Mental wellness is one of the most important components to consider when receiving acupuncture treatment as it plays a major role in ones’ overall health and well-being. In traditional Chinese medicine, emotions are related to various organs in the body, so when there is an imbalance within a specific organ or group of organs, it often shows up not only physiologically but also mentally and emotionally. These imbalances can be a result of a deficiency or excess of yin or yang, a disruption to the flow of qi and blood, or from external pathogenic invasions such as of phlegm. Many factors are taken into consideration when treating mental health with acupuncture, including physical pain (low back pain, neck/shoulder tension, headaches, etc.), diet and nutrition, digestion, sleep cycle, and other physiological symptoms such as sweating, dizziness, asthma and sexual dysfunction. As with any acupuncture treatment, each pattern is unique and individual to every patient; therefore mental conditions such as anxiety, stress, and depression are considered symptoms of an underlying syndrome which help to determine the diagnosis and treatment plan.
Acupuncture is used to treat various types of mental conditions, including stress, anxiety, depression, PTSD, obsessive-compulsive tendencies, and ADHD. After determining the diagnosis and specific organs related to the emotional state, acupuncture points are then selected and needles are inserted throughout the body to stimulate the autonomic and central nervous systems and promote a balance between the mind and body.
How does acupuncture help relieve stress and anxiety?
According to traditional Chinese medicine, emotions such as stress and anxiety are related to various organs in the body and can affect the balance of yin and yang as well as disrupt the flow of qi and blood needed to promote a healthy mind and body. When there is an imbalance within a specific organ or group of organs, physiological and mental symptoms often arise together; therefore it is important to treat the body as a whole in acupuncture rather than placing mental health into one category. Acupuncture points are selected based on an individual’s diagnosis and treatment plan, and needles are inserted throughout the body to stimulate and restore both the autonomic and nervous systems in order to promote a balanced mental and physical well-being. As with any acupuncture treatment, each case is individual and not all treatment plans look the same; factors to consider are the severity of the condition, physiological factors such as physical pain, digestion, and sleep, etc.
Acupuncture can treat the root cause of depression, soothe the body, calm the mind and restore the level of positive energy.
Stress & Anxiety:
According to Acupuncture, our body has energy called “chi”. Stress and anxiety cause the chi to be congested in different meridian pathways in the body. This causes an imbalance in the body’s energy and does not allow the chi to flow properly. During an acupuncture session, thin needles are placed in the acupuncture points where the blockage of energy may be occurring. All of this helps balance out the body and get the body’s energy flowing properly. This can help alleviate stress and anxiety symptoms. People can see improvement within several sessions. This all depends on the person’s body, how long they have been going through stress and anxiety, and how severe it is. It is recommended to stay consistent with your acupuncture sessions.
The use of acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine has shown to be highly effective in treating PTSD and other stress disorders related to traumatic events. Acupuncture is a great alternative to conventional treatment, especially for individuals who may not be or ever be ready to talk about the events leading up to their PTSD. Acupuncture treatment is tailored individually by addressing the person’s emotional and physical symptoms related to stress and anxiety, including flashbacks or intrusive thoughts, nightmares, insomnia, memory loss related to the event, feelings of anger or irritability, isolation, depression, having a negative perception of themselves or others, or avoiding certain triggers such as places or activities. Auricular points are selected to stimulate specific neurotransmitters that aid in balancing the nervous system and mitigate feelings of stress and anxiety as well as target certain organs correlating with emotions such as grief, worry, anger, or fear. Herbs may be recommended as well for optimal results.