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Acupuncture for Anxiety, Depression + Sleep​

Acupuncture has been found to be as effective as conventional medicine on reducing anxiety and depression compared to conventional treatment involving pharmalogical approaches and psychotherapy, with over twice the reduction in symptoms.

93% of 89,000 patients reported successful treatment for musculoskeletal pain with acupuncture (American Specialty Health 2016).

Integrated healthcare

Acupuncture for anxiety

Acupuncture has been found to be as effective as conventional medicine on reducing anxiety and depression compared to conventional treatment involving pharmalogical approaches and psychotherapy, with over twice the reduction in symptoms.

It can also be safely combined with conventional medical treatments helping to reduce their side effects and enhance their beneficial effects.

How does it work? Acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body’s homeostatic mechanisms, thus promoting physical and emotional well-being.

Stimulation of certain acupuncture points has been shown to affect areas of the brain that are known to promote relaxation and deactivate the ‘analytical’ brain, which is responsible for insomnia and anxiety.

Research suggests that between 1-30% of the global population suffers from some form of anxiety.
30%
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There are 13 different sub-classifications of anxiety disorders​

How Acupuncture Helps

Endorphins +The Stress Response

Acupuncture has also been shown to increase the release of endorphins,11 the body’s own ‘feel-good’ chemicals, which play  an important role in the regulation of physical and emotional stress responses such as pain, heart rate, blood pressure and digestive function.

Heart rate variability

Acupuncture has been shown to improve the body’s ability to cope with stress through improving HRV.(10)

Acupuncture + The Brain

When the body is under stress, an area of the brain called the hypothalamus releases neurochemicals,9 and research shows that acupuncture can calm this response.10

Sleep + Insomnia

Often the problems with insomnia go beyond insufficient or poor quality sleep, irritability and exhaustion, but also to muscle stiffness, impaired cognitive function, fibromyalgia, and other significant health problems.

Commonly, Western medicine will search for a physical or emotional problem causing the sleeplessness, but Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) recognizes that insomnia can stem from a fundamental imbalance of energy, or Qi. While sleeping pills and anti-depressants are commonly prescribed for insomnia and other sleep disorders, these prescriptions can become addictive and you may find it difficult to sleep naturally, without pills or medicine in the future.

Acupuncture utilises a system of pressure points and meridians to track the function and balance of our organs, blood, and energy. It is believed that each organ houses a different aspect of our spirit. For those with insomnia or sleep apnea, the heart and liver are often out of balance, allowing the spirit to wander and disrupt the normal patterns of sleep.

The beauty of TCM is that there is no “one solution solves all” formula for everyone, rather, each patient receives an individualized treatment specifically addressing the issues at hand. As part of your treatment, you will be given advice on how to formulate good “sleep hygiene” and dietary advice, encouraging healthy, relaxing bedtime habits to encourage good sleep.

Treating Anxiety with Chinese Medicine

Anxiety is a mental disorder that affects 1 in 6 of all adults in the UK. It’s an illness that often dovetails with depression and alternates from mild discomfort to almost uncontrollable panic with physical symptoms. While some medications have been known to ease anxiety, they may also suffer from undesirable side effects, suppressing the symptoms while making individuals chemically toxic.

 

The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) approach to anxiety problems is to treat them as disorders of the Zang Fu organ system. The Heart Zang stores the Shen or spirit and each Zang Organ is responsible for one’s emotions. The Liver Zang is tied to anger, the Spleen Zang to excessive worry, the Kidney to fear, and the Lung with grief and anxiety. A disturbance in one or more of these Zang Organs can cause an imbalanced emotional state.

TCM classifies the cause of a specific mental disorder according to how much each Zang Organ has been disturbed and how its Qi is affected. The flow of Qi or energy can be interrupted by several factors, including anxiety, stress, anger, fear or grief.

Acupuncture seeks to restore any imbalance between Yin and Yang. By inserting needles into the fine points of energy, the body’s own healing process is stimulated to restore its natural balance. Treating depression and related conditions such as seasonal Affective disorder or dysthymic disorder (chronic depression) with TCM requires the proper evaluation of the signs and symptoms of these conditions.

Changes in diet lifestyle and the adoption of self-help recommendations are also part of the healing process.

Acupuncture for Depression

About two thirds of adults will at some time experience depression severe enough to interfere with their normal activities. Nearly twice as many women as men are affected by this often debilitating condition.

Depression is often symptomatic of the body’s response to overwhelming and constant stress. This stress could be the result of mounting anxiety, nutritional deficiencies, allergies to environmental influences, and any number of other stress-inducing factors. The symptoms of depression vary but generally manifest themselves n many different ways.

Doctors typically treat the condition with anti-depressants, which may take up to six weeks to take effect. Acupuncture works as a stand-alone treatment or in combination with talk therapies and conventional medicine.

In TCM, we aim to treat the symptoms that are unique to you using a variety of techniques to restore imbalances in the body. By inserting fine needles along various points in the body, acupuncture stimulates the body’s flow of energy or Qi, which regulates one’s emotional, mental, and physical balance. Acupuncture is believed to keep the body’s normal flow of energy unblocked, and thereby help restore mental health.

Inserting needles into the body’s key energy pathways can stimulate the central nervous system, releasing chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. This can promote the body’s natural healing abilities by altering brain chemistry and by helping to release neurotransmitters and neurohormones.

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