There are many people who suffer from anxiety on a regular basis. In fact, it seems to be affecting more and more people at a younger and younger age. While we’ve grown accustomed to anxiety symptoms from those who have experienced some form of trauma, it is increasingly common to hear of young school children and college students, among others, who suffer as well. But what causes anxiety?
Generalized anxiety can be triggered by a variety of factors, both internal and external. Aside from trauma, environmental stressors from work, school, family, or finances, as well as illnesses, genetic predispositions, and brain chemistry can all affect whether or not a person may live with uncontrolled feelings of worry or anxiousness. In the young, school and peer pressures, as well as the perceived connection (or disconnection) from technology and social media add to anxiety levels.
Whatever the case, having generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) can be debilitating, with sufferers often experiencing worry to the point that it interferes with life’s daily activities, including work and school. In extreme cases, the anxiety can manifest itself in physical symptoms similar to those associated with a heart attack or stroke. These include heart palpitations, sweating/flushing, headache and backache, fatigue, restlessness, digestive issues like diarrhea and nausea, and difficulty sleeping and concentrating.
Anxiety attacks, often called panic attacks, differ from GAD in that, instead of an ongoing sense of anxiousness, sufferers experience sudden and intense feelings of terror, fear or apprehension, when no actual danger is imminent. These attacks, usually short in duration, can feel severe, bringing on chest pains, rapid heart rate, shortness of breath and dizziness, as well as a host of negative thoughts and fears. In fact, the fear of another panic attack is often a trigger for one.
As with other mental health conditions, it’s possible to find significant relief from anxiety disorders with treatment. Talk therapy and behavioral therapy not only involve working with a therapist to actively reduce anxiety symptoms, but help patients develop coping skills and address issues that may be preventing them from returning to participate in normal activities. Conventional medicine offers a host of prescription medications for addressing different anxiety disorders. This may be effective, but may also come with undesirable side effects.
A treatment for anxiety disorders that is increasing in popularity is acupuncture therapy because there is a growing body of evidence showing its effectiveness for naturally treating not only pain but GAD as well. According to Chinese medical theory, energy, or Qi, flows through the body through a network of lines, or meridians. When this flow is interrupted by stress or other intense emotion, a variety of symptoms, including anxiety, can result.
Acupuncture works to restore the flow of energy, thereby reducing anxiety. Unlike talk therapy, which can take a while to show results, acupuncture shows some immediate effectiveness, with longer lasting results to follow after repeated sessions. As a bonus, it works with the body’s own healing properties and doesn’t involve prescription medications, so no nasty side effects.
Talk with us about trying acupuncture to treat your anxiety. If you are already receiving treatment through traditional therapies, we can begin by adding it to your current treatment protocol to increase effectiveness and, hopefully, wean you off of any medications to leave you feeling better naturally.
Read More about Managing Stress with Acupuncture