Acupuncture, a centuries-old practice that involves inserting needles into pressure points on your body, is becoming an increasingly popular alternative treatment for anxiety. There is scientific evidence that acupuncture reduces certain symptoms of anxiety. Researchers are still investigating how acupuncture affects certain types of anxiety, such as panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
What are the benefits?
The effect of acupuncture on anxiety has been the subject of several studies. These studies, which mostly focused on generalized anxiety disorder, suggest that acupuncture Singapore may be useful in the treatment of general anxiety.
For example, promising research from 2015 found that acupuncture reduced symptoms in anxious people who had not responded to traditional interventions such as psychotherapy and medicine. Participants completed ten 30-minute acupuncture sessions over a 12-week period. Even 10 weeks after counseling, they experienced a significant decrease in their anxiety.
Two reviews of earlier research, one from 2007 and the other from 2013, show that much of it is not very reliable. Others were poorly built, others, like the one just mentioned, had a very modest number of participants. These analyzes also indicate that acupuncture does not appear to have a negative effect on anxiety.
In a more recent 2016 rat study, acupuncture was shown to be beneficial in reducing anxiety. Researchers hypothesize that this could have an impact on how the body triggers the fight-or-flight response.
While we still need to understand more about how acupuncture affects anxiety, panic attacks, and phobias, research seems to show that it is a viable and safe option. If you have anxiety that doesn’t respond to traditional therapies, or if you just want to try something new, acupuncture shouldn’t make your symptoms worse.
Are there any risks?
Although acupuncture has some potential risks and side effects, it will not make your anxiety worse. Most problems can be avoided by consulting a licensed acupuncturist. Licensing requirements vary from state to state in the US, but most involve passing an exam administered by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
The most common side effect that patients describe is soreness after acupuncture treatment. Although there may be some bruising at times, this usually disappears within a few hours. Some individuals report acute pain during the session.
Licensed acupuncturists are required to use sterile single-use needles. If your doctor did not use sufficiently sterile needles, you may get an infection. The Mayo Clinic notes that these side effects are relatively uncommon if you see a qualified, licensed acupuncturist.
Acupuncture is not recommended for a number of medical conditions. If any of the following apply to you:
- Use a pacemaker
- You bleed excessively, such as people with hemophilia
It is essential to maintain any current anxiety therapies, such as any prescription medications while having the best acupuncture Singapore. You should not stop taking any medication without first consulting your doctor.
What to expect?
When you come for your first appointment, your acupuncturist will ask you which symptoms you want to relieve. They will also ask about any medications you are taking, your medical history, and any other health problems you may have. Take this opportunity to ask any last-minute questions about the process.
During the actual procedure, long, thin needles are inserted into a series of pressure points on your body. Depending on the pressure points used, this can take 10 to 30 minutes. Your acupuncturist may also rotate the needles or give them an electrical impulse. They may leave the needles in for up to 20 minutes before carefully removing them.
Most likely, you will not be satisfied right away. Most acupuncture treatments are designed to be repeated. While most patients experience gradual improvement over time after repeated sessions, some patients claim to see results immediately.
Make sure you are aware of any applicable fees before you travel. When treating physical or mental health conditions such as anxiety, acupuncture is sometimes covered by health insurance.
Acupuncture can be a safe and effective option for treating anxiety. While more research is needed, it’s promising and shouldn’t make your problems worse.
Make sure you find an acupuncturist who is fully qualified and licensed, as they should be listed on the state board of health. It is important to continue existing anxiety treatments such as counseling or medication. You can also try other alternative treatments such as meditation, exercise, and relaxation to reduce stress and improve your overall health.