Acupuncture for anxiety is gaining growing support from research. It’s still early, as acupuncture has only recently garnered interest by medical scientists. A paper published in the British Medical Journal entitled Acupuncture for anxiety and anxiety disorders – a systematic literature review concluded that “Positive findings are reported for acupuncture in the treatment of generalised anxiety disorder or anxiety neurosis, but there is currently insufficient research evidence for firm conclusions to be drawn.”
As research accumulates about acupuncture’s effectiveness, evidence about how it works and the conditions for which acupuncture is most effective is also growing. In fact, in the past decade, the number of studies exploring the scientific basis for the effectiveness of acupuncture and how it works, has climbed. The bio-mechanical functions of acupuncture have been increasingly verified, showing complex responses in the brain, nervous system and connective tissue.
HOW DOES ACUPUNCTURE WORK?
Traditional Chinese Medicine views the body as a complex system of energy channels, or meridians. Modern medical studies show that these meridians actually line up with the areas of the body where acupuncture needles can most easily reach the deep connective tissue beneath the skin between muscles and organs. This tissue may be involved in transmitting the signal from the needle to the brain.
ACUPUNCTURE CAN HELP EASE STRESS
Acupuncture acts to counter the body’s “fight or flight” stress response, soothing worry and easing sadness. It releases calming neurotransmitters, like endorphins, while reducing stress hormones, such as cortisol. It also improves blood flow along the circulatory system, bringing more oxygen to the tissues and lowering cortisol levels.
While not in any way a replacement for medication or counseling, research has shown acupuncture to be clinically effective in addressing depression and anxiety.
Acupuncture also has been effectively used to improve outcomes for soldiers who experience post-traumatic stress disorder. A recent randomized, controlled study concluded that acupuncture treatment had significant positive effects in active duty U.S. military service personnel with PTSD. It also showed benefits that included reduced depression and pain, as well as improved mental and physical health.
Since 1981, First Health Associates has been providing exceptional health care to residents of Arlington Heights, Mt. Prospect, Rolling Meadows, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Palatine and Des Plaines. Our Arlington Heights acupuncturist is rated one of the best in the Chicagoland area. First Health is an integrative medicine practice that offers: Medical Care; Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine; Counseling and Behavioral Therapy; and Chiropractic Care.
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