Anxiety: understanding and managing it with acupuncture

Anxiety is a common experience we all go through. If you have never had it before it can be quite a shocking ordeal; feeling like you are trapped within your body and know that something is wrong but are unaware of what it is.


I really remember the first time I ever felt anxious. I had fallen out with a good friend, and I believe my heart was literally freaking out as I absolutely believed in my mind that we would be lifelong mates forever. As challenging as a heartbreaking experience that was for me, it was a lesson life was teaching me: to surround myself with people I am resonating, growing and evolving with.

Chinese medicine pertains anxiety to the heart energy, which houses the shen or spirit of the body. People who experience anxiety may constitutionally have a weak heart energy or perhaps suffered a lot of emotional trauma and hardship in life. Anxiety can be due to truly being unhappy about a significant aspect of life, so it is very important to reflect and look deeper to what is missing or needs requires changing. The heart energy is in full flight during summer so people can be more sensitive to anxiety during this time of the year. Practising meditation and mindfulness can endure a calming effect on the heart energy.

Acupuncture is very calming and relaxing for the heart, when combined with the right Chinese herbs anxiety can be managed and alleviated. Ultimately the patient will be willing to do the inner work to see if there is a deeper level to their anxiety with these tools and psychology, meditation and goal planning.

Medication should be a last resort, as there can be serious side effects given the cause is not being treated, just the symptom. Louise Hay says that when out body becomes ill or unhappy it speaks to us through signs and symptoms: to pop a pill for every ailment that presents is like telling it to shut up. Be kind to yourself and to the body you live in!

@Ilana Sowter Acupuncture Melbourne, Ivanhoe

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