Is anxiety really necessary?
Anxiety in our fast-paced world seems to be something we all have to live with—but is it? The health industry has seen the treatment in anxiety rise in recent years to an unprecedented high. Today, 19% of men and 21% of women worldwide experience some sort of stress-related disorder that requires intervention.
The problem is, what kind of treatment is effective for relieving anxiety and stress?
There are basically three types of treatments available to help alleviate symptoms: medicine, counseling, and alternative (naturopathic) treatment. Each has its adherents, its successes and its failures. This article will deal with anxiety and acupuncture, a method of inserting thin needles into the skin approximately half a millimeter away from a nerve, reportedly balancing the Qi (pronounced “chee”) in the body. Thousands of years old, this method is described in ancient Chinese medicine and is only now finding wide acceptance in the West.
What does stress do to you?
When a person lives with unrelieved stress in his life, the adrenal, hypothalamus and pituitary glands cannot keep up with the body’s need for stress hormones, leading to physical and emotional or mental problems. Acupuncture has been studied to see if it can, indeed, reduce the level of stress by allowing the hormonal balance to be restored. Anxiety and acupuncture seem to be a workable pair.
What does research show?
In a study published in the Journal of Endocrinology
in March 2013, rats were subjected to an hour in the cold every day for ten days. Those who underwent the procedure prior to the stressor showed markedly less stress than did those who did not have acupuncture. Two other groups participated in the study: one, the control group who neither had acupuncture nor were subjected to the cold, and the other, a group subjected to the cold but treated with “false” acupuncture (that is, acupuncture applied in the wrong place). Neither of those groups showed improvement in their anxiety levels, measured by the elevation of cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine in the blood. When these adrenal stress hormones are elevated over a long period of time the condition can become chronic.
According to Dr. Rachel Anderson
, a licensed naturopathic doctor and certified acupuncturist, this situation can lead to other disorders as well, including depression, high blood pressure, sleep problems, weight gain, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, frequent infections, chronic pain, and more.
Whether you elect to go the route of traditional (modern) medicine, therapeutic counseling, or naturopathic medicine and acupuncture, it’s important to see your doctor before your anxiety steals your peace, and possibly your life.