Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) identifies acute and chronic emotional disharmony as factors in the cause of illness. The common emotions often seen in TCM are grief, melancholy, fear, fright, anger, joy, and worry. Each of these emotional factors are viewed as patterns of disharmony when presented as excess i.e. when they become overwhelming to the body and the patient feels the discomfort.
Some of these emotions are related to anxiety. Anxiety can affect up to 30% of the entire global population. Acupuncture has shown great strides in helping those experiencing anxiety based on evidence written in 2017 (The Acupuncture Evidence Project by Dr John McDonald, PhD, and Dr Stephen Janz) including evidence in reviews from 2016 involving 400 randomized patients showing significant treatment effects.
In 2018, a similar review was published including acupuncture for the treatment group with controls. More and more studies are emerging on how acupuncture affects anxiety levels in a positive way.
How Does It Work?
Acupuncture is performed by providing signals to the body to excite or relax the body. “There are techniques called SNS and PNS specifically” as mentioned by Kylee Junghans, MPH 1 These techniques, depending on how and where they [needles] are administered, and [how they] provide an effect to the body.
“In practicing acupuncture, the musculoskeletal system is related to each meridian and associated sub-meridians that can be stimulated to affect the imbalance of the organs” as discussed in the article from www.sacredlotus.com 2 On applying the right signals in the body using acupuncture needles, the flow of energy can be restored to free flowing which alleviates the organs in distress. Knowing the pathway of the channels where the acupuncture points are located can help in making connections to presenting symptoms and correcting this flow of energy will consequently alleviate the symptoms.
Further Studies and Applications
“Acupuncture is used to a fast reduction of anxiety levels.” Acupuncture and electroacupuncture had been studied more recently and is also posted in an evidence-based forum for discussion written last March 21, 2022 3 More and more practice is done as studies and reviews on how acupuncture affects anxiety.
“Acupuncture along with herbs is also studied to relieve anxiety better in comparison to regular medicine. Recently, a Paroxetine patient group were observed for this study with results that acupuncture had helped in the relief of the patients.” An article on this was written and discussed the details of the study in the website of Healthcare Medicine Institute 4