With the holidays on the horizon and the arrival of shorter, colder days, many patients are experiencing an increase in stress and anxiety. Acupuncture is one of the best tools I know of to manage this discomfort. In fact, I love helping patients with stress and anxiety so much that I am introducing a new, targeted treatment program designed specifically to help you feel relaxed, right away.
My interest in treating anxiety began during my first year of acupuncture training as the stress of school began to rise. It wasn’t until I told a Western medical nurse practitioner about episodes of chest constriction and lightheadedness that I discovered I was having an acute anxious response.
“Are you under a lot of stress?” she asked me.
At the time my husband was finishing his graduate thesis and neither of us had a job. I was less than one quarter of the way through school and already feeling overwhelmed.
The nurse took my hands in hers and said, “That is a lot of stress. I want you to know that feeling panicked is a natural response to that much stress.”
Oh. I didn’t realize I was under that much stress. But she was right. I was under incredible pressure to accomplish my goals and keep my life together. I knew I needed a body-mind solution. That’s why I chose acupuncture.
Acupuncture offers a full-spectrum healthcare option for body, mind, and spirit.
What I love about this unique approach to working with anxiety is that it is not limited to impacting the way we think; it always involves the body, without question.
What does working with me look like? First, I start by asking questions about your experience, including what initiates your symptoms and how you feel during anxious episodes. Many anxiety sufferers experience muscle tension, abdominal discomfort, heart palpitations, and nervous exhaustion along with their anxiety symptoms, which naturally add to the feeling of stress.
I then come up with a treatment plan that helps your body recognize relaxation as a safe space. It disrupts the sympathetic nervous system response—the “fight or flight” mechanism—and switches the body into parasympathetic mode, the “rest and digest” function.
Over time your body and mind will sink into deeper states of rest and relaxation through acupuncture.
The key to integrating this profound benefit of treatment comes by creating links between the relaxed state of treatment and simple practices you can use outside of the clinic. These may include acupressure, breathing exercises, and creative self-expression, which offer relief between sessions and extend the benefits of our time together.
My goal is to help you see relaxation as your natural state and provide tools for working with your symptoms in the midst of everyday life. You really are capable of feeling grounded, connected, and centered, even in the presence of triggers.
Anxiety is a complex condition, but it is not unmanageable. Acupuncture can help.