Anxiety disorder is probably one of the most common disorders in the world, it affects both humans and animals alike. For some, attacks of anxiety may be a passing phase, for others it lingers on throughout their lifetime, resulting in varying degrees of neurological disorders and illnesses which can detrimentally interfere with their ability to live a normal happy life. Modern psychiatry use several medications which are prescribed specifically for individuals in this category, none of which offer a long term good result. Most of these medications have varying degrees of negative side affects which can also result in added anxiety to the sufferer. Acupuncture treatment for anxiety offers a natural proven non invasive way of dealing with anxiety and stress.
There has been a great deal of research on Acupuncture treatment for anxiety and for the management of a range of mental conditions, as demonstrated by the number of reviews currently listed on the Cochrane database. In more recent review of the evidence on various complementary therapies in anxiety disorders, it was concluded that there was ‘promising evidence that acupuncture can effectively reduce the symptoms of anxiety in individuals with anxiety neurosis and that further investigation was justified.
TCM theory of Acupuncture work
Optimal health and harmony occur when the correct quantity, quality and movement of Qi (pronounced “chee”) resides throughout the body. Qi means “vital life energy” and animates the body and protects it from pain, illness and disease; however, when the quantity, quality and movement of Qi is reduced, our health suffers. Qi can be normalized by treating prescribed acupuncture points unique to your constitution and health concerns, and there are approximately 400 acupuncture points in the human body. Acupuncture and eastern therapies have become more popular in different parts of the world, and a variety of techniques have developed also. All techniques using acupuncture aim to re balance and harmonize the body, mind and spirit.
Traditional Chinese Medicine and the five elements
Elements found in the natural world — Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood. Each Element creates, supports and influences the other Elements, thereby maintaining an entire balance. When these Elements are out of balance, unhealthy sign and symptoms often occur. Five Element Acupuncturists focus on how the Elements are interacting with each other in each unique person. For example, a fire requires a certain amount of wood to create a good flame. Not enough wood can leave you without enough flame to keep you warm, while too much wood can burn out of control. By diagnosing and treating the main element that is out of balance, Five Element Acupuncturists uncover the underlying cause or “Causative Factor” of your symptoms. Classical Five Element Acupuncture is one of the finest systems of preventive medicine and is an effective treatment to enhance sleep, reduce food cravings, experience greater vitality with fuller energy reserves, have a fuller sense of yourself, and enjoy more nourishing relationships and freedom from pain.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), generalized anxiety disorder is thought to be disorder of Shan You Si or YuZhen. (TCM) views anxiety not as a brain dysfunction, but more as an inner organs dysfunction. TCM theory holds that each of the Zang Organs plays a role in the emotions. The health of our organ’s and our emotions are intimately connected. Zang organs can develop imbalances and dysfunctions due to dietary, hereditary, environmental and lifestyle factors. By understanding these connections, we can see how anxiety disorder may be the result of dysfunction or imbalance in the one or more of our organs.
TCM Theory on Organ dysfunction
- Spleen disorder – may result in worry, dwelling, or focusing too much on a particular topic, excessive mental work
- Heart Disorder – Lack of enthusiasm and vitality, mental restlessness, depression, insomnia, despair are symptoms
- Liver disorder – emotional symptoms are resentment, anger, irritability, frustration, bitterness, and “flying off the handle
- Lung disorder – grief, sadness, and detachment
- Kidney disorders – fearful, insecure, aloof, isolated, and have weak willpower
While the Heart Zang is said to store the Shen or spirit, in all anxiety cases, the Shen is disturbed. While a generalized anxiety disorder always affects the Shen, either primarily or secondarily, calming and harmonizing the Shen will be the fundamental treatment. TCM classifies the cause of the disorders according to the extent to which individual Zang Organs demonstrate signs and symptoms of disturbance and the extent to which their Qi is affected. In anxiety, the most common injured organs are the Spleen and Heart. When there is a disturbance in one or more of these Zang organs from any cause, an imbalanced emotional state can happen. Therefore, anxiety will be divided into several different types by Chinese Medicine:
- Lung Qi Deficiency: Rapidly changing moods, fatigue, sweating easily upon exertion, sadness and easily feeling grief and loss, inability to “let go,” aversion to speaking, shortness of breath, a weak cough, throat discomfort, a pale tongue with a thin white coating, and a thin pulse.
- Kidney Qi Deficiency: Feelings of fear and dread, and may be accompanied by lower back and knee weakness, lack of sexual desire, frequent urination, cold hands and feet, a pale tongue, and a weak pulse.
- Heart/Spleen Qi Deficiency: Obsessive worry, aversion to speaking, palpitations, insomnia, fatigue, poor appetite, abdominal distention, teeth mark in the tongue, a pale tongue, and weak pulse.
- Liver Qi Stagnation Affecting the Spleen: Muscular tension, fatigue, alternating Constipation and loose stools, feelings of irritability, preoccupation, moodiness, hypochondriac tightness or pain, poor appetite, a pale or dusky tongue with distended sub lingual veins, and a wiry-weak pulse.