From a Chinese Medical framework, anxiety ultimately reflects the comfort and security of the Heart. As the ultimate ruler of all your organs, a disturbance in the heart can manifest as many of the better known anxiety symptoms: heart palpitations, panic attacks, sleep disturbance, and memory and concentration problems. Of course there are many aspects related to this, and the symptoms will shift according to each individuals personal pattern, but overall this is one of the key elements involved.
I think of anxiety symptoms as a stone dropped in a pond. If the quiet pond is your mind, the ripples moving when you have anxiety symptoms are the disruptions you feel. Both physical and mental aspects of this can affect your everyday life deeply. This can of course escalate to reflect bigger and more aggressive disturbances: big stone, big ripples in the water!
Whether it a be physical restlessness, heart palpitations, a feeling of panic or that edgy feeling before an interview becoming a response to anything and everything, there is a good chance that regular Acupuncture treatment may be able to reduce your symptoms.
Acupuncture has been proven to have results on par with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for the treatment of Anxiety and some associated anxiety disorders, and to perform better than counselling and standard therapeutic care. A recent trial also found ‘significant results’ for adults with chronic, non responding anxiety (this means CBT, counselling and medications) when treated with Acupuncture. They suggested that Acupuncture is a promising intervention for patients with chronic anxiety symptoms that have proven resistant to other forms of treatment.
From a western biomedical perspective, many of these symptoms above, as well as nausea and the exacerbation of symptoms with external stress, can be related to disruption of the nervous system, and its accompanying brain nodal relationship and hormone disruption. They can also be related to constant stress and stimuli.
Anxiety is your very first indicator that something is not right. Whatever coping mechanisms you previously used, avoidance techniques, distractions….. these things are no longer working for you. It’s possible that they never did. If you are experiencing a level of anxiety (especially if is not it attributable to a direct cause) then it would definitely be a good time to start utilising some strategies to decrease your anxiety levels.
Randomised controlled trial on the use of acupuncture in adults with chronic, non-responding anxiety symptoms. Nick Errington-Evans. BMJ, Dec 2014. http://aim.bmj.com/content/early/2015/01/16/acupmed-2014-010524.abstract.
Cognitive therapy vs. medications for depression: Treatment outcomes and neural mechanisms. DeRubeis RJ, et al. Nat Rev Neurosci. 2008 October; 9(10): 788–796.
Stress and wellbeing in Australia survey 2014: Key findings, Australian Psychology Society. http://www.psychology.org.au/Assets/Files/2014-NPW-Key-findings-survey.pdf
Errington-Evans, N. (2012), Acupuncture for Anxiety. CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics, 18: 277–284. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-5949.2011.00254.x http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1755-5949.2011.00254.x/full
Sparrow K.,and Golianu, B.,. Does Acupuncture Reduce Stress Over Time? A Clinical Heart Rate Variability Study in Hypertensive Patients, Medical Acupuncture. October 2014, 26(5): 286-294. doi:10.1089/acu.2014.1050 http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/acu.2014.1050