Over 18% of adults between the ages 18-54 in the United States suffer from some form of an anxiety disorder. Typically, the most common treatment for these disorders is prescription medicine, with a combination of therapy. Prescription pills often cause individuals to develop a reliance on these potent drugs, and find it hard to wean themselves off. This dependence can become disruptive in life, as these drugs can cause a wide variety of different side effects, including headaches, dizziness, nausea, irritability, and even suicidal thinking. While therapy may be a beneficial alternative to anxiety disorders, it is a timely and often painful endeavor. Most patients with anxiety are expected to attend therapy at least once a week for one hour, and this time commitment can become difficult. Discussing personal and intimate thoughts and experiences can become painful as well, which makes therapy less appealing to those suffering with different anxiety disorders.
Acupuncture has been around in Chinese medicine for centuries, and it is now being used more than ever in the United States. In traditional Chinese medicine, anxiety disorder is not perceived as a disorder in the brain, but a malfunction in the internal organs. In Chinese medicine, organs and emotions are intimately connected. The organs can be affected by changes in diet, environmental, in lifestyle or by hereditary factors. The needles used in acupuncture treatments are placed at specific points around the body, and are located about a millimeter away from a nerve. This careful and deliberate placement of the needle can help to trigger neurotransmitters and stimulate the brain to help control the body's emotions, and induce the patient into a relaxed state. In fact, a detailed study in 2013 showed that after just 20 minutes of acupuncture treatment, patients experienced better memory function, and lower stress levels. Acupuncture works immediately. Although each acupuncture session may have different results in general benefits they can be perceived very quickly. Furthermore, this technique can help overcome other ailments, which is very good for your general well-being. The immediate results of acupuncture allow clients to continue the treatments. Acupuncture helps to regulate the body naturally, whereas prescription medications regulate the body artificially. With regulating the body naturally, eventually the body can relearn how to restore hormones to pre-stress levels, and can help control emotions. Additionally, acupuncture relaxes patients, and restores the body's natural circadian rhythm, which helps the patient to sleep better at night; studies prove that better quality sleep will serve to reduce stress and anxiety. During acupuncture, scents such as lavender may be diffused throughout the room in order to further relax the individual undergoing the acupuncture procedure. Soothing music can be played as well.
In conjunction with acupuncture, the use of the earth's natural plant seeds, herbs, barks, flowers, or berries can help to replace the costly prescription medication.
Many are skeptical about the effectiveness and benefits of acupuncture. Studies are still missing around this practice, which is considered an alternative treatment. Despite this, it is considered by many as an effective treatment of long-term anxiety, and prevention of future problems.