Stress & Anxiety
Acupuncture can help alleviate stress and anxiety in a variety of ways. Explaining this depends on what paradigm you choose to use. From a Chinese perspective we can analyze how stress affects the ability of the body to move qi, which impacts the way vital nutrients (blood and yin) are distributed to the organs. For example, if someone has too much stress in their life, this will negatively impact the body's ability to move qi and energy, which creates a blockage. This blockage would prevent the body from nourishing organs like the heart, which are responsible for keeping us grounded and at ease. If this energy flow continues to stay disrupted, the energy blockage can move all at once, ending in an episode such as a panic attack. Modalities such as acupuncture can help free the flow of energy, which then allows to the body to nourish the heart, and alleviate anxiety. Sometimes if this blockage has been long standing, the organs can be deficient in vital substances such as blood or yin. In this case, Chinese herbs would be prescribed to help build reserves back up again.
From a western perspective stress and anxiety are the result of the body body staying in a hyper alert, fight or flight response for long periods. The end results of this can include irritability, impatience, anxiety, insomnia, IBS, headaches and so on. When receiving acupuncture, the nervous system is gently nudged into the parasympathetic, or rest and digest state. Over time, the nervous system begins to self regulate resulting in a calmer, more relaxed state.