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Acupuncture For Anxiety

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Acupuncture For Anxiety


According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), anxiety disorders are the most common psychological condition in the United States. Anxiety plagues about 40 million people 18 years and older in the United States, which is 18% of the adult population. Yet only one-third of people suffering from anxiety seek treatment.

Types of Anxiety

The main types of anxiety disorders include specific phobias, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and panic disorder. Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events. Specific phobias commonly develop in childhood. Chronic stress plays a big role in the development of social anxiety, generalized anxiety, and panic disorder.

It’s not uncommon for someone with an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression, or vice versa. Nearly one-half of people diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Anxiety issues also commonly co-occur with other psychological conditions. There are a variety of conventional and holistic treatment options for anxiety and its related disorders.

Treatment Options

Psychotherapy is a non-drug approach to managing anxiety. Therapy, while effective, does require a long-term commitment to the process.

Anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medication is commonly prescribed for many anxiety sufferers. Many anxiety sufferers don’t use or stop using anti-anxiety medications due to unwanted side effects. Knowing the risks of anti-anxiety medications, many people choose complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to find solutions for their anxiety.

Proven CAM Therapies for Anxiety

There is quality scientific evidence about complementary and alternative (CAM) treatments for anxiety. Interest in CAM is growing as people and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety. NIMH, along with the Anxiety and Depression Association, recommend the following CAM therapies to treat anxiety disorders:

  • Stress Management and Relaxation Techniques
    These techniques can help people with anxiety disorders calm themselves down and may enhance other therapies in an integrative approach.
  • Meditation
    Moderate evidence suggests it is useful for symptoms of anxiety and depression in adults.
  • Yoga
    Yoga combines physical postures, breathing exercises, meditation and a distinct philosophy. Together they can help alleviate anxiety.
  • Acupuncture
    Evidence for the use of acupuncture to treat anxiety disorders is growing.

Acupuncture For Anxiety

Over time, stress and other risk factors of anxiety can cause our vital Qi (pronounced “chee”) energy system to go out of balance in different ways in different people. In many people, these factors cause the Qi to substantially decrease overall, as the person’s energy can become drained. In other people, their Qi gets blocked or tense, as the person’s energy becomes “wired and tired”. The imbalance of the Qi can affect the mind, body and spirit. Five Element acupuncture can restore a person’s Qi – even at the deepest levels – because it deals with the root causes of the anxiety.

Five Element Acupuncture

Depending on the original Causative Factor (CF), anxiety can occur due to an imbalance in any of the Five Elements – Fire, Earth, Metal, Water or Wood. If the CF is Fire, anxiety can develop from feeling out of control, overly vulnerable, or excess sadness. If the CF is Earth, anxiety can develop from feeling worry, insecure, or excess sympathy. If the CF is Metal, anxiety can develop from self-criticism, poor self-esteem, or excess grief. If the CF is Water, anxiety can develop from deep-seated fears or phobias. And if the CF is Wood, anxiety can develop from frustration, impatience, tension, and excess anger. To resolve anxiety with Five Element acupuncture, the CF element unique to each individual must be treated. Five Element acupuncture works so well because it does more than treat anxiety as a symptom.

4 Steps To Improve Anxiety

  • Cut out caffeine. It can heighten anxiety.
  • Do 20 minutes of daily aerobic exercises. It can help manage anxiety because the endorphins released in aerobic exercise are calming.
  • Eat a balanced diet. Ask a health professional what foods increase anxiety.
  • Check for an adrenal imbalance. An at-home cortisol saliva test will do the trick.

Seek Help for Anxiety

Two-thirds of Americans with anxiety disorders do not seek treatment. Anxiety causes fear and getting help itself can be a scary process. If you or someone you love is suffering with anxiety, the key to feeling better is to seek treatment. Don’t let anxiety control your life. By dealing with anxiety, you can regain control over it.

To find out more about our integrative, effective, gentle and safe solutions for anxiety, call the Acupuncture & Holistic Health Center at (904) 296-9545.


By Michael Kowalski A.P., Dipl.Ac. (NCCAOM)
@Acupuncture & Holistic Health Center, Jacksonville FL
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