Using Acupuncture for Stress and Anxiety

By 08/18/2015 July 6th, 2017 Acupuncture, anxiety and depression

Along with its use for pain management, many people think of using acupuncture for stress and anxiety. We often consider stress in a negative way, though it’s a normal response to living. Stress becomes negative when it’s overwhelming and the body begins to act as if there’s a constant threat.


What Causes Anxiety?


Increased heart rate, changes in breathing patterns, muscle tension and high blood pressure are common reactions from a change in brain chemistry that occurs with stress. The human body reacts to stress appropriately when faced with a “fight or flight” situation as adrenaline is released inside the body. This is the reaction that helps us cope in a disaster or stressful situation. Imbalance occurs when this reaction is frequent and is not due to outside factors. The body can become used to the adrenaline and corticosteroid release and become dependent on this state.


How Does Modern Medicine Treat Anxiety?


Antidepressant drugs and anti-anxiety medications are often prescribed to deal with stress and anxiety. These drugs can be crucial components to a patient’s well-being and important contributors to discovering a patient’s road to health, however they also may have side effects and dependency reactions associated with them. Many people choose to integrate acupuncture with their western medical plan of pharmaceutical drugs for stress and anxiety. There are no contraindications with using acupuncture along with medications.


Using Acupuncture For Stress and Anxiety 


Acupuncture treatments are very relaxing for most people, as endorphins and dopamine are naturally released from the brain during the treatment. Many patients fall asleep and learn to deeply relax. Patients can use acupuncture in combination with medications and any other anxiety treatments that work for them.  During our relaxing and painless treatments at Integrative Acupuncture, we teach meditation techniques to help our patients develop their own stress reduction plan to use daily.


Chinese Medicine views stress as a contributing factor to most illness and disease. The Liver is responsible for the free flow of energy or qi (including our thoughts and emotions) and when we are stressed our qi will cease to flow optimally. This can lead to a number of imbalances. Chinese Medicine realizes the breath is intrinsically connected to our flow of qi. Often patients suffering with qi stagnation will sigh frequently. This is our body’s internal attempt to move stagnant qi. Acupuncture is a vital part of reestablishing balance of qi due to stress.


Anxiety Disorders


There is a range of anxiety disorders, based on symptoms, such as:


  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder


These are each regularly treated at our Montpelier and Williston clinic.



Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)


PTSD is becoming a more and more commonly diagnosed anxiety disorder, especially within our veterans. Symptoms of PTSD can be treated successfully with acupuncture. The US military has been using acupuncture to treat PTSD for many years, read more here. The providers at Integrative Acupuncture have post graduate, specialty training in using acupuncture to treat PTSD.


Group Acupuncture for Stress and Anxiety in Montpelier and Williston


We offer an affordable, weekly group clinic to help patients suffering from overwhelming stress and anxiety. This is a manageable way for some to get continuous, weekly support. This style of acupuncture happens in a sitting position, mostly using points in the ears. There are five specific ear points that have been extensively studied and understood to have a calming effect on the nervous system causing relaxation during and following stimulation. Coming to group acupuncture treatment regularly can make stress and anxiety more manageable throughout the week.


Please feel free to inquire further if individual or group acupuncture for stress and anxiety treatment may be appropriate for you.