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Philadelphia Acupuncture to Help with Anxiety

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Philadelphia acupuncture and Oriental Medicine have always considered the connection between mind and body to be inseparable. Along with the ancient descriptions of external environmental disease factors, such as Wind, Heat, and Cold, internal causes of disease were considered to be due to emotions. Anger, fear, sadness, worry, and joy were correlated to each of the five Yin organs of the body. Imbalances within these organs could be the origin of the emotion, or the emotion could injure the corresponding internal organ over time.

The Western viewpoint of “more is better” has taken a toll on mental health. While some chose to work hard and play hard until exhaustion, others will suffer from over-thinking, worrying about every detail of life. This lifestyle causes the mind and body to become tied-up inside, creating anxiety and depression. Acupuncture can help treat these mental-emotional disorders by helping you to “un-do”. The needles create a deep state of relaxation during the treatment, allowing true rest and healing of both mind and body.

Anxiety comes in a variety of forms, from mild worrying about an upcoming speech or exam to phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, a nervous stomach, and even panic attacks. Some anxiety is a normal healthy response to the stresses of daily life and new situations; however, anxiety that occurs randomly or in an excessive manner is a sign for concern. Fortunately, acupuncture can help balance both the mental and physical manifestations of this condition returning you to an easy-going life.

When anxiety occurs, you may experience the obsessive thoughts circling the fearful situation you are experiencing, and physical symptoms such as chest pain, increased heart rate, and shortness of breath, stomachache, nausea, or headache. Depending on the exact manifestations of your anxiety in conjunction with an observation of the pulse and tongue, an acupuncturist can determine which Oriental Medicine pattern of anxiety you are experiencing.

Most conditions of anxiety are related to imbalances of the Heart and Kidney, referring the energetic aspects of these organs.  The Heart organ is considered a very Yang energy organ, constantly pumping the blood throughout the body. Over-excitement of the Heart due to excessive joy or an imbalance of Fire within the body can create Heat in the Heart, leading to anxiety and insomnia. The Kidney is the Water organ and functions to balance the Fire of the Heart helping to contain an excess of Fire. If the Kidney is deficient, the Heart Fire can rise up disturbing the mind.

Acupuncture treatments for anxiety can use both body and auricular acupuncture. Body acupuncture points may include Heart 7, Kidney 6, and Spleen 6 to harmonize the Heart and Kidney and nourish the cooling Yin energy of these organs. In cases of excessive Heart Heat, the points Heart 8 and Heart 9 may be used to sedate the Fire within the Heart. Auricular points, such as Shenmen (Spirit Gate), can effectively reduce anxiety; in some cases, retaining ear tacks or small magnetic balls at this auricular acupuncture point can prolong the effects between treatments.

Written by Valerie

July 28th, 2010 at 6:52 am