Woman peeks out from grey sweater and asks, 'Can acupuncture help anxiety?"

Can Acupuncture Work for Anxiety?

Anxiety can be a truly overwhelming experience, but it feels different for everyone. It can feel like a racing heart or a churning pit in your stomach. It can make you feel nauseous or mess up your bowels. It can involve feeling restless, light-headed, or like you have hot flashes. It can increase your breathing rate. It can give you problems sleeping and make you grind your teeth at night or clench your jaw. It can give you dreaded panic attacks, which people describe as feeling “Like they are dying.” Anxiety can even cause changes in your sex drive!

If you have these symptoms, they may have also been attributed to other things, like brain fog, burnout, ADD, depression, “generalized anxiety,” panic attacks, obsessive thinking, anger management issues, or even adrenal fatigue. Many patients with anxiety talk about it in terms of feeling “very stressed all the time.” Realizing you have anxiety isn’t always easy because of the array of symptoms that can be linked to it.

Having anxiety can also make it difficult to take even a single step towards relief because the options seem overwhelming. Have you ever considered acupuncture for your anxiety? We will talk about some of the common causes of anxiety and review some studies on acupuncture for anxiety.

Does anxiety come from the outside?

Anxiety can naturally come as a response to the environment. Sometimes, our brains get trained into a state of being stressed all the time; sometimes this is called “sympathetic dominance.” This can occur when you feel overwhelmed or overworked for a period of time. When your stress centers are in overdrive, the following symptoms can be typical:

Shoulder & neck tightness
Tight legs
Light & noise sensitivity
Tossing and turning at night
Vivid dreams
Tummy upset, IBS, etc.
Anxiety or depression

Or the inside?

Anxiety can also present for more physical reasons. We find that many patients have physiological reasons why their emotions are running amock. When you address those physical underpinnings, the symptoms get much better. Some common physiological causes of anxiety include:

Chronic Pain
GI problems – IBS, Crohn’s, etc.
Thyroid issues
Respiratory Issues
Malnutrition/malabsorption issues
Head injury

Does acupuncture for anxiety really work?

Initial rounds of evidence point to the fact that acupuncture seems to be quite effective for anxiety. In addition, some studies seem to also point to acupuncture helping to improve the efficacy of anxiety medications while reducing side effects (Psychology Today). So, YES! We see evidence for effectiveness in the research and in our clinic.

So whether your anxiety has physical or environmental causes, the professionals at Centered: Richmond are highly trained to consider your case from every angle to help you get to the bottom of your anxiety as soon as possible.


Acupuncture for Anxiety | Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/integrative-mental-health-care/201810/acupuncture-anxiety

If you are looking for help and would like to find out if you are a good candidate for services, we offer COMPLIMENTARY consultations.

You have absolutely nothing to lose.

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