The image shows a mannequin with needles in its back. Drawings and labels of the meridian pathways used in acupuncture are visible on the mannequin.

What is acupuncture and how does it help with anxiety?

How Can Acupunture Help Treat Anxiety?

Acupuncture is becoming more widespread in the medical community, but you may not know what it actually is. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medicine technique that restores your body’s balance of forces. This is done by inserting very thin needs through your skin at specific points on the body and at various depths at places called trigger points. 

The benefits of acupuncture include reducing pain, balancing energy, and boosting wellbeing. 

Traditional Chinese medicine explains that good health is a result of a harmonious balance of the complementary extremes of yin and yang of the life force known as qui, pronounced “chi.” Illness is said to be the consequence of an imbalance of forces. Acupuncture is said to rebalance the body by triggering specific points in the body. 

It can be helpful to understand anxiety in terms of imbalances. For example, you may feel more stress if your body doesn’t produce the correct amounts of hormones. The gut impacts almost all systems of your body from immunity to your nervous system. If the gut is dysregulated, then your anxiety levels may be higher than normal. Acupuncture helps in these areas in addition to many others.

Keep reading to learn more about how acupuncture can help with anxiety. 


How acupuncture helps reduce anxiety.

When you think about acupuncture you probably think about someone laying down with needles sticking out of them, which can look a little weird. While it may look odd, this seemingly simple treatment has a lot of healing benefits, one of which is helping to reduce anxiety. 

While there isn’t demonstrable, scientific proof that acupuncture points exist, there are numerous studies that suggest that it works for some conditions. Experts have used neuroscience to explain the benefits of acupuncture. Here’s how it works: needles are placed where nerves, muscles, and connective tissue can be stimulated, which increases blood flow and triggers the body’s natural painkillers. Your body’s natural painkillers stimulate the feel-good hormones and reduce the level of stress like cortisol, therefore reducing anxiety. 


5 Ways Acupuncture Helps Anxiety

With anxiety on the rise around the world, people are looking for new ways to address it, preferably without more prescriptions. Functional medicine treatments, such as acupuncture, can be a great alternative or additional service to traditional medicine such as therapy or prescription to help reduce or get rid of your anxiety. 

Here’s how studies have shown that acupuncture helps reduce anxiety:

  1. Acupuncture triggers the good-feeling hormone by placing the needles in specific areas of the body it releases hormones such as endorphins, serotonin, and oxytocin.

  2. Acupuncture slows the body’s production of stress hormones by slowing the production of cortisol.

  3. The treatment lowers blood pressure when needles are placed in specific areas of the body that are known to reduce muscle tension and increase blood flow.

  4. Acupuncture restores the Qi’s balance, promoting better health and relief.

  5. It affects the nervous system and balances sympathetic and parasympathetic activities to reduce the body’s fight or flight response.

Many studies and people’s experiences have shown that patients who have been treated with acupuncture to relieve anxiety have seen positive results. Acupuncture isn’t the proper treatment for all types of anxiety, so scheduling a consultation with your doctor should be done before scheduling an acupuncture appointment. 


Want to try acupuncture for your anxiety? Here’s what to expect.

At ICT in Wichita, we always begin a new patient’s visit by doing a full examination and assessing your condition. 

Here’s what a typical acupuncture session looks like:

  1. Once we determine the best course of action, we will begin by inserting one or more thin sterile needles into specific spots on your body to address your individual health concerns.

  2. Each insertion will leave you with a brief stinging or tingling sensation but will subside quickly.

  3. Depending on your treatment, the needles may be activated with electricity.

  4. The needles stay in place for 5-30 minutes where they are inserted half a millimeter away from the nerves, which is where they work to promote positive health by increasing blood flow.

  5. Depending on your individual treatment plan, acupuncture may be done in more than one session. Acute problems generally take 8-12 sessions. 

Acupuncture isn’t the right course of treatment for everyone, which is why at ICT, we evaluate our patients before deciding to schedule treatment-specific appointments. This approach is part of our commitment to functional medicine. With functional medicine, we ask questions and seek to get to the root cause of your health issues. If acupuncture isn’t right for you, we will recommend a treatment that fits your situation. We are happy to answer any questions you may have about acupuncture and the benefits of this type of treatment.


Acupuncture Services at ICT in Wichita 

If you’re interested in learning more about acupuncture or want to see if it’s a good fit for you, contact ICT online to schedule an appointment. 

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