Stress, Anxiety & Depression

Acupuncture for anxiety | Acupuncture for depressionAcupuncture for insomnia

Acupuncture for anxiety

Anxiety can trigger a variety of responses in the human body, from physical responses such as sweating, nausea, diarrhoea, palpitations and shortness of breath to emotional responses such as; irritability, fear and poor concentration, as well as behavioural and cognitive responses.

Conventional treatment for anxiety disorders include psychological therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and applied relaxation, and medication such as some antidepressants and benzodiazepines (NICE, 2007). All drug treatments have side effects, and many may cause withdrawal symptoms.

Acupuncture can be used to effectively treat anxiety by acting on areas of the brain in charge with reducing sensitivity to pain and stress, hence promoting the relaxation response. Acupuncture regulates hormones and neurotransmitters that are known to affect our mood and well-being, such as endorphins, serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine. 

Acupuncture can be also used safely and effectively in conjunction with other treatment options.

That means you don’t need to come off any existing medications before beginning treatment.  In fact, acupuncture often helps to reduce the side effects of medication and enhance their therapeutic effects.

It is estimated that 1 in 4 Kiwis are experiencing some type of anxiety, panic attack, obsessive compulsive disorder, phobia or associated issue right now.

Anxiety NZ Trust

At Bay Acupuncture we have seen great results in addressing anxiety disorders and it is really rewarding to see positive effects in patient’s lives. As you can imagine these results don’t happen overnight but often significant relief can be achieved relatively quickly.  Treatment is always based on a full case history before we agree a treatment plan that may consist of acupuncture, lifestyle and dietary advice.

More reading:
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (2007): Anxiety: Management of anxiety (panic disorder, with or without agoraphobia, and generalised anxiety disorder) in adults in primary, secondary and community care.


Acupuncture for depression

At one time or another, most of us have experienced some form of depression. Feeling miserable or overwhelmed in response to difficult situations is normal. When we are balanced, physically and emotionally, we can easily come back from a depressed state and move on with our lives.

When these feelings of unhappiness are intense and persistent - and they don’t go away even when things improve - this could be depression.

More reading:
One in six New Zealanders will experience serious depression, at some time in their life.

Acupuncture is proven to regulate brain’s chemistry, increasing the levels of “feel-good” hormones called endorphins and serotonin.  Studies indicate that acupuncture is as effective as counselling and medication on the treatment of depression and can be used safely and effectively in conjunction with other treatment options.

Depression can be a lonely journey, and many of our patients report that coming regularly for treatment gives them back the energy to bounce back and take the right steps towards good mental and emotional health.

More reading:
Zhang Z.J. et al (2010). “
The effectiveness and safety of acupuncture therapy in depressive disorders: Systematic review and meta-analysis.” Journal of Affective Disorders,124 (1-2)9-21


Acupuncture for insomnia

Acupuncture treats insomnia by balancing hormones regulating cortisol and serotonin levels in the body.  By modulating the biochemical action in the brain stress is relieved, mood improves and the body is able to switch off and better sleep patterns are established. 

While occasional restless nights are normal, prolonged insomnia can interfere with daytime function, concentration, and memory. Insomnia increases the risk of substance abuse, motor vehicle accidents, headaches, and depression.

People with insomnia tend to experience one or more of the following sleep disturbances:

  • Difficulty falling asleep at night
  • Waking too early in the morning
  • Waking frequently throughout the night
  • Sleep that is chronically non-restorative or poor

Rather than attempting to sedate like sleeping pills, which can further exacerbate the problem, Acupuncture treatment seeks to find the source of the disharmony and rebalance this. Understanding your cycle helps to determine how the body has become imbalanced.

In my clinical experience, many patients experience a good improvement in their sleep pattern even if this was not the condition that treatment was sought for!

anxiety, panic attack, irritability, poor concentration, feeling miserable, insomnia

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Bay Acupuncture are ACC treatment providers so bring your ACC45 number to your first appointment or obtain one from your GP, Physiotherapist, Chiropractor or Osteopath.