Anxiety & Stress

August 19th, 2015 /

About Anxiety and stress

Anxiety and depression are often linked, and it is common to experience symptoms of both. Some anxiety is normal in everyday life but persistent feelings of worry, fear or impending doom, should be treated, because they can lead to serious physical and psychological problems. Physical symptoms of anxiety include: digestive problems, headaches, high blood pressure, insomnia muscular tension, panic attacks, skin problems, a rapid pulse, palpitations, tightness in the chest, lightheadedness, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and loss of appetite.

There are also 3 theories as to the cause of anxiety.

A physiological cause, where the individual has a raised level of arousal in the central nervous system which leads to heightened reactions and physical symptoms which contribute to the anxiety.

A psychoanalytical cause originating from repressed and unresolved childhood experiences or unconscious conflict.

A behavioral cause, where the anxiety is a learned response to pain or stress which then becomes uncontrolled.

Stress on the other hand is not a dangerous condition in itself; in fact, it is actually healthy for us to have a certain amount of stress in our lives in order to provide us with challenges and stimulation. However, when the level of stress exceeds our ability to cope with it, or stretches us beyond healthy limitations, it becomes a problem. Unfortunately it is not always easy to tell when there is an overload of stress as the body will respond by working harder and harder, and it may seem that performance and efficiency are improved until the person finally succumbs, perhaps abruptly, to fatigue.

Stress or burn-out’, may result from an incapacity to cope with psychosocial stressors. Stress is largely related to the individual’s perception of change as loss or threat. Patients with burn-out are frequently anxious and depressed, suffer from insomnia, and fail to experience self-actualization. Stress has physical, emotional, and cognitive repercussions.

Physical evidence of stress in an anxious person may experience: shaking or trembling of the hands, stomach jitters, a feeling of tightness of the lumber region of the back, the individual appears very restless, (this is generally seen as constant fidgeting) jumpy and easily startled, easily fatigued, constant complaining of minor ailments, sleeping issues, various types of back pain, loss of sex drive, digestive upsets.

Emotional symptoms may present as: tearfulness, impulsive behavior, irritability, short temper, aggressiveness, the individual appears to be, agitated or perhaps sad or even depresses, they can also present as being withdrawn and disinterested and often have emotional outbursts over what appears to be nothing in particular, they can also be very argumentative.

Cognitive evidence of stress is evidenced by: memory problems, problems in decision making, mental blocks, muzzy, a disorganized way of thinking, and they can’t seem to be able to relax.

Evidence of failure to cope with persistent stress presents as: the individual is rigid and inflexibility in their way of thinking, a tendency toward the need for either sleeping pills or tranquilizers, the regular use or addiction toward alcohol or either prescription or recreational drugs, not staying in touch with friends or family, flare ups of stress related illnesses: asthma, psoriasis, IBS, ulcers, headaches, depression, constant anxiety, eating too much or a complete loss of appetite, constant and regular changes in body weight.

Acupuncture is a therapy that is able to treat all of the symptoms listed with Anxiety and stress. When people think about possible treatment options for anxiety or

stress, they very seldom think about acupuncture as a treatment option. However acupuncture is very successful at treating anxiety and stress, by reducing the symptoms and the severity of attacks.

Acupuncture is a holistic approach to medicine, where the aim of the treatment is not only to cure health problems but to balance the body, which has the effect of strengthening the immune system and preventing other illness form getting a foothold.

Much of the acupuncture consultation will be dedicated to a detailed system of TCM diagnosis (Traditional Chinese Medicine).

Successful acupuncture treatment depends on an accurate TCM diagnosis, so the initial consultation begins with typical questions such as: Your complete medical history, the symptoms you are experiencing, any pain you have had or are suffering from and what makes it feel better or worse, your sleep patterns, whether you experience any sensations of hot or cold, and whether you experience dizziness, what you’re eating habits are, bowel movements and family health history.

During the consultation the acupuncturist will also note certain observations, such as: posture, facial colour, facial expression, the brightness of your eyes or lack of, for example: a white face is linked to disharmony within the body or cold deficiency syndromes, a yellow complexion is related to dampness and a red complexion is a sign of excess heat syndrome.

The tongue is looked at and the pulse is taken and again this is done according to TCM principles. The colour, shape and coating of the tongue can reveal many patterns of illness and the pulse can give an indication of how individual organs are working in the body and whether they are underactive or overactive and whether your body is in a state of excess or deficiency.

Once the initial consultation is complete a TCM diagnosis is formed and from this diagnosis acupuncture point selection is then possible.

The length of treatment will depend on several factors, such as: the type of illness you have and its duration i.e. chronic or acute, your age, your individual healing abilities, how well you respond to acupuncture and whether you can avoid the conditions/cause of your presenting health issue. However many people can feel a difference in their health with only one or two appointments, but in general you should see some improvements after 3-4 treatments.

Because everyone is an individual, response times to acupuncture can vary, for example. After your first acupuncture appointment you may feel no improvement in your presenting complaint, however many people feel sleepy, revitalized, or sometimes a little spaced out after treatment. You can also feel an immediate improvement after acupuncture; alternatively you can feel a little worse, before you start to feel better. Acupuncture can bring emotional, mental and physical problems to the surface, however this is a positive sign so don’t worry about it. As with any treatment, complete recovery takes time and patience. For more information on what to expect from acupuncture treatment please refer to our FAQ page.


A case of Anxiety.

John F. Age 28. Attended the clinic complaining of severe anxiety and panic attacks, he was previously taking prescription medication for his symptoms but decided to stop taking this as he felt it very difficult to think clearly and focus on doing his job. John would typically suffer panic attacks 2 to 3 times per week which would be so severe he was not even capable of driving his car.

John was treated with bio-med (a natural medicine) an herbal medicine tailored to his condition and acupuncture treatment followed by Bowen therapy. His treatment plan was acupuncture treatment twice weekly for 4 months and then weekly for a further 2 months Bowen therapy followed each acupuncture session, he was also given a bio-med and an herbal supplement to take on a daily basis, regular walking or cycling was recommended and some dietary changes were also recommended. Johns improvement was slow and gradual over the few months of treatment and within the first month he noticed his panic attacks were fewer and a little less severe, this improvement continued over the following months to the point where he was more in control of his life with the occasional panic attack once every month or so. However the attacks were much less severe and shorter in duration. Over the last 8 months John has maintained his improved health and goes for regular massages every week. Acupuncture is listed by the World Health Organization as a viable treatment option for Anxiety either as a standalone therapy or as an added extra in conjunction with other therapies.



Regardless of your medically diagnosed condition acupuncture and natural medicine has something to offer.

If you would like to find out if acupuncture can help your health and wellbeing then call, 94781415 or email us via our contact page to discuss your requirements or to find out more about acupuncture please go to our FAQs page. Alternatively give acupuncture a try and make an appointment now.


 Best of health.

Paul Neilson CMP. L.Ac. ND. DHM.



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