Is Acupuncture an Effective Treatment for Anxiety?

Recently I have noticed more of my patients are experiencing anxiety like they have never had before. They may have had great results with acupuncture for reducing pain, hot flashes,  and acid reflux, but they do not know if it will work for anxiety. I understand, it feels like you will never recover from the self perpetuating cycle. Good news though, recent studies have shown that acupuncture can reduce symptoms of anxiety twice as much as conventional drug therapy. This is because acupuncture has been shown to have an effect on the sympathetic nervous system and parasympathetic nervous system by allowing the body to improve its ability in coping with stress. Acupuncture does this by lessening the stress neurochemicals released in the brain, increasing the release of endorphins, and improving the heart rate variability. I highly recommend doing acupuncture with Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) which is intended to help patients change their thinking patterns to reduce anxiety. If one can calm their nervous system and then change their thinking pattern, I believe patients can overcome their anxiety naturally without taking pharmaceuticals.