Do you have any of the symptoms of anxiety?
According to the World Health Organisation common mental disorders are increasing worldwide. Between 1990 and 2013 the number of people suffering from anxiety and depression increased by 50%. In Ireland 1 in 9 people will suffer with an anxiety disorder in their lifetime due to the many demands we face at home, in school/college and at work.
Common Psychological symptoms of anxiety include:
· Feeling restless
· Easily distracted
· Feeling constantly on edge
· Feeling withdrawn from friends and family
Common Physical symptoms of anxiety include:
· Drowsiness & tiredness
· Muscle aches & tension
· Stomach ache
It is possible to develop physical symptoms such as those listed above without any psychological ones. If left untreated, symptoms may worsen therefore early treatment is beneficial.
Acupuncture is a proven aid in the treatment of common disorders including anxiety.
In treating anxiety using Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) your practitioner observes the interrelationship between the organs and where the dysfunction may lie. TCM divides the internal organs into two categories; the Zang Organs and the Fu Organs. There are five Zang and six Fu Organs.
The Zang Organs are the Heart, Liver, Lung, Spleen and Kidney and their main functions are to store vital substances such as qi and blood.
The Fu Organs are the Small Intestine, Large Intestine, Gall Bladder, Stomach, Pericardium and the Triple Burner. Their primary function is the transformation of nutrients to qi and blood.
Qi is the Chinese term for a vital force that flows through all living things including the human body. Anything that interferes with the flow of qi may lead to imbalances or blockages. TCM theory observes the relationship between each Zang Organ and particular emotion as follows:
· The heart relates to Joy
· Liver to Anger
· Lungs to Sadness
· Kidney to Fear
· Spleen to Thinking
When these emotions become excessive an imbalance occurs and causes a disharmony within the body function.
How Acupuncture helps treat an anxiety disorder.
Based on your TCM practitioners observation on where the disharmony lies treatment will be focused on the specific organ or organs affected and help to achieve a more balanced emotional state.
Western Medicine tends to associate emotional and mental disorders solely with the brain and treatment commonly focuses on medications such as anti-depressants and benzodiazepines; these medications have many side effects.
*It is important to note that one should consult with their doctor before making any changes to their prescription.
Additional alternative therapies that are helpful with treating anxiety are:
· Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)