Evidence Shows Acupuncture as an Effective Treatment for Anxiety
Research suggests that up to 30% of the worldwide population suffers from some type of anxiety, ranging from mild symptoms such as changes in breathing and heart rate to full blown panic attacks. Anxiety is a complex disorder typically treated with prescription medications (benzodiazepines, serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRI’s), tricyclic anti-depressents) and cognitive behavioral therapy. Various studies, reviews, and meta analyses have recently surfaced advocating acupuncture as an additional therapeutic option for treating anxiety with impressive results.
A 2016 integrative review of studies documenting the effects of acupuncture in the treatment of anxiety concluded that ‘the effects from acupuncture for treating anxiety have been shown to be significant compared to conventional treatments’. The largest study in this review found that acupuncture had a significant effect on reducing anxiety and depression compared to prescription medication and psychotherapy treatment with double the reduction in symptoms.
Acupuncture treats anxiety by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, the “rest and digest” (as opposed to the “fight or flight” sympathetic) aspect of the autonomic nervous system to achieve biochemical and emotional homeostasis in the body. Stress and anxiety naturally activate the sympathetic nervous system by increasing the production of certain neurotransmitters from the hypothalamus exhibiting symptoms such as increased heart rate, pupil dilation, breathing rate, digestive issues, sleeping problems, restlessness etc. These studies show that acupuncture has a positive effect on both the sympathetic and parasympathetic aspects of the nervous system. Studies show acupuncture has the ability to stimulate the body to release neurochemicals such as endorphins (the body’s natural “feel-good” chemicals) to calm the sympathetic nervous system response, and regulate the symptoms of physical and emotional stress and anxiety.
At Acubalance we employ acupuncture, herbal therapy, lifestyle, and diet recommendations to support healthy nervous system response to reduce levels of anxiety and better equip the body to handle life’s daily stresses. Innovative acupuncture techniques called “Neuropuncture” stimulate the central nervous system to produce certain neuropeptides such as dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, noradrenaline, NOS, ACTH, and melatonin.
Do you or anyone you know suffer from anxiety? Give Acubalance a call 604-678-8600 to schedule a free 15 minute phone consultation to see if Neuropuncture can benefit you. We offer acupuncture for anxiety in Vancouver, BC.