By Nicole Murray, L.Ac.

Seeking a Holistic Treatment for Anxiety?

Then you’ve come to the right place. Acupuncture for anxiety has proven safe and effective with none of the unwanted side effects that come from medication. But before we talk about using acupuncture for anxiety disorder, let’s briefly review this often misunderstood condition. Everyone can experience anxiety (worry and a sense of anxiousness) from time to time due to stressors. Anxiety as a disorder is characterized by persistent, excessive, and unrealistic worry about everyday things. Many patients with anxiety also experience depression alongside it.

Does Acupuncture Work for Anxiety?

More and more evidence mounts that acupuncture for anxiety and depression is valuable. Though not intended to replace cognitive behavior therapy or your primary care physician’s treatments, acupuncture has proven a viable alternative treatment for anxiety. Moreover, patients who use acupuncture for anxiety say they feel the benefits of the treatment – relief from their symptoms and a sense of relaxation – almost immediately.

As a holistic treatment for anxiety, acupuncture helps the body release natural painkilling chemicals or endorphins. This helps to restore the body to a more relaxed state where it is in control rather than in a state of being out of control. Evidence has indicated that acupuncture treatment for anxiety has the added benefit of helping patients’ better cope with stress or stressors going forward in addition to feeling the immediate sensation of relaxation and calm.

An Alternative Treatment for Anxiety with Many of the Same Benefits

Numerous studies have shown that acupuncture for anxiety and depression can be as effective or more effective than traditional medicine. The nature of mental illness is that medication and therapies impacts different people in different ways. A prescription may benefit one person with anxiety but that same prescription may have little to no effect on another. Acupuncture for anxiety works in the same way where some patients experience considerable relief while others may experience only temporary relief.

So the question is less “does acupuncture work for anxiety?” and more “how effective is acupuncture for anxiety and depression treatment?” Evidence has shown acupuncture treatments to act similar to other “mainstream” anxiety treatments in that it offers varying levels of effectiveness. Patients who are concerned about acupuncture as a holistic treatment for anxiety should consult their primary care physician, many of whom support the use of acupuncture as a complimentary or alternative treatment for anxiety.

So if you’ve thought about combining a holistic treatment for anxiety with your regular plan of care, contact us today at (619) 224-2442 to learn about how acupuncture can help.

Links to related articles:

http://www.apa.org/topics/anxiety/index.aspx

http://pro.psychcentral.com/2013/dsm-5-changes-anxiety-disorders-phobias/004266.html#

http://www.dsm5.org/Documents/changes%20from%20dsm-iv-tr%20to%20dsm-5.pdf

https://www.adaa.org/

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/anxiety-disorders/index.shtml?wvsessionid=wv650bd43245ce405884dd789794894544

http://www.dualdiagnosis.org/resource/patient-assessments/anxiety-disorders/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16738013

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18433653