Anxiety is a feeling of worry, fear and unease that can range in severity from mild to severe. At some point in our lives most of us will experience feelings of anxiety, in the build up to an exam or interview but these feelings are normal and they can even help us perform at our best. Generalised anxiety disorder GAD is a condition that can control a person’s life. Everyday situations can become impossible due to the level of anxiety that is felt, simple acts such as going into shopping centres can trigger off an episode.
Symptoms of GAD can be:
- Heart palpitations
- Feelings of impending doom
- Feeling faint
- Lack of concentration
- Poor sleep, not feeling rested on waking
According to the HSE GAD affects approximately 1 in 20 adults and more women are affected than men, and the disorder is most common in people in their 20s.
How acupuncture can help
When a person suffering from anxiety comes for acupuncture a detailed consultation is taken. We look at lifestyle and diet and the persons overall health. We diagnose through TCM which organs we feel are out of balance and then by inserting needles in specific points we aim to restore the body back to balance. The organs that are normally associated with GAD are the heart and the kidneys. The organs in Chinese medicine are more than just a physical representation. The organs include not only their physiological function, but also their mental, emotional, spiritual and elemental qualities that align with nature and the seasons. A healthy heart energy exudes a sense of joy, fun, enthusiasm, action, warmth, charisma and fun. These people are the “life of the party,” and love to have a good time with friends and to be the centre of attention. When the heart is balanced, sleep is sound and one is well rested.
On the other hand, when there is an overabundance of fire this can result in restlessness, anxiety, sweating, excitability and symptoms such as palpitations, irregular heartbeat, insomnia, disturbing dreams, mouth sores, thirst, red face, constipation and dryness.
The emotion associated with the kidneys is fear. When the kidneys are weak, a person may be startled or frightened easily, or may experience fear in disproportionate ways. Likewise, shock, trauma and fearful situations weaken the kidney energy, which is why many of the common symptoms of PTSD have a kidney imbalance at their root. The person’s core has been shaken.
The kidney energy, being the deepest level of energy in the body, takes time to replenish and strengthen, which means patience is key.
For people whose lives are controlled by GAD acupuncture can prove to be a wonderfully relaxing treatment and through the cumulative effect of many treatments we can help them to overcome the crippling symptoms of this disorder. We also give recommendations on changes to diet that can help support the person during this time, certain supplements that may help and lifestyle changes.