In recent years, we’ve seen a tremendous uptick in patients calling our Fitchburg, MA acupuncture clinic to ask, “does acupuncture work for anxiety?” The truth is, more people are struggling with their mental health than ever before, and wait times for an appointment with traditional talk therapists are longer than ever.
Acupuncture is very helpful in reducing symptoms of anxiety, in some very unique ways. If you are looking for safe, effective, natural remedies for anxiety that don’t involve prescription medication, read on.
One way that acupuncture can help with anxiety is by reducing the activity of the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body's "fight or flight" response. When the sympathetic nervous system is overactive, it can lead to increased anxiety and other physical symptoms such as elevated heart rate, shallow breathing, and muscle tension. Acupuncture has been shown to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body's "rest and digest" response. This can help counteract the effects of the sympathetic nervous system, leading to a reduction in anxiety and its related symptoms.
Acupuncture may also help to regulate the levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain, including serotonin and dopamine, which are associated with mood and feelings of well-being. By increasing the release of these neurotransmitters, acupuncture may help to reduce feelings of anxiety and promote a greater sense of calm and relaxation.
In addition, acupuncture may help to reduce inflammation in the body, which has been linked to the development of anxiety and other mental health conditions. By reducing inflammation, acupuncture may help to improve overall mental and physical health, which can contribute to a reduction in anxiety symptoms.
The simple act of coming in for an acupuncture appointment is, in and of itself, profoundly relaxing! (Yes, even though there are needles involved.) For most people, there aren’t many other times during the week where there’s an hour set aside, just for you, in a tranquil environment, where you can just rest and be free of any demands and distractions.
Finally, acupuncture is a modality that is absolutely safe and appropriate to integrate and combine with any other support you may be receiving for anxiety, whether that may be talk therapy, EMDR, medications, hypnosis, etc. It’s free of dangerous side effects, non-habit forming, and actually very enjoyable, so why not try acupuncture today?
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Allison Blaisdell, MSTOM, Lic.Ac. is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist in private practice at Fitchburg Acupuncture, and also at Massachusetts General Hospital. She offers Acupuncture, Hypnosis, Nutritional Response Testing, and Frequency Specific Microcurrent, as well as online holistic health coaching and consultation. Her mission is to educate and empower her patients to achieve their best possible health.