We’ve all experienced a form of anxiety previously, the sweaty palms, the rapid heartbeat, not being able to focus. To a certain extend anxiety is pretty normal and common in our daily lives. However, some people find it tough to actually cope with the anxiety, our minds are overloaded and we fail to develop ways to deal with it
Although the symptoms can be as manageable as an ominous feeling in the pit of the stomach, some suffer much worse. Anxiety can trigger the following responses:
- physical, such as an irregular heartbeat
- cognitive, which can cause negative thoughts
- behavioral, which may include uncharacteristic aggression or restlessness
- emotional, such as fear.
Previous research has shown that acupuncture can help ease anxiety by acting on areas of the brain known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the ‘analytical’ brain, which is responsible for anxiety and worry.
The acupuncture practitioners questioned for the study said the most common form of anxiety they treat is depression (94.9 per cent) closely followed by panic attacks (86.1 per cent) with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) not far behind (50.6 per cent). Nearly two-thirds of practitioners said their patients see them instead of previous coping methods and that a significant 87.3 per cent of patients have previously tried medication.
The study also suggests that over two thirds of the UK’s estimated three million anxiety sufferers fail to seek treatment for their condition, admitting that they just ‘try and get on with things’, even though half of sufferers stated that the condition affects their career and relationships.
Acupuncture provides three separate benefits that are important to those living with anxiety:
- Acupuncture is immediate.
- Acupuncture reduces reinforcement.
- Acupuncture deals with other issues.
Acupuncture is designed to be an immediate treatment. While not every acupuncture session provides complete and full relief right away, as soon as you leave the acupuncturist (and in some cases the next morning), much of your anxiety should be diminished. Compare this to long term treatments that generally require you to work on your anxiety a little at a time over a long period of time. For those with severe anxiety, that can be advantageous.