A new piece of research has concluded that acupuncture is beneficial for anxiety. In fact, the randomized controlled trial concluded that “Acupuncture is a promising intervention for patients with chronic anxiety symptoms that have proven resistant to other forms of treatment.”.
In clinic we regularly see how effectively acupuncture reduces stress hormones such as cortisol and most of our patients leave their sessions with a better sense of well-being and feel more relaxed.
When we treat anxiety we are looking for two things to happen. Firstly, that any anxiety lessens, like turning the volume button down on it gradually, until it altogether fades. Secondly, that the person feels no anxiety after an acupuncture session, and the time this lasts for, lengthens with each session. For instance after the first session, they may feel no anxiety for one night and day, after a second session, that may stretch to 2-3 days, and so on. This is because the benefits of acupuncture can build gradually, which is why a course of sessions is usually recommended. An average course for anxiety may be 6 sessions, attending once a week.
We also love to use techniques that may help between sessions, such as tiny ‘ear seeds’. These stainless steel ball-bearings that are about the size of a pen tip, are covered with a plaster, and placed on a point on the ear. You then massage the point and it can hep to reduce anxiety and promote a good night’s sleep.
Here is what previous patients have said about their acupuncture treatment:
I work in a high pressure environment and had been suffering for some time with work related stress and anxiety – I just couldn’t ’switch off’ and relax – and it was really wearing me down.
Caitlin had been recommended by a work colleague and it had got to the point where I felt I had to do something about the problems I was facing.
In the initial consultation, it felt great to get the problems on the table and after my first session I felt the benefits almost immediately. Although I wouldn’t say I was sceptical, I didn’t expect to feel so different, so quickly. It was a real result.
After just a few weeks treatment, I can safely say I felt like a different person. I was finding it much easier to chill out and not bring work anxieties home with me. I also found it much easier to deal with the day to day pressure and overall, I felt more ‘balanced’ as a person.
For the past ten years or so I have experienced infrequent panic attacks, perhaps a couple of times a year when I was away from home or in confined spaces. However, one never did follow another and so as a consequence they were easy to forget and recover from. The situation changed when I was about three months pregnant. I started to experience frequent panic attacks at home and in public places and to be honest I thought I was losing my mind. I spoke to my GP but she was unable to help or prescribe any medication as I was pregnant. I felt desperate until I spoke to Caitlin.
Her calm, professional and expert approach immediately made me feel as though I could get back to ‘normal’ . She said she was fairly confident acupuncture may make a difference. This was a lifeline to me and within five or six sessions my panic attacks ceased and my anxiety levels decreased significantly. I am grateful that I did not compromise my pregnancy by taking any prescribed medication. The acupuncture was pain free, relaxing and most importantly it worked.
I came across Caitlin after I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety by my GP. I was prescribed anti-depressants and while I was relieved to find out I wasn’t actually going mad as I had suspected, and that there was a genuine reason for the way I’d been feeling for over 12 months, I was adamant that there must be an alternative solution rather than taking prescribed medication.
On my first visit to Caitlin I didn’t know what to expect. Caitlin immediately put me at ease and spoke to me about how I’d been feeling along with my health and lifestyle in general. To this day I still don’t know how I didn’t just break down into tears; it took every ounce of courage to keep my composure in order to explain exactly how I felt.
I didn’t know what to expect after the first session but felt I knew I’d found someone who could really help and make a difference to my life. Since then I’ve had weekly sessions and I can honestly say I have to credit Caitlin with making me feel like ‘me’ again, something I thought would never happen. I don’t wake up every morning dreading what the day will bring nor do I wake up and wish that I hadn’t, which I think had to be the worst thing about how I had been feeling. I don’t feel like I’m living in a fog and I can rationalise my feelings far better than I ever thought possible.
I have an awful lot to thank Caitlin for, I often feel like the sessions I’ve had have been part counselling and therapy and part acupuncture, just talking to Caitlin made me feel better, she understood and didn’t judge me.
For anyone thinking of acupuncture I can highly recommend it, Caitlin really has given me back my life.
If you are feeling anxious, please do give us a call to see how acupuncture may be able to help.
We are treating a lot of people post Christmas who are suffering with insomnia. Certainly a change of routine over the holiday period has not helped many. But often insomnia can creep in without any real trigger. Acupuncture may really help. Usually a course of treatment is necessary- perhaps 6 sessions, attending once a week. We may also give you aids to help you sleep during sessions, for instance, small press on type plasters to wear on your ear or wrist. These tools and acupuncture seem to help whether you are someone who cannot go to sleep or someone who goes to sleep but then wakes and finds it difficult to drift back off again.
Read more about how it works here.
We have also been recommending trying this sleep technique and you can see if you follow us on facebook, that it does seem to work for many. Initially you can feel a bit anxious, worrying that you may run out of breathe. You won’t! Try it a few times and see if it helps. Then consider some acupuncture to treat the insomnia on a deeper level and get you back to balance and sleeping like a contended baby!
All of us could do with a boost at this busy time of year. If you’re feeling a bit under the weather and need a pick me up, try this Christmas punch which is packed with antioxidants.
Super-healthy Christmas Punch
Here’s a recipe that really does pack some punch! Cranberries are full of health-protecting vitamin C and phytonutrients, plus fibre for good digestive function. Along with the anti-inflammatory properties of ginger, which also numbers respiratory benefits amongst its host of helpful properties, it’ll help you feel fresh and full of natural ‘zing’!
Ingredients to fill 6 medium glasses
1 large orange, juiced, and with rind ‘zested’
350 grams of fresh or frozen cranberries
1.5 inch piece of fresh root ginger chopped into small chunks
3 tablespoons honey
6 cups of water
Place the orange juice and zest into a blender with the remaining ingredients. Blend until a drink-like consistency is achieved, adding more water if required. Strain through a mesh sieve and serve in glasses with slices of fresh orange.
By Sam Folcarelli, a student of Naturopathic Nutrition at CNM Edinburgh.
We love working with migraine – mostly as we expect to see consistently good results. Whether you have suffered from migraines all your life, or just recently, it’s worth considering some acupuncture. A course of 6 treatments often brings huge benefits and a reduction in symptoms. Read more here about the evidence.
Science is catching up! Various studies over the past couple of years have gone some way to showing how acupuncture affects various parts of our brain. This is particularly illuminating in terms of understanding how acupuncture helps to reduce sensations of pain in the body. Read more here.