Anxiety, Stress & Panic Attacks

Anxiety, Stress & Panic Attacks

Anxiety, Stress & Panic Attacks

Posted on June 27th, 2023

Anxiety is characterized by a mood of fear and is often associated with insomnia. Panic disorders are recurrent attacks of severe anxiety. Causes may include fatigue, stress, nervous disorders, depression or hormone imbalance.

Signs and Symptoms
• Tension over or terror about a danger whose source is often unrecognized
• Rapid heartbeat or respiration
• Tremor
• Gastrointestinal distress
• Motor tension (trembling, muscle aches, restlessness, inability to relax)
• Perspiring
• Dry mouth
• Dizziness
• Impatience and irritability, insomnia, or difficulty in concentrating
• With generalized anxiety disorder, persistent anxiety for at least a month without any specific phobia or panic attack
• Possible drug abuse to avoid symptoms

Panic Attacks
Signs and Symptoms
• Feelings of fear or extreme tension and a sense of impending doom
• Shortness of breath
• Palpitations, chest pain or discomfort, or feelings of choking or smothering
• Dizziness or unsteadiness
• Sense of unreality
• Tingling in your extremities (hands or feet); hot and cold flashes; inexplicable perspiration
• Trembling
• Fear of losing your mind, dying, or losing control
• Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea

Acupuncture for anxiety works by:

Downregulating the body’s stress response by balancing neurotransmitters and hormones. Stress triggers the production of certain hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) to enable the body to deal with stress accordingly. Chronic stress can reduce your serotonin levels which is the hormone associated with happiness and feelings of wellbeing. Acupuncture can help balance these hormones and reduce anxiety symptoms.

  • Deactivating the “analytical” brain which is responsible for anxiety and worries, and acting on the primary somatosensory cortex which is the area in the middle of the brain which is known to reduce sensitivity to stress and pain.
  • Stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system to initiate the relaxation response. When we get stressed, our sympathetic nervous system gets switched on which triggers physiological and emotional changes within the body including anxiety. The parasympathetic nervous system acts like a brake and when stimulated, will calm your nervous system down to help you relax.
  • Regulate the release of inflammatory markers and chemicals which are associated with anxiety. Emotional disturbances and anxiety can lead to lowered immune system function and increased inflammation in the body. Acupuncture has shown to restore immune function when anxiety is present.
  • Reverse the effects of stress-induced behavioral and biochemical changes that are triggered when someone experiences anxiety.

Acupuncture is an effective modality for treating anxiety as it helps to reduce stress levels, balance hormones and regulate the part of the brain that is responsible for certain emotions and behavioral traits.

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