Treating Anxiety With Acupuncture – What You Need To Know

Do you feel like you’re constantly worrying or struggling to cope with everyday life? Anxiety affects everyone differently, but it can be incredibly debilitating and difficult to manage. 

Thankfully, there are a variety of treatments available that have been proven effective in helping people with their mental health struggles.

Treating Anxiety With Acupuncture – What You Need To Know

One such treatment is acupuncture – an ancient Chinese healing technique that dates back thousands of years.

Overview Of Acupuncture

Acupuncture has its roots in Chinese medicine and has been practised for centuries.

During an acupuncture appointment a patient will have very fine needles inserted at various points on the body to stimulate the body’s own healing processes. 

Acupuncture can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including anxiety.

In order to understand how acupuncture can help with anxiety, it’s important to understand what acupuncture is and how it works.

The first step in an acupuncture treatment is diagnosis. A practitioner will assess the patient’s physical and mental health in order to properly identify which points need stimulation. 

The acupuncturist will then insert needles into certain points on the body, depending on the individual’s condition.

The goal of this is to restore balance within the body by stimulating certain areas that are believed to be associated with particular ailments or issues.

Once the needles are inserted, they are usually left in place for anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes while the patient relaxes and allows their body to respond naturally to the treatment. 

Advantages Of Acupuncture For Anxiety Treatment

Acupuncture is a great option for treating anxiety due to its natural, holistic approach.

It has become increasingly popular in recent years, with many people finding it a viable alternative to more traditional treatments such as antianxiety medications or psychotherapy. 

Here are some of the key advantages that acupuncture offers when it comes to treating anxiety:


First, acupuncture is safe and noninvasive. Unlike certain medications for anxiety, it does not require taking any drugs that could potentially have serious side effects. 

Furthermore, acupuncture does not rely on the use of any artificial substances or chemicals; rather, it uses natural needles and pressure points to stimulate areas on the body which can help reduce stress levels.

Holistic And Natural

Second, acupuncture is often used as part of a holistic (see also: What Is Holistic Acupuncture?)approach to mental health care.

This means that other methods such as psychotherapy or lifestyle changes may be used alongside acupuncture in order to achieve optimal results. 

By combining multiple approaches into one treatment plan, individuals can benefit from a comprehensive plan that takes into account their individual needs and preferences.

Restores Balance 

Third, acupuncture can help restore balance within the body’s energy systems. This can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety while promoting overall well-being.

Additionally, it can also help improve sleep quality and relieve physical symptoms associated with anxiety, such as headaches or muscle tension. 

With regular sessions over time, patients may find that they feel better able to manage their own emotions and cope with stressful situations more effectively.

Treating Anxiety With Acupuncture – What You Need To Know

How Acupuncture Works

When a needle is inserted into an acupuncture point, it triggers a response in the nervous system and sends signals to the brain to release endorphins and other neurotransmitters.

These substances are associated with feelings of relaxation and well-being, which can help reduce anxiety symptoms. 

Additionally, acupuncture can increase blood flow and oxygen levels in the body, which has been shown to help reduce stress hormones like cortisol.

Research has also found that acupuncture can have a calming effect on the autonomic nervous system by reducing heart rate variability (HRV).

This helps to regulate our body’s response to stressors and create a feeling of calmness. 

By targeting specific points along energy pathways in the body, acupuncture works to restore balance and promote healing on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels.

This holistic approach can be beneficial for treating anxiety (see also: How To Treat Anxiety With Holistic Medicine & Treatments) by creating a sense of overall well-being that helps reduce stress levels.

What To Expect During An Acupuncture Session

Before beginning the treatment, your acupuncturist will ask a few questions about your medical history and discuss any health conditions you may have.

They’ll also talk through any goals or expectations you may have for the treatment.

Once these conversations are complete, your acupuncturist will determine which points on your body need to be treated.

Depending on the type of acupuncture being used and the condition being treated, this can involve placing needles in multiple locations around the body.

Acupuncture needles are very thin and most people don’t feel discomfort when they’re inserted.

Your acupuncturist will leave the needles in place for a few minutes while you relax. During this time, they may adjust some needles as needed to get optimal results.

Afterward, they’ll remove all the needles and provide advice about how often you should come back for follow-up treatments.

At the end of each session, your acupuncturist will guide you through any stretches or exercises that can help maintain optimal health between sessions and ensure long-term progress towards better health and wellbeing.

Finding A Qualified Practitioner

When it comes to finding a qualified practitioner for treating anxiety with acupuncture, there are a few important things to consider.

The first step is to research and find a licensed acupuncturist who specialises in treating anxiety. 

Make sure the practitioner is certified by an accredited organisation and has experience in treating patients with anxiety.

Ask about their approach to treatment, as well as any other certifications or specialities they may have.

Next, ask around for referrals from friends and family who have had positive experiences with a particular practitioner.

If possible, schedule an introductory consultation to get more information on the practitioner’s qualifications and techniques used. 

During this appointment, you should feel comfortable asking questions about the treatment process and ensure that the acupuncturist is knowledgeable about anxiety-related issues.

Before scheduling any appointments, make sure you understand the costs associated with acupuncture treatments and whether your insurance covers them.

Additionally, be sure to discuss any potential risks or side effects of acupuncture treatments before committing to a course of action. 

Combining Acupuncture With Other Therapies

Combining acupuncture with other therapies is a great way to effectively treat anxiety.

Acupuncture can be used in combination with cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction, yoga, and other complementary therapies.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) works by helping the patient identify negative thinking patterns and replace them with healthier thoughts and behaviours.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) involves focusing on the present moment and becoming aware of one’s thoughts, emotions, and sensations.

These techniques can help reduce stress levels and lessen the severity of anxiety symptoms. 

Yoga is another form of complementary therapy that can be used in combination with acupuncture to help manage anxiety.

Yoga combines physical postures, breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, and meditation practices to improve mental health. It can also reduce muscle tension, which may further reduce feelings of anxiety. 

With an integrative approach like this, individuals are able to find relief from their symptoms while learning new healthy coping strategies that will benefit them long-term.


Overall, acupuncture is a safe and effective form of treatment for those suffering from anxiety. It helps to reduce stress levels and improve overall well-being. 

While lifestyle changes are important to get the most out of your treatments, it’s great to know that there are alternatives like acupuncture available if you’re looking for additional support. 

If you’re considering trying this ancient form of medicine, be sure to talk to your doctor about any questions or concerns you may have before beginning a course of treatment.

Clare McAfee
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