Acupuncture and Anxiety

by Alexandra Andrew, MS, L.Ac.

    Anxiety and Acupuncture     

        In our fast-paced culture full of endless demands and to-do lists, it’s no wonder anxiety seems to be a common struggle. In Chinese Medicine, each organ system has an energetic function that contributes to keeping our bodies healthy and strong. The heart is responsible for processing every emotional experience we encounter during the day. When it becomes overwhelmed by stressful life situations and doesn’t have rest time to process them, it can get worn out quickly. This is especially true when a traumatic event takes place, such as the death of a family member or an accident. Often during these situations, daily stressors become too much to handle because the heart hasn’t had time to rest and
process prior events. 

    When the heart becomes exhausted and overwhelmed, anxiety can result. We experience symptoms such as chest tension and pain, heart palpitations or fluttering sensations, shortness of breath, fatigue, insomnia, restlessness, overthinking, and sometimes unusual sweating. It can feel as though we are not grounded in our bodies and everything is out of our control.

    When we understand the root cause of anxiety on an energetic level, it becomes possible to alleviate the symptoms by giving the body what it needs to recover. Acupuncturists are trained to identify the root cause and can choose acupuncture points that help the heart rest and process the emotional backlog. Acupuncture can also help the body process old emotional blocks without the mind re-experiencing the trauma. During a treatment, your heart will be allowed to rest and as a result it will build strength to face new life experiences with joy.

    In addition to adding Acupuncture to your self-care routine, taking time every day to quiet your mind through meditation, drinking warm tea (especially calming teas like chamomile), taking a bath, or journaling can be enormously helpful for treating anxiety. The priority should be to give the heart quiet
time every day to rest and process. Your acupuncturist can also make diet and lifestyle recommendations that are unique to your experience and will support your wellness journey.

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