Acupuncture & Herbs for Anxiety

By Marcie Bower, Lic.Ac.

This post is copied from our older, original blog. Original post date 5/14/2014.

Anxiety is a very common issue that we treat in our clinic using acupuncture and herbs. While anxiety is a normal human emotion that everyone experiences at one time or another. However, for individuals with anxiety disorders, the anxiety can affect their ability to function in their day to day life. Anxiety disorders are conditions that cause people to feel excessively frightened, stressed, worried, or upset, in situations where others would likely not experience the same feelings. There are numerous types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias. Anxiety disorders are very common – they affect about 20% of the US population at any given time. Individuals without a diagnosed anxiety disorder may also experience intense anxiety in certain situations – before a big test, for example.

From a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective, anxiety is usually related to an imbalance in the emotional energies of the body. There are numerous other systems, from a TCM perspective, that also play into anxiety – this is why anxiety may manifest differently for different people. An acupuncturist will work with you to be sure they understand your unique experience of anxiety.

A growing body of clinical research suggests that acupuncture may be an effective therapeutic option for those dealing with anxiety. In one clinical research study of 91 patients with preoperative anxiety, auricular acupuncture (ear acupuncture) focusing on relaxation points was shown to decrease anxiety scores significantly, compared to patients in a control group receiving non-acupuncture points.