practices showcase that the body is a whole system and that there is no need to “separate the physical and mental aspects [of a patient], as they’re both intimately tied together”
The sympathetic nervous system takes control of the “fight-or-flight” aspect when you are in an anxious state. Therefore limiting the “rest and digest” system, making it harder to make decisions and creating a lack of breath and heart racing.
Acupuncture can enable your body to go back into the relaxed state that it was in beforehand. This can help with anxiety patients by controlling their sympathetic system, rather than letting it becoming dominant over the other feelings you can control.