Can Acupuncture Help Reduce Anxiety?

Anxiety and depression can be interpreted in different fashions. Likewise, the root causes and cures of these conditions also have different interpretations. Some cures have been found to be effective while others are questionable. 

For many years, traditional Chinese medicine such as acupuncture was one of these curious options in treating anxiety. However, it has recently been recognized as a legitimate treatment due to its understanding of the deep connection between the mind and body and its effectiveness in reducing mental health issues that are caused by this damaged connection.


What is Acupuncture?


Acupuncture, as defined by Nada Ljubinovic in her article, “Acupuncture, Anxiety and Depression”, is an ancient Chinese medicine technique which involves stimulating points in the body to regain the balance in the flow of energy, or Qi, through channels, or meridians. The imbalance of this flow is what causes the body to malfunction in one way or another. 


Those who practice traditional Chinese medicine relate the five elements with certain emotions. For example:

  • Water — fear
  • Wood — anger
  • Fire — happiness
  • Earth — worry
  • Metal — grief

In acupuncture, these elements and emotions are also connected to internal organs. As they all interact with each other, depending on their balance, they can produce either negative or positive forces within the body, also known as yin and yang. 

How can Acupuncture Help with Anxiety?

Anxiety is interpreted in traditional Chinese medicine as an imbalanced connection between the heart and kidney. Fire, or happiness, also relates to the heart. When the heart is too heated or happy, it will disrupt the connection with the kidney, which is related to water and fear, all of which are contrasting organs, elements, and emotions. 


When the bond between these organs and emotions are in disarray, anxiety arises. To realign them or to correct these imbalances, acupuncture utilizes points around the heart, the kidney spleen, and the ear. The organs affected by your emotions are now reconnected with your mind, putting it and the rest of your body at ease. 


Can Acupuncture Benefit Those with Depression as Well?

Usually, anxiety and depression go hand in hand, but the treatments in acupuncture for these ailments are very different from each other, though still thoroughly effective. 


In acupuncture, it is determined that depression is a result of trouble with circulating energy, or Qi, around your body. This can cause negative thoughts and emotions as well as sleeping problems, both of which are signs of depression. Meanwhile, inside your body, a faulty connection between your liver, heart, and spleen also contributes to this overwhelming mental condition.


Essentially, the entire body is out of alignment and acupuncture treatments recognize that. To counteract this, a treatment called The Four Gates is used. As mentioned in Ljubinovic’s article, this treatment, stimulates points on both hands between the thumb and index finger as well as points on both feet between the big toe and the second toe. 


This reconnects the body and heightens your mood.


Other Treatments


Activities and practices that put the mind and body at ease are often recommended for those who suffer from anxiety related conditions. It allows you to relax while you subconsciously pull yourself together. It’s almost like you’re giving your brain and body a vacation. 


If you are interested in more acupuncture techniques, American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine can offer information that may benefit you even if you aren’t troubled with anxiety. 

Another technique to manage and reduce anxiety is to speak to someone about it. You can seek professional help who will work around your schedule at BetterHelp.

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