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Meta Study Finds Acupuncture Provides Relief from Anxiety

By: Vanessa Vogel Batt L.Ac. MSOM

Some anxiety is a healthy response to daily activity or new situations however random or excessive anxiety and can be debilitating. General anxiety, panic, social anxiety, separation anxiety and other phobias can present as mild worrying to more physical responses such as nausea, insomnia, shortness of breath and panic attacks.

A 2016 meta study published in the medical journal Revista Brasiliera de Enfermagem reviewed over 500 clinical trials from five international databases, including one from The Cochrane Library. The trials covered a wide variety of ages and socio-economic circumstances in which the feelings of anxiety, helplessness or apprehension remained as constant challenges in the patients' lives. Researchers noted that a chronic state of mental unrest could lead to secondary health problems such as heart disease or gastrointestinal issues.

After having acupuncture, subjects saw a reduction in anxiety levels, trauma, and an improvement in their quality of life. Researchers concluded that acupuncture, compared to just conventional pharmaceutical treatment, provides a statistically significant benefit for those suffering from anxiety.  It was also discovered that auricular acupuncture, or ear acupuncture, also worked as well as regular acupuncture treatments.

Acupuncture provides relief from stressors that cause anxiety along with managing the symptoms and related health issues that develop as a result. The calming nature of acupuncture decreases the heart rate, lowers blood pressure and relaxes the muscles. Oriental medicine tools such as Qi Gong, Tai Chi, meditation, dietary therapy and acupressure may also be used to manage anxiety.

Anxiety disorders and mental health issues are best managed when health professionals work together. Find a practitioner near you today!

Source: Goyata, S. Avelino, C., dos Santos, S., et al. (2016). Effects from acupuncture in treating anxiety: integrative review. Rev. Bras. Enferm. vol. 69, no.3.


About the Author: Vanessa Vogel Batt, L.Ac., MSTOM, studied at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, and practiced acupuncture and Oriental medicine in New York for several years. Vanessa enjoys traveling the world, and has published articles on acupuncture and Oriental medicine and related health topics for websites and publications in both the U.S. and abroad.

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