Anxiety, that chaotic mix of emotions heading toward a feeling of panic, can be helped tremendously with acupuncture treatments. This medicine is very effective at calming the mind and creating a sense of peace. In fact, a feeling of deep relaxation is the most common feeling my patients report immediately after their treatments whether for physical or emotional problems.
As I mentioned in my book on acupuncture, Does it Hurt? A Dialogue to Help You Understand and Trust Acupuncture, in Chinese medical theory our mind and body have never been separated. There is an emotion associated with each of our five organ systems and acupuncture points on the energy channels of the body (meridians) that are known to influence those emotions.The five emotions are anger, fear, worry, sadness, and joy. Anxiety is a state of feeling more and more out of control as a mix of these emotions swirls through our body and mind. Triggers from both the outside world and from inside, our own thoughts, can escalate problem. Many of my patients report that they cannot identify the feelings creating their anxiety. Acupuncture enhances our ability to examine the emotions behind the feelings.
In Chinese medicine anxiety is described as Running Piglet Chi, a very apt description. All of those tiny hooves of our emotions running around in our chest and stomach causing us to feel a racing heart, fast breathing, butterflies in our stomach, and/or light-headed or dizzy.
Acupuncture helps calm anxiety in two ways. First, by offering an environment in which to express our feelings verbally, we are able to let out or bring to light what we are feeling. Health is enhanced through expression. Second, treating the energy channels to unblock their flow creates internal harmony, a feeling of being able to move freely and easily through life.
Finally, the most significant difference between Chinese and modern medicine is that the former always searches for the source of a problem. By addressing the source and not just extinguishing the symptoms, health problems are relieved long-term and encouraged toward resolution. I have seen firsthand many patients with anxiety and depression move into a place of feeling balanced and whole, able to stand firmly in the windstorm of life.