Acupuncture is a 2,000-year-old Chinese healing practice used annually by more than 3.5 million Americans to treat such conditions as anxiety and chronic pain. Acupuncture is a non-surgical method of treatment where needles are inserted into points of the body—meridian points—in order to restore proper energy flow. From the perspective of Chinese medicine each person’s symptoms arise in a way that makes sense given that individual’s constitution, environment and lifestyle. Effective acupuncture treatment promotes a person’s underlying health while providing unique ways to alleviate symptoms.
The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) gave its stamp of approval to acupuncture back in 1996 when it categorized acupuncture needles as a medical device.
The efficacy of acupuncture has been researched in various studies over the years. In a 2013 study published in the Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, patients who underwent a 20-minute acupuncture session felt less anxious after the session. Another study performed at Georgetown University and published in the April 2013 issue of the Journal of Endocrinology showed that acupuncture slows down the body’s production of cortisol, the “stress hormone.”
In another study of 55 adults who had not been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, acupuncture needles were placed in the skin for 48 hours. One group received a placebo needle, in a sham meridian point. The other group received a placement in an acupuncture point called the “shenmen” point, which is located in the ear and said to alleviate anxiety. These patients in the latter group reported less anxiety at 30 minutes, then also at 24, and again at 48 hours. However, further research is being conducted on this meridian point.
Another study showed that acupuncture may also alleviate anxiety for those undergoing fertility treatments, while also promoting blood flow to the uterus.
Acupuncture is one of the many holistic ways to treat anxiety and depression. Other effective anxiety treatments include meditation techniques, yoga, exercise, breathing techniques and ketamine infusions. Ketamine treatments are becoming a popular way to alleviate anxiety, as they oftentimes alleviate symptoms in as a few as 1-2 infusions. Either on its own or in combination with other treatments, ketamine has been shown to be a lifesaver for those suffering from debilitating anxiety disorders or other psychiatric conditions.
If you are feeling anxious or depressed—especially as a result of the current global health crisis—contact us for a consultation on the best treatment for you. We offer both acupuncture and ketamine infusions at our clinic. Our integrative medicine clinic is open on a by-appointment-only basis. We are taking extra steps to ensure the safety of our patients and staff. For more information, contact us using the brief form below.