My Experience: Using Acupuncture For Anxiety
Here is a happy tale about acupuncture for anxiety:
Imagine trying to concentrate on something important while in the middle of a raging hurricane. The volume of background noise is amplified to a deafening high level, so you can’t even hear when people are talking to you, stress hormones are coursing through your body giving you the idea that every little task you face will be life or death. Now imagine that this happens several times per week with no provocation.
Anyone who lives with generalized anxiety disorder knows that it is not just the anxiety symptom alone that is the problem. Anxiety affects every aspect of your life experience from your ability to concentrate, to your ability to get ahead in life, to sleep soundly, to causing symptoms that can manifest as pain, digestive issues, racing heart, breathing issues, and a wide range of other problems.
I suffered from crippling anxiety most of my life. Because of the lack of public education about mood disorders in schools when I was growing up in the early ’90s, I went through most of my adult life believing that my experience was a normal thing for everyone, that life is hard, and you just have to dig in and deal with it.
The Journey Towards Getting Help Can Be a Long One
It wasn’t until I was in my early thirties that I discovered that I was experiencing a chronic anxiety disorder. I also discovered that this can be corrected with the right approach.
At first, I looked toward conventional medicine for solutions. Behavior therapy and relaxation techniques were helpful tools, but the medications I was put on didn’t offer more than temporary relief and they had side effects.
You Can Start To Feel Desperate
Out of desperation, I started to get acupuncture for anxiety. I went to an acupuncturist in the area who had a great reputation. I was surprised and thrilled to see immediate mood improvements with my acupuncture sessions. After a course of treatments, I began to see my life in a much different light. I still had stressors, but I realized that I didn’t have to react to everything. Triggers that would previously result in panic attacks became small problems that I knew I could handle. Without getting help from a doctor of holistic medicine, I wouldn’t have had the confidence and resolve to make changes in my life, to follow a path that is more rewarding, one that brings me joy every day.
After my amazing experience, I decided to dedicate my life to learning about natural medicine and helping others who have similar debilitating health issues. I completed a graduate degree in Chinese Medicine from a four-year medical school in Boulder Colorado. It was here that I learned that symptoms like anxiety don’t happen in a vacuum. Anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders are just the tip of the iceberg in a larger picture of interconnected health issues which can all be resolved by treating the root cause of the issue.
When we have poor blood circulation, chronic inflammation, digestive problems just to name a few; these issues can result in symptoms like depression, anxiety, concentration problems, sleep disorders, pain, and breathing issues. A doctor would prescribe medications for each of these individual symptoms, but we have a different approach with holistic medicine. We look at the big picture in health so that patients see lasting relief.
The Journey Has Been Full Circle
I am thrilled to say that I am now using the techniques to help others. Today I use acupuncture, botanical medicine, and lifestyle coaching to treat the underlying root cause of my patient’s mood disorder. They see a reduction in several related health symptoms at the same time and long-lasting relief rather than just symptomatic changes.
Paying attention to the little clues and asking the right questions is the key to developing an effective treatment plan. I remember treating an athletic middle-aged man who was experiencing panic attacks at night. He couldn’t figure out what was triggering the attacks. When I checked his pulse and asked more questions about seemingly unrelated symptoms, it became clear that he had an issue with blood circulation. I treated him with acupuncture and herbal medicine which helped increase blood flow throughout his body. He was feeling a big difference as treatment progressed. His hands and feet began to warm up immediately as blood flow increased, he began to experience increased energy, better sleep, and his concentration improved. Throughout the treatment process, his panic attacks gradually decreased in severity. Today he is happy to report that his panic attacks have resolved.
If you know anyone who experiences anxiety or depression, you should encourage them to get the help that they need. Acupuncture for anxiety can be an extraordinary tool. Life becomes so much easier and carefree when the burden of these disorders is taken off your shoulders.
If you are struggling with these issues and have questions about how acupuncture may be helpful for you, please feel free to schedule a new patient consult below.