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Acupuncture for Anxiety

By Natalie R. - Aug 15, 2017 10:16:00 AM

Anxiety is a common condition which affects many people worldwide. Its symptoms can range from mild to severe and in some cases can seriously interfere with work, relationships and quality of life. In this article we will take a look at acupuncture for anxiety. You can also learn the best acupuncture points for anxiety and how to stop an anxiety attack.


Symptoms of Anxiety

The symptoms of anxiety and anxiety attacks vary from person to person but the most common include:

  • black_girl_in_hood_depression-892424-edited.jpgFear
  • Feeling of losing control
  • Feeling disorientated or detached
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitations
  • Chest pain
  • Dry mouth
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea

 

Acupuncture for Anxiety

Acupuncture originated in China over 3000 years ago. Since then it has spread to the rest of the world, growing in popularity in the last century.

Acupuncture works by placing fine needles at specific points on the body surface. These are known as acupuncture points. These needles may be left in place for up to half an hour, but far from being uncomfortable, acupuncture is an extremely relaxing experience. This makes it ideal for treating conditions such as anxiety.

So how does acupuncture for anxiety work? The answer is all about balance.

acupuncture for anxietyAcupuncture has been shown to have a number of different effects of the central nervous system. It stimulates the release of what are known as endorphins. These are the body's natural painkillers and ???feel good??? chemicals. These have the effect of relaxing the body and calming the mind.

Acupuncture also regulates the levels of several other neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin which have an effect on your mood. It also improves circulation, meaning that the stress hormone cortisol is metabolized more quickly.

All of this works to restore a state of balance and harmony to your body and mind, leaving you feeling calm, relaxed and revitalized.

 

The Best Acupuncture Points for Anxiety

Acupuncture should only be carried out by trained professionals. However, you can safely use acupressure to stimulate the same points with your fingers as a quick treatment for anxiety and anxiety attacks. The top three acupuncture points for anxiety are:

 

Yin Tang (Seal Hall)

Location: On the midline of the forehead, between the inner ends of the eyebrows.

Method: Rest your thumb or forefinger on the point and close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths, then gently but firmly press down on the point until you feel a comfortable pressure. Keep breathing deeply as you hold the point for 1-2 minutes, or until you feel calm, then gently release.

Benefits: Calms the mind, relieves anxiety, improves sleep

 

Ht 7 (Spirit Gate)

Location: On the inner wrist crease, roughly in line with the little finger. The point can be found in a hollow between the wrist bone and the two large tendons of the lower arm.

Method: Place your right thumb on the point on the left wrist. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Firmly but gently press down on the point until you feel a comfortable pressure. Hold for 1-2 minutes then gently release and repeat on the other side.

Benefits: Calms the mind, relieves fear, stops palpitations, improves sleep

 

Pc 6 (Inner Gate)

Location: On the inner arm, around three finger widths up from the wrist crease. The point is between the two large tendons of the lower arm.

Method: Place your right thumb on the point on the left wrist. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Firmly but gently press down on the point until you feel a comfortable pressure. Hold for 1-2 minutes then gently release and repeat on the other side.

Benefits: Calms the mind, relieves palpitations and chest pain, relieves nausea, improves sleep

 

How to Stop an Anxiety Attack

 As well as applying acupressure, there are several things you can do to stop an anxiety attack:

  • how to stop an anxiety attackBreathe deeply and slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth. Try resting your hand on your abdomen and pay attention to how it rises and falls as you breathe
  • Focus on something. This can be an object, a body part or an acupressure point. Take your awareness out of your anxiety and place it on something else until the attack passes
  • Picture your happy place. Really picture it. See the image in your mind and remind yourself that this will pass and everything will be alright.
  • Find your mantra and repeat it to yourself until you feel calmer. This could be something as simple as ???I am okay??? but try to find a phrase that means something to you
  • Sniffing some calming essential oils such as lavender can be a welcome distraction as well as having a positive effect on your anxiety

In the long term, you can take steps to prevent anxiety attacks by exercising regularly, eating a healthy balanced diet and practicing mindfulness or meditation techniques. Try a therapy such as counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or acupuncture. Talking about the cause of your anxiety and learning how to stop an anxiety attack are the first steps towards managing your condition and getting your life back on track.

 

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