Living with anxiety can be stressful, often causing those affected to constantly feel uneasy, especially in certain situations that involve being around a lot of people. Some even exhibit physical symptoms, such as nausea and shortness of breath. As a result, people diagnosed with any type of anxiety disorder should receive proper treatment.
As explained by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA): “The term ‘anxiety disorder’ refers to specific psychiatric disorders that involve extreme fear or worry, and includes generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder and panic attacks, agoraphobia, social anxiety disorder, selective mutism, separation anxiety, and specific phobias.”
Anyone could be affected by anxiety, although there are several factors involved, which the ADAA notes. These include:
“Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year,” says the international nonprofit.
While there are numerous treatments available to help manage or improve someone’s condition, less than half of those with anxiety disorders in the United States—36.9 percent—actually receive assistance, the ADAA adds.
One holistic treatment option to consider is acupuncture.
Acupuncture, an ancient Chinese medicine, uses tiny, thin needles to stimulate specific areas of the body, reducing stress and anxiety levels, and promoting emotional, physical and spiritual health. Each needle is strategically inserted into the body, from the feet and legs to the stomach and ears, depending on the patient’s ailment and individual symptoms.
Mentioned in one of our previous posts, acupuncture could help treat anxiety and depression, as well as concussions, cancer management, digestive issues, poor sleeping habits, and asthma.
Researchers have conducted studies to measure the effectiveness of acupuncture for anxiety, and the results show promise.
According to a 2014 review shared by the peer-reviewed Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy, there is evidence acupuncture could help reduce stress levels associated with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), “the most common anxiety disorder in primary care.”
The review concludes that acupuncture is a “safe” and “effective alternative therapy for generalized anxiety,” potentially replacing certain medications.
Another review from 2016 assessed multiple studies shared by various journals between 2001 and 2014—including but not limited to the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) and The Cochrane Library—to determine whether or not acupuncture is a viable treatment for anxiety. Among the 19 studies included, the review declared: “11 were found to have strong evidence levels.”
“The results show that the effects from acupuncture for treating anxiety have been shown to be significant as compared to conventional treatments,” it continues. The natural therapy may even “contribute to reduce the indiscriminate and prolonged use of drugs, thus avoiding harmful consequences or even death of patients” if incorporated in “the clinical practice of nursing” as a way to address anxiety.
The review also notes the importance of continuous, high-quality research to further learn about the effectiveness of acupuncture.
The Northport Wellness Center offers acupuncture as an individual treatment for our patients with various ailments, including anxiety. This ancient modality of healing may also be incorporated into our customized recovery plans to assist our patients in enjoying optimal health and wellness.