Anxiety is an emotion, and everyone has experienced it at some point in life. In stressful situations, your body will elicit a response that helps to warn you of possible danger, which causes you to feel anxious or worried. While occasional anxiety is normal, a constant state of unease is unhealthy. If you are constantly feeling anxious, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders refer to the group of mental health illnesses that cause constant, crushing anxiety and fear. These disorders may be more common than you think; they are among the most common mental health issues plaguing society today. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, one in ten Canadians is affected by an anxiety disorder. If left untreated, anxiety disorders can negatively affect your quality of life. There are several effective ways of naturally treating or managing anxiety disorders—one such method is acupuncture. 

What is acupuncture? 

Acupuncture is a practice of alternative medicine that involves inserting tiny needles into the skin at specific points of the body to relieve the symptoms of different conditions. Acupuncture is from ancient, traditional Chinese medicine and dates back 3000 years. Traditional Chinese medicine focuses on treating each patient based on their unique needs.

How does acupuncture work?

In acupuncture, hundreds of pressure points—called acupoints—are located in the body. These acupoints, believed to be connected to the central nervous system, can directly affect your stress response. When the needles press into the skin, they stimulate the acupoints and cause the body to release natural chemicals into the muscles, spinal cord, and brain. Acupuncture needles are much smaller than regular needles, so the procedure is relatively pain-free. The needles may cause slight pressure when inserted, which is a good sign that the treatment is working.   

Acupuncture and the treatment of anxiety 

Research has shown that acupuncture can help you cope with the symptoms of anxiety disorders. Here are five ways acupuncture can be beneficial in helping you manage the symptoms of anxiety: 

Increase good hormones

Acupuncture helps the body release more “feel-good” hormones such as dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin. When these hormones are in abundance, they help to improve your well-being; they also help to improve your mood and improve sleep.

Improve relaxation

Acupuncture helps to put your body and mind in a more relaxed state. The amygdala—also called the “analytical” brain—plays an important role in regulating your fight or flight response and is vital in modulating fear and anxiety. When the amygdala is overactive, it causes stress and anxiety. Acupuncture helps quiet the “analytical” brain and helps to reduce the symptoms of anxiety disorders by stimulating the somatosensory cortex of the brain.

Regulate immune system function

Anxiety can affect your immune system negatively and increase inflammation. Acupuncture can help to improve immune function by increasing the production of immune system cells, such as T cells, which help to regulate the immune response and boost your body’s natural defences. 

Relieve stress

As stress builds up, it can cause mental health issues such as anxiety. Acupuncture helps to relieve tension by targeting specific muscles, helping to relieve stress and reduce the symptoms of anxiety. It also helps to improve mental clarity and improves overall mental well-being.  

Are you searching for contemporary acupuncture options in North Vancouver? Movéo Sport and Rehabilitation Centre may be the solution for you. Our main aim is to restore health and freedom to our patients so they can live healthy lives. Our team of skilled therapists is experienced in combining contemporary acupuncture techniques with other treatment methods to help restore health. Contact us at 604-984-8731 or visit our website to find out more about how we can help you on the road back to health.