An Additional Edge in Managing Anxiety
Anxiety is natural. It is something that every one of us has experienced at one time or another. As uncomfortable as it may be, it is healthy and does serve a purpose. When presented with a set of circumstances that may be detrimental to our well-being, anxiety presents to heighten our awareness and compel us away from impending dangers. But what happens when it becomes a dysfunction? When we begin to perceive benign circumstances as threatening and potentially dangerous to us.
It may be irrational, but it is very much a reality for nearly 40 million adults in the United States every year according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Anxiety disorders, especially Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), are among the most common forms of mental illness in our society. And while a variety of treatments exist, their results vary widely. Effective treatment often requires a multi-faceted treatment plan that is tailored to suit the individual patient.
Time and time again, acupuncture has demonstrated incredible effectiveness in helping to quell anxiety and lessen the frequency and severity of subsequent episodes. Researchers at Ganzhou City Third People’s Hospital in China performed clinical trials that combined acupuncture treatments with specific blends of herbal medicine. They concluded that, of the 80 patients who participated, those who received acupuncture combined with the herbal medicine appeared to show greater improvement than those who were administered doses of a pharmaceutical antidepressant medication only.
Another study, summarized by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, details a randomized study wherein 40 participants were assigned to one of two groups. A treatment group received acupuncture for 10 weeks while a control group was delayed in receiving acupuncture treatments until a later time. At the conclusion, it was clear that both groups had shown improvements in the severity of their anxiety when they received acupuncture and follow-ups at appropriate intervals. It was therefore stated that acupuncture proved to be a promising treatment for anxiety disorders.
Every individual is unique, and their treatment plan should be designed to suit them. As mentioned before, treatment plans for anxiety (and other mental illnesses) are often multi-faceted – a combination of talk therapy, medication, nutrition and exercise, and other means that are helpful in managing their conditions, so they can live fuller, healthier lives. While acupuncture may not be a sole treatment for such a condition, it may certainly provide an additional edge in helping to keep it in check.
As always it is strongly advised that anyone considering acupuncture discuss their intentions with their therapist, primary care physician, and other healthcare providers who may be currently treating them for their condition. When seeking acupuncture treatments, it is important to do so from a qualified and licensed practitioner.
If acupuncture has been deemed a potential benefit to you as a part of your treatment plan in managing an anxiety disorder, feel free to contact us for a consultation.