Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) —both acupuncture and herbs — can help a patient reclaim optimal health and normalize life naturally and holistically. During a thorough intake exam, the patient is asked to describe specific anxiety symptoms. Because no one experiences anxiety in exactly the same way, a detailed intake helps to create a treatment plan based on the individual’s needs.
Acupuncture treatments for anxiety involve needling specific points that have a regulatory effect on the nervous system. This needling “resets” the nervous system so the body can better process stress. Immediately a person may feel more relaxed, experience a slowing of the heart rate, calmer breath, and muscular relaxation. The body’s endocrine systems will be called back into balance, so that it is no longer over-producing stress hormones.
When a person experiences stress, the body’s sympathetic nervous system (the fight-or-flight response) gains dominance over the parasympathetic (the rest-and-digest state). When everyday stress isn’t processed and released, stress hormones and tension can build up in the body, and the sympathetic nervous system stays dominant. It may become difficult to relax or feel calm even in non-threatening situations. The body’s nervous system may begin to overreact to small stressors, causing a person to feel chronic tension or panic in everyday situations.
A body that is not allowed to rest or relax becomes frazzled and exhausted, and a person can experience things like sleep and digestive upset, and headaches and/or muscle tension. When a person’s nervous system is out of balance like this, he or she can develop chronic anxiety and/or panic disorders. Acupuncture and herbs can help the body’s nervous system experience a more equal balance between stimulation and release.
Western medicine typically treats anxiety problems with talk therapy in combination with drugs like antidepressants, SSRIs, and MAO inhibitors. The side effects of these drugs, however, can be extreme or unpleasant. Drugs also can mask the problem by addressing only symptoms, andnot addressing the root of the disorder.
Panic Attacks – Acupuncture can help
Those that have a panic or anxiety disorder may suffer from a range of symptoms. Emotionally, they may feel tense, irritable, worried or frustrated. They might be jittery and easily startled.
Physically they may experience sleep disorders, general muscle tension, digestive problems, jaw tension or teeth grinding, and a chronic lump in your throat. During a panic attack, a person may experience symptoms such as heart palpitations, tightness in the chest, difficulty breathing, dizziness, sweating, shaking, dry mouth, feelings of overwhelming fear, and a fear of “going crazy.” Often times, patients say that when they have a panic attack it feels like they’re having a heart attack.
Approximately 40 million Americans, ages 18 and older, have an anxiety disorder. The disorder affects twice as many women as men. Anxiety conditions can range from mild to debilitating.