Acupuncture How It Works

If you are looking for an alternative to medication for depression and anxiety, acupuncture just may be your answer. Acupuncture has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety.

Stress and anxiety is a natural part of life, but with our seemingly never-ending hectic lifestyles, we are more stressed out than ever!

There are various techniques you can use to relieve stress, such as yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and more. You may want to try several methods of de-stressing to find a method you feel most comfortable with.

Does acupuncture work for anxiety?

Working on the traditional acupuncture points can help your energy to flow instead of being ‘blocked up’, this will help alleviate the symptoms of stress and anxiety, but you need to focus on what is causing your stress and anxiety so that the blockages won’t return.

By making lifestyle changes in conjunction with regular acupuncture treatments, this will help to provide the foundation for a positive change in your life.

What is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese healing art that involves inserting fine needles at very precise pressure points throughout the body. The needles stimulate the body’s natural healing processes in its energy system.

How Does Acupuncture Work?

Acupuncturists believe that energy flows through the body system through channels called meridians. This energy is referred to as Qi or Chi.

Stress causes an imbalance in the body’s energy and causes it to flow improperly. The Qi can become blocked and stagnant. It must be unblocked and flow freely in order to restore harmonious balance to the body.

An ‘acupuncturist’ inserts needles into identified acupuncture points, these are called, “meridians” which run throughout the human body and this energy corresponds with certain body organs. The ‘meridians’ can be thought of as a flow of energy, or “qi” or chi as it is known in traditional Chinese medicine.

Acupuncture works by getting rid of these energy points that have become backed up.

Science has shown that acupuncture releases endorphins, and activates your body’s natural pain relievers. And we now understand that it affects many other biological functions as well.

Traditional Chinese medicine sees acupuncture as improving your body’s functions by correcting these blockages and/or imbalances in the organs that create disease and pain.

Being continually stressed out leads to any weakness in your body to be affected.

By stimulating the proper acupressure points, the Qi can flow freely, thereby alleviating stress-induced mental and physical symptoms.

Is Acupuncture Safe?

Acupuncture is perfectly safe when performed by a licensed practitioner. Acupuncturists are trained in the proper methods of treatment and all instruments are sterilized to prevent any risk of infection.

There are very few, if any, side effects. Acupuncture can be effectively combined with other treatments, including western medicine. It has been proven to help control some types of pain. It may help patients for whom pain medications are just not suitable.

The Food and Drug Administration approved non-toxic needles made for single use application just for use in acupuncture treatments. The majority of people who undergo acupuncture feel no pain at all. A small percentage may feel very minimal pain. Bleeding rarely occurs.

Acupuncture Benefits

Acupuncture can relieve the physical symptoms of stress that tend to accumulate in the neck, shoulders, and back, causing pain and tension. Headaches are another physical complaint resulting from stress. People who are under high levels of stress often have high blood pressure, it has been shown to help in cases of low back pain, neck pain, osteoarthritis, knee pain, headache, and migraines.

Research carried out in Germany has shown that acupuncture may help relieve tension headaches and migraines.

Acupuncture can relieve physical symptoms, such as tense muscles, and even help to lower blood pressure. Acupuncture leaves the body feeling calm and relaxed. An added benefit of acupuncture is that it improves the circulation of the blood throughout the body.

[box] The World Health Organization (WHO) listed a number of conditions in which they say acupuncture has shown to be effective.

These include: helping high and low blood pressure, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, some gastric conditions, including peptic ulcers, painful periods, dysentery, allergic rhinitis, facial, pain morning sickness, rheumatoid arthritis, sprains, tennis elbow, sciatica, dental pain, reducing the risk of stroke, and even inducing labor.

These include:

helping high and low blood pressure, chemotherapy-induced nausea, and vomiting, some gastric conditions, including peptic ulcers, painful periods, dysentery, allergic rhinitis, facial, pain morning sickness, rheumatoid arthritis, sprains, tennis elbow, sciatica, dental pain, reducing the risk of stroke, and even inducing labor

Acupuncture Treatment Sessions

A typical acupuncture session may last for 30 to 60 minutes. The patient will become very relaxed during the treatment and may even fall asleep.

Regular acupuncture treatments can help strengthen your body so you’re better able to deal with the day-to-day stresses of life.

How many Acupuncture treatments will I need?

The frequency and number of acupuncture treatments will be different from person to person depending on the problem. Some people experience dramatic relief in the very first treatment.

For more complex, or chronic conditions, one to two treatments a week, for several months, maybe the best way to go. For some problems, fewer visits may be required, usually eight to ten visits in total.

An individualized treatment plan should be discussed during your initial visit.

Acupuncture can also leave you feeling refreshed and energized.

Some people feel very relaxed, while others feel energized after an acupuncture treatment. But like almost any medical treatments, not everyone responds to acupuncture. If your symptoms don’t begin to improve within a few weeks, acupuncture, or that particular acupuncturist, may not be right for you. Just as in any profession, some doctors are better than others.

Acupuncture benefits for anxiety

Regular acupuncture treatments can help heal stress and anxiety related health conditions and improve the body’s immunity to defend against potential illnesses.

In fact, in some cases, acupuncture that is being used to treat one condition can actually help detect another, a more severe illness that had not been previously identified. In such cases, acupuncture aids in early diagnosis and treatment.

In another capacity, acupuncture can serve as a form of preventive measure against illness by alleviating stress and strengthening the body.

The Mind-Body Connection

Acupuncture serves to the treat the mind and body as a whole system. Conventional medicine has come to accept that the mind affects the body. The mental system affects the physical. Stress is a perfect example of the interrelated connection between the body and mind.

The mind perceives life situations and the body reacts to them on the basis of the mind’s perception. If the mind perceives a threat, the body immediately prepares for a flight or fight response in which the heart beats faster and the muscles tighten, just as with stress.

Don’t use acupuncture to postpone seeing a health care provider about a serious health problem, and if you should decide to visit an acupuncturist, be sure to check their credentials

Find your own combination of de-stressing methods that work for you, and use them often to enjoy a happier and healthier life.

Remember, acupuncture is just one method of relieving anxiety,  it’s also important to learn positive and productive ways to cope with stress and anxiety on a daily basis, learning how to make the energy of stress work for you, rather than against you.