Acupuncture for Anxiety

Posted July 27, 2015 by Acupuncture & Massage College & filed under Acupuncture

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety is most easily categorized as a disease that is caused by stress which brings on fear, worry, and/or other symptoms. Anxiety covers different forms of abnormal and pathological fears. Current psychiatric diagnostic criteria recognizes a wide variety of anxiety disorders. Episodes of anxiety usually flare up during times of high stress, which can be present from an early age or begin suddenly after a triggering event. Anxiety episodes are usually accompanied by physiological symptoms such as sweating, muscle spasms, palpitations, and hypertension, which in some cases lead to fatigue or even exhaustion.


Causes and Contributing Factors of Anxiety

Clinical studies suggest a correlation between anxiety disorders and difficulty in maintaining balance. A possible mechanism malfunctioning in the parabrahial nucleus, a brain structure, that, among other functions, coordinates signals from the amygdala with input concerning balance. The amygdala is involved in the emotion of fear. Additionally, low levels of GABA, a neuroransmitter that reduces activity in the central nervous system, contributes to anxiety. Other contributing factors are stress, diet, and genetics.


TCM Diagnosis

Excess Conditions

Heart Qi and Blood Stagnation: characterized by panic attacks, insomnia, profuse dreams.
Phlegm: effecting the heart, symptoms of emotional depression and other signs of Liver stagnation, such as being easily irritated and angered, insomnia, nightmares and profuse thick phlegm.

Acupuncture Treatment for Anxiety

Acupuncture treatments for anxiety can use both body and auricular (ear) acupuncture. Body acupuncture points may include:

Harmonize the Heart and Kidney and nourish the cooling Yin energy.

  • Heart 7
  • Kidney 6
  • Spleen 6

Excessive Heart Heat, sedate the Fire within the Heart:

  • Heart 8
  • Heart 9

Auricular points, reduce anxiety:

  • Shenmen (Spirit Gate)

In some cases, retaining ear tacks or small magnetic balls at this auricular acupuncture point can prolong the effects between treatments. Also, Yoga, Meditation, exercise, and massage will help in the effective treatment of Anxiety.

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