How Anxiety is Eased by Acupuncture and Natural Techniques
At New Leaf Acupuncture in Dublin, I estimate 60-70% of all visits are for stress-related issues – ranging from back pain to infertility and insomnia.
So what’s going on?
As our broadband speeds up and our phones get smarter, life can become fast, full and demanding. Without adequate downtime, anxiety is the body’s natural response to a pace of life we cannot sustain.
When we are healthy and the stress is short-lived, we are usually able to recover without too much wear and tear on our overall health. However if stress is on going for a long period of time or becomes extreme, our emotional health and ultimately, our physical health begins to suffer.
How Does Anxiety Affect Us?
Physical symptoms such as:
- Muscle Tension/Headaches/TMJ/Back Pain
- Cold Extremities/Tingling
- Heart Palpitations/Shortness of Breath
- Increased or Decreased Blood Pressure/Dizziness
- Sugar Cravings/Low Blood Sugar
- Decreased Immunity/Frequent Colds or Illness
Emotional symptoms such as:
- Anger / Aggression
- Anxiety / Panic Attacks
- Insomnia / Excessive Sleep
- Excessive Worry
- Irritability/Moodiness/Involuntary Crying
Different people require different treatments, even when suffering from the same type of anxiety. That’s because different people have different personalities, different needs, and of course, different symptoms.
Depending on which of these symptoms are suffered, different anxiety disorders may be diagnosed. These include:
- Generalized anxiety disorder – GAD
- Panic disorder
- Social anxiety disorder
- Post-traumatic stress disorder – PTSD
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder – OCD
Anxiety And Nutrition
Research suggests that the majority of anxiety patients experience frequent hypoglycaemia. One of the most important considerations, then, is to maintain stable blood sugar throughout the day.
- Don’t skip breakfast – those who do are twice as likely to have erratic blood sugar levels
- Eat a low glycaemic snack every few hours – yogurt, nuts, fruit
- Avoid coffee and other forms of caffeine
- Reduce allergenic foods such as wheat, gluten, pasteurized dairy, and refined sugar for one month to see if the anxiety significantly improves
Foods to Reduce Anxiety
- Beetroot, radish, cabbage
- Black beans, quinoa, mung beans
Nutritional supplements for Anxiety
A brief list of supplements often advised in treating anxiety:
- Fish oil
- B vitamin complex
Meditation and Yoga
Many people find meditation and yoga to be their most powerful allies with acupuncture in healing anxiety. With regular practice of various breathing techniques and yoga postures, people often feel that they have much more control over their anxiety and that it need not run their life anymore. These practices can be direct gateways to the rest and restore mode of the nervous system.
From a Western medical viewpoint, acupuncture works to alleviate stress by releasing neurotransmitters and natural pain-killing endorphins from the brain. In addition, acupuncture improves circulation of blood, which oxygenates the tissues and cycles out cortisol and other waste chemicals. The calming nature of acupuncture also lowers blood pressure, decreases heart rate if needed, and relaxes the muscles and mind.
Posted by Niall O’Leary
If you suffer from anxiety, stress or depression and would like to find out more about how acupuncture may be able to help you, call Niall on 087 2632732 for an appointment, or a free consultation.