Choosing Acupuncture For Anxiety
Research doesn’t confirm acupuncture’s claims, but it doesn’t deny it. Those that believe in the power of eastern medicines and feel the anecdotal evidence that supports acupuncture is sufficient may want to give it a try. Acupuncture has centuries of support in the East, and many believe it’s one of the most powerful ways to fight not only anxiety, but other health issues as well.
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Chinese Herbal Medicine For Tension Headaches
For those seeking natural therapies, Chinese Medicine has more than acupuncture up its sleeve: Chinese herbal medicine is an effective therapeutic option for tension headaches. At our herbal consultations, we custom-formulate every herbal preparation to your specific condition and constitution.
We use the diagnostic techniques of analyzing the patients symptoms, measuring the pulse, and observing the tongue to decide which herbs will make up the mixture. While each formula will vary depending on your individual needs, the herbs listed below are examples of ingredients commonly found in headache formulas. As a group, these herbs:
- alleviate pain,
Chuan xiong is a warming herb that is one of the most commonly used to activate blood circulation in the body. Its used in Chinese herbal medicine for many types of disorders related to blood flow, making it an excellent pain reliever. Its ascending and dispersing nature help to guide the pain relieving function of the herb to the head area, making it especially useful when treating headaches.
How Often Will I Need To Get Acupuncture
The good news is that you will feel better after just one acupuncture session. However, a single treatment wont be enough to relieve the symptoms of stress forever. Depending on how stress has impacted your heath, it may take 5 10 sessions to bring longer-lasting relief from the stress. If you have had chronic stress and the associated health problems for many years, it may take longer. Many patients, once they are feeling better, will choose to come in for regular wellness care and stress relief, typically once or twice a month for an acupuncture tune-up.
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The Problem With Too Many Problems
The problem comes when we are chronically locked into a fight-or-flight response, due to our perception of ongoing threats. In the average life of many modern urban students and professionals like most of the clients that come to our clinic, almost all of these threats are mental and emotional in naturenot threats of actual physical harm. When stress becomes chronic, our digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular, reproductive, and hormonal systems, as well as our brain, start to take a beating.
This kind of chronic stress starts to lead to the extensive list of stress-related symptoms mentioned above. Not so great.
How Does Stress Impact Your Health
The stress response is a survival mechanism, designed to help us survive a threatening situation. Back in the days of hunting and gathering, those threats were short-lived, and the stress response came and went. In todays world, stress tends to be chronic and we stay in a state of high stress for long periods of time. This long-term stress is damaging our health. The first thing that happens during any stress response is a hormone called cortisol is released from the adrenal glands into the body.
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How Does Acupuncture Help Relieve Stress
Acupuncture is an effective treatment that involves the insertion of extremely fine needles into the skin at specific acupuncture points. Its mostly known for relieving pain within the body, but acupuncture can also relieve stress and anxiety. When stress is extreme, our emotional health and physical health begin to suffer, developing into anxiety, depression or fatigue. Acupuncture can help control stress and anxiety, as it affects the part of your brain that regulates emotions, reducing stress naturally.
How Do You Know If Acupuncture Is Working For Stress Or Anxiety
In cases where people have high blood pressure and take medication, studies show that acupuncture significantly helps lower blood pressure. Acupuncture is not always straightforward, it works by balancing the whole body and eliciting the bodys natural healing mechanism. Most often people feel more relaxed, have better sleep, and digestion, as well as a sense of overall wellbeing. One thing that people notice is that they have more patience and dont feel like they are being rushed. Sometimes people dont realize they are feeling better until someone else says that they seem relaxed and happy.
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About the Author
Tsao-Lin Moy, LAc
Tsao-Lin Moy, LAc, has over 18 years of experience in alternative and Chinese medicine. She is the founder of Integrative Healing Arts in NYC which utilizes acupuncture, herbal medicine and energy healing to treat patients. It is her integrative approach of using the ancient Eastern philosophy and healing methods while supporting Western paradigms of health to achieve optimal health. Specializing in fertility, stress, anxiety, immunity, and sleep.
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The Central Autonomic Networkthe Key To Being In The Present Moment
When HRV gets into optimal ranges, this creates a positive influence in the Central Autonomic Network , which is very desirable indeed. CAN refers to the parts of the brain that create our executive function, consisting of:
- Working memorystore details of our current surroundings and events to integrate the changes that are happening around us.
- Gathering and organizing information from the mind and body to negotiate and respond to present moment experience.
As described in The Wild Medicine Solution, by Guido Mase:
Between these 2 functions, the CAN literally acts as a bridge between mind and body It seems to be a major, central structure involved in keeping us on top of day-to-day changes, especially unexpected sources of stress. As such, it is crucial to successful performance in response to a wide range of social and cultural demands.
Thus, a healthy CAN is key to navigating a stressful life while keeping our body in a non-stressed state of being. CAN inhibits our flight/fight response and promotes greater amounts of time spent in the rest-and-digest response .
Therefore, when our CAN is active, and HRV is high, executive function increases, and we are:
- better adapted to our circumstances
- more effective and accurate in our decision making
- more focused
- happier and less stressed about everything we are doing
- less prone to heart disease, heart attacks, stress, anxiety, and depression
Acupuncture For Stress Relief
We shouldnt take stress lightly. Long-term stress leads to mental and physical health complications. To manage and control stress, many people turn to acupuncture.
Stress prevents positive energy throughout the body. Acupuncture applies pressure to designated areas. The pressure stimulate better energy flow and eases symptoms of stress.
Acupuncture targets specific zones of your body. Doing so stimulates your bodys endorphin release. The release of endorphins lowers your bodys cortisol, your stress hormone, level. At the same time, the treatment increases happy hormones like serotonin and dopamine.
The sympathetic nervous system activates under stress and is responsible for a persons fight or flight response. The parasympathetic system is responsible for stimulating rest and digestion throughout the body. Acupuncture balances these systems to lower widespread stress and promote whole-body healing.
The Acupuncture Evidence Project in 2017 determined a link between stress and acupuncture. The study states the effects of acupuncture for treating anxiety are significant compared to conventional stress treatments.
Lower stress leads to widespread benefits. It improves mental clarity, focus, and energy levels. Less stress elevates digestive functions and lowers the risk of weight gain.
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Acupuncture For Stress Anxiety And Depression
According to the theory of acupuncture, the free flow of body energy is seen as essential for good health. Prolonged exposure to extreme or intense situations, be they physical, mental, emotional or spiritual, can cause disruptions in this flow. These disturbances ripple through the whole system, sometimes causing symptoms in distant parts of the body. We all have our weak points and they differ between individuals. For one person it might be sleep, for another, skin or the digestive system.
During your initial consultation your acupuncturist will take time to ask you a range of questions about your physical and mental health. An acupuncturists skill lies in making sense of seemingly unconnected symptoms, then using acupuncture to promote the flow of Qi in such as way as help the body to find its own balance.
Your acupuncturist will give you feedback about how acupuncture might help and what kind of changes to look out for after treatment.
What Are The Symptoms Of Anxiety Which Reduces With Acupressure Points
Before we find out the best acupressure points for stress and anxiety, it is imperative to aware yourself with the symptoms of anxiety. These include:
- Panic and constant worry
- Headaches, nausea, and digestive problems
- Muscle tension
- Insomnia or trouble sleeping
However, acupressure is considered as a home alternative to fight stress and anxiety, one should always ask for professional help if the symptoms are elevated or cant be controlled by pressing acupressure points alone.
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How Does Acupuncture Treat Stress
In Chinese medicine, stress causes a blockage to the circulation of your vital life force, known as Qi. The circulatory system is made up of meridians which carry blood and qi to all of the organs and cells of the body. These meridians are like highways, and stress causes a traffic jam. This leads to the many symptoms of stress. Acupuncture reduces stress by placing very fine needles along the meridians, which breaks up the congestion and gets traffic moving.
Reasons To Try Acupuncture For Stress And Anxiety Relief
Im so stressed out! Im under a deadline at work all the time, and I cant shut off at the end of the day. I feel anxious all the time and cant relax. My doctor warned me to reduce stressshes worried about my heart.These statements are all too common in todays frenetic culture. With so much mental strain and pressure in our daily lives, using acupuncture for stress and anxiety relief is the foundation for emotional balance and physical health.You may stop into Merriam Park Acupuncture to treat your stress symptoms, but our treatment approach extends so much further than symptom relief. We care deeply about your healing story and dedicate ourselves to building holistic health and balance in every patient we treat.Book today for an appointment to reduce the effects of stress and anxiety, and to build balance, relaxation, and peace of mind in your busy life.
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Acupuncturecreating Balance In The Nervous System
Simply put, acupuncture helps get HRV into optimal ranges, which also keeps our Central Autonomic Network healthy. A 2012 meta-analysis of studies on acupuncture and HRV found that acupuncture does indeed improve patients HRV scores. This helped patients improve their symptoms, which in these studies were heart disease, hypertension, mild anxiety and depression, insomnia, migraines, and muscle pain.
One of the key points that the authors emphasized was the dosage of acupuncture was important in helping patients get results, both in number of points per session, and frequency and duration of the treatment plan. In studies where patients received only 1-3 points per treatment, or got treatment only once every 2-4 weeks, results were decreased. In studies where patients received more points, and treatments at least weekly, results increased.
In our experience, this is also true. Acupuncture is like a physical therapy for the nervous system. With sufficient numbers of treatments and points per session, acupuncture helps the nervous system adapt and re-educate itself to operate in a more optimal way.
Top 10 Benefits Of Acupuncture For Workplace Stress And Pain
Acupuncture can increase your chances of workplace success and offers many benefits to boost your productivity. Acupuncture may also reduce the physical and emotional impacts of an unhealthy or stressful work environment.
At Aligned Modern Health in Chicago, we help professionals do their best by feeling their best! We offer a range of natural treatments to combat stress and chronic pain.
Your health and wellbeing arent priorities that are exclusive to hours outside of your workspace. Health is a round-the-clock job that is linked to both your happiness and productivity. This is why the most successful people commit to promoting their own health and healing underlying pain or conditions that inhibit daily tasks. At Aligned Modern Health we help professionals across Chicagoland achieve their best by feeling their best and resolving underlying pain and stress.
Employees and employers alike are tapping into strategies for a healthier workplace that include specialized services like acupuncture which offers many benefits that extend beyond the office.
Heres a look at the Top 10 Benefits of Acupuncture in the Workplace:1. Reduced Stress
2. Reduced Back Pain, Neck Tension and Relieve Joint Pain in the Hands and Arms
Acupuncture needles are hair-thin and flexible, which means you hardly feel them when inserted.
3. Relief from Headaches
4. Reduced Eye Strain
5. Improved Immune System and Reduced Sick Days
6. Enhanced Mental Clarity and Increased Energy
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How Often Should You Get Acupuncture For Stress
Depending on your personal goals and how long youve been dealing with a particular condition, you can expect to feel a little better with each treatment.
A general guideline: If youre brand new to acupuncture, we recommend coming once a week for the first month so that your bodys natural healing defenses can fully kick in and youll feel the effects begin to build up, says Auth. At that point, your acupuncturist can reassess your treatment plan.
2018 review , studies show that acupuncture can be effective in treating people with obesity, possibly due to neuroendocrine regulation.
When the body is under stress, it releases stress hormones that cause weight gain, an evolutionary response to survival, says Vander Baan. Traditionally, the stress response was a signal to the body to prepare for fight-or-flight and stimulated the activation of survival mode.
Today an overactive stress response causes the body to chronically store excess weight. By down-regulating the sympathetic nervous system, acupuncture may help prevent and reverse the effects of the stress response on fat storage.
Acupuncture may also promote digestion and metabolism.
In Chinese medicine, the liver system is responsible for processing stress, and when it becomes overwhelmed, it tends to overact on the spleen system, says Vander Baan. Treatment includes relieving the stress that overwhelms the liver while supporting the digestive system that has been taxed by the liver.
- the Four Doors points
Relation Between Acupressure And Anxiety
Studies published in Journal of PeriAnesthesia and Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies reported that pressure points between the eyebrows along with others proved to help people before they went for abdominal surgeries and cesarean sections. Deep and firm pressure can be applied as much as necessary to relieve stress that one experiences within a day and a considerable change could be noticed in a matter of a few days.
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Can Acupuncture Help Cure Anxiety
Acupuncture as a technique involves the penetration of finely pointed and thin needles on various acupoints present within our skin. These acupoints channelize the energy within and cure the ailment or disorder. The needles induced inside stimulate power across several connected pathways.
China has an ancient history using acupuncture as a way of treatment. When we talk about acupuncture, the first thing you need to consider is choosing a well-trained practitioner of the respective procedure.
Common Acupuncture Points For Stress
When it comes to acupuncture treatment for stress, there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
While there are points that consistently improve stress, acupuncture treatments are always customized to the patient and their particular constitution and symptoms, says Vander Baan. Because stress has systemic effects on the body, we want to treat the whole person and consider where the imbalances are for that particular person.
That being said, Vander Baan often uses specific acupoints for stress in her patients. These include:
- PC6 in the inner wrist
- HT7 in the inner wrist
- yin tang between the eyebrows
- ear points, which are known to regulate the nervous system
In his practice, Sher uses DU-20 at the crown of the head, to treat stress in the people he performs acupuncture on.
DU-20 clears the mind to help you feel focused and present, and it also helps relieve depression and sadness, he says.
Like Vander Baan, Sher also uses the point yin tang to treat stress.
Yin tang calms the spirit and takes the edge off emotional restlessness and anxiety it also promotes deep relaxation and treats insomnia, Sher says.
Ren-17, located in the middle of the chest, is another point that Sher uses to target stress in his practice of acupuncture.
Its especially for those who tend to feel the effects of stress or anxiety in their chest, such as shortness of breath, tightness, or palpitations, says Sher. Ren-17 relaxes and opens the chest and releases the diaphragm.
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Acupuncture And Massage Therapy Can Boost Mental Health
With a stronger emphasis on safely and effectively managing mental health problems, the use of conventional treatment methods has been a cause of concern for some. The use of prescription drugs, such as antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, can put those who take them at risk of experiencing side effects.
Other conventional treatment methods, such as therapy, are not always effective enough to manage symptoms of these disorders. Alternative forms of medicine, including massage therapy and acupuncture, have been gaining popularity among those who want a more natural treatment method. These types of treatments offer important benefits for those who struggle with mental health problems.