According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, general anxiety “affects 6.8 million adults, or 3.1% of the US population with women twice as likely to be affected as men… Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only about one-third of those suffering receive treatment.”
Among the treatment options for anxiety is acupuncture especially when combined with Chinese herbal medicine. There are several patterns of imbalance that can lead to anxiety, but for the most part treatment will be focused on balancing the Heart and Liver systems.
In TCM the Heart is considered the seat of emotions and is said to house the “Shen” (Mind). The concept of Shen includes our mental faculties, consciousness, memory, thinking and spiritual experience. For the Heart to house the Shen, it requires nourishment from the Blood to be peaceful and happy. When Heart-Blood is deficient it will lead to anxiety, mental restlessness, depression and insomnia.
The role of the Liver is important because this organ is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi, which is essential for a balanced emotional state. When Qi flow stagnates it creates frustration, depression and will compound problems with anxiety. A depressed Liver system will also lead to internally generated heat which can agitate the Heart even further.
With acupuncture you will likely notice improvements after 4-6 weeks of weekly treatment and should see long lasting affects with about 12-16 treatments. Of course factors such as your diet and lifestyle will affect treatment outcomes, as well as how long you have already struggled with anxiety. TCM is a holistic form of medicine and we will make recommendations for diet and lifestyle changes that will support your healing.
If you or someone you love is ready to try a natural approach to this common disorder, consider scheduling a free evaluation and consultation so we can determine whether acupuncture would be a good fit for you. :-)