Acupuncture — An Alternative Cure to Anxiety
Anxiety is known to take a wide range of forms. Some forms of anxiety are slight and only mildly obtrusive to our daily lives. These anxieties are weak to moderate states of worry, whether it is about work, family or life in general. Most of the time, these kinds of anxieties are manifested through worrying about an upcoming test or presentation.
In these cases, anxiety is a normal response of our body to the trials and problems of our daily life. It helps us identify threats and motivates us to avoid or conquer them as soon as possible.
However, some anxieties can present themselves as post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSDs) or anxiety disorders. These kinds of disorders often lead to overwhelming and utterly debilitating panic attacks. These are the kind of anxieties that are more harmful than helpful and can lead to a lifetime of woe and regret.
There are a variety of different cures and therapies tackling anxiety and panic disorders, however an alternative treatment to these methods is acupuncture. Acupuncture can aid in balancing out the various psychological and physiological symptoms of anxiety. The eventual goal, of course, is to return the patient to a normal, anxiety-free life.
Understanding Acupuncture and Anxiety
Originally founded in ancient China, Acupuncture is an alternative method of medicine that treats ailments by applying sharp, thin needles to various points (or acupuncture points) on the body. Though the method has been largely practice in mainland China, believers in alternative forms of medicine have managed to successfully bring it to the West. Now, various acupuncture centers can be found all across North America and Europe.
The practice of acupuncture believes that stimulating certain points of the body can heal various ailments and conditions by increasing the circulation and flow of what the Chinese have come to know as qi. Although scientists and medical practitioners have been unable to scientifically identify the existence of qi, a variety of studies have successfully backed acupuncture’s efficacy in relieving a variety of ailments and conditions. Ironically, acupuncture is also a successful way of relieving pain and stress.
Acupuncture and herbology specialist Carol Morton has openly talked about the healing process of acupuncture works:
“Acupuncture seeks to address body, mind, emotions and spirit. It is a holistic medicine whose 5000 year old roots began in China. It is often accompanied by herbology, diet, energy-cultivation exercises and life-style counseling. The goal is to create harmony within ourselves and between ourselves and the world. It is understood that “intellect” and “feeling” reside in all the cells of the body. If a person is depressed, Chinese medicine understands this as the result of deficient or stagnant energy, or imbalance of yin and yang (the two polar opposite forces of which all things are comprised). This imbalance can take many forms, and is ultimately discerned by the acupuncturist through an ongoing evaluation process which encompasses observation of posture, gait, demeanor, skin tone, brightness of eyes, voice, smell, tongue and pulse diagnosis, palpation and asking about symptoms and history.“
Acupuncture has been used to treat anxiety disorders for many years now. The core belief of acupuncture’s role in treating anxiety is that the mind and the body are intertwined. What affects one undoubtedly affects the other. By focusing the healing process on specific parts of the body, the effects will reverberate to the mind as well.
Curing the Mind and the Body
During an anxiety attack, the victim may experience obsessive thoughts and overwhelming bouts of worry and fear. Physical symptoms such as chest pain, increased heart rate, shortness of breath, dizziness and nausea begin to manifest themselves. Acupuncture deals with alleviating these manifestations by identifying and addressing specific points on the skin.
As mentioned earlier, acupuncture puts emphasis on the inseparable connection between the mind and the body. It incorporates Chinese philosophy in highlighting the interconnectedness of the various elements of the universe, whether it be emanating from within us, or outside of us. Emotions such as fear, anger, sadness, worry and joy all correspond to various organs in our bodies. When these organs are imbalanced, that is when conditions and ailments begin to manifest themselves.
A good number of conditions relating to anxiety have been identified with the Heart and Kidney. Acupuncture specialists have pinpointed that anxiety, stress and panic is normally born out of the uneven circulation of blood in the body. In theory, heat or “fire” produced by the heart can go unchecked and plague the mind if it isn’t balanced by the “water” produced by the kidney. In this sense, Acupuncture balances out the roles and output of the organs in rebalancing the harmony within the body of a patient.
Mixing the Eastern and Western Treatments
Western culture has allowed a countless number of advances that have made our lives more convenient. However, it has also contributed to a variety of mental and psychological conditions and disorders that are plaguing modern society. Western culture has managed to inculcate into our daily lives that working harder, faster and more is to the benefit of ourselves and society.
Although having an active and productive lifestyle is always encouraged, any person would be hard pressed to discount that this kind of mentality has had its toll on the well-being and mental health of millions of individuals across the Western world.
As countless people flock to a variety of traditional cures and therapies in order to alleviate conditions similar to anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, a growing minority have also sought treatment amongst Eastern movements.
Acupuncture is a treatment that can easily be incorporated into any number of various treatments. Its effectivity, however, depends largely on the openness and understanding of the subject to the largely alternative practice. The benefits of modern society is the ability to merge eastern and western physiological and psychological treatments in alleviating even the gravest of disorders and conditions.