Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture for Anxiety
Anxiety affects millions of Americans yearly, over 50% of college students report feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Stress is a normal physical and psychological reaction to our demands in life. Most people experience stress on a regular basis. The body should respond to that stress, then once the stress is gone the body should return to a relaxed state. However, with modern life we keep ourselves in a chronic stressed out state. In time, that affects our health. We have to get some help.
One out of every eight adults are currently taking antidepressant medications. While these medications can offer support and benefit on certain occasions, there are many people that do not respond well to this form of treatment. This could be due to:
- The side effects of the medication are worse than the benefit receiving.
- Increased sensitivity to the medication over time.
- Developing a tolerance to the medication so that the benefits have decreased.
- Maybe the anxiety is not caused by a biochemical imbalance.
Working with numerous patients with anxiety has led me to believe that Chinese Herbal Medicine, acupuncture, breathing techniques, nutritional changes, and ear acupressure techniques. Can offer huge support in the underlying causes of anxiety. Especially when several modalities of treatment are used at once. Then not only are the biochemical factors treated but the nutritional, and external influences that are affecting you can be simultaneously worked on.
Practiced for thousands of years, acupuncture is a branch of Chinese Medicine that can treat the human body & mind. It is surprising to a lot of people that acupuncture is a profoundly relaxing experience that establishes a deep quality of restoration and balance to the central nervous and endocrine system. Most people feel floaty, sleepy, or relaxed after treatment. This sensation tends to remain for 30 minutes to an hour. This is due to acupunctures ability to affect the Nervous System & the Endocrine System. Learn more here.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese Herbal formulas are as effective today as they were 2,000 years ago. Most formulas consist of two to twenty different herbs. That is why seeing a qualified practitioner of Chinese Medicine is recommended. In Chinese Medicine anxiety can be caused by one or several factors, and you want the herbal medicinal to match that condition.
What else can I do?
One of the most important things you can do is to maintain a stable blood sugar. It seems that the majority of anxiety patients I see also suffer from hypoglycemia. Mainly due to eating refined carbohydrates, refined sugar and drinking coffee or some other form of caffeine. This leads to a crashing of energy in the afternoon. Which leads to more caffeine or refined carbohydrates. Causing a jittery anxious feeling from all of the up & downs of blood sugar. To keep the blood sugar stable, eat the majority of your carbohydrates in the morning. Be sure they are the complex carbohydrate type, like oats or rice.
Also in the morning eat your protein, such as eggs, turkey/chicken sausage, Greek yogurt, & cottage cheese for example. Of course, avoid dairy if you have any allergies.
Look at adding these supplements that can be very helpful in treating anxiety:
- Fish Oil or Omega 3
- Multi-Vitamin B
Auricular (Ear) Acupressure
These are techniques that you can add to your tool box that will impact the nervous system. No need to buy any special gadgets, or instruments. By using your fingers for applying pressure and the general knowledge of auricular acupuncture points in your ear. You can help yourself. What’s better is you don’t have to spend time learning the location of these points. Just learn the massage techniques and apply daily. That is when you get the benefits of calming and regulating your mental activities. Especially when combined with other treatments. Another positive is you can apply ear acupressure anywhere, at any time, with no fear of side-effects.
Follow the video accompanying this article on how to use the Eight Methods of Ear Acupressure. When performing these methods keep the following in mind:
- Keep whole body in a natural relaxed state.
- Eyes can be open or closed.
- Mouth loosely closed, tongue touching palate.
- Face with smiling expression.
- Breathing naturally, nothing special needs to be done in the beginning.
- Massaging the ear should be slow, rhythmic, smooth, continuous, & well-coordinated with respiration eventually.
- Do each area 8 times.
From a Chinese Medical perspective, symptoms of anxiety are never random. There is usually a reason why those symptoms creep up. It can help to step back from those feelings and look at the bigger picture of what is happening. What is the anxiety telling you about yourself and what is happening in your life at the moment? Is it a warning sign that you need to change or acknowledge something? The above-mentioned practices can induce a calmness, so that you are able to think clearly. When that happens, it is easier to see the root of the problem leading towards your anxiety.
Auricular Diagnosis Treatment and Health Preservation, Liu ShiPei, Science Press Beijing