Stress and worry might seem to be a normal part of modern life, but anxiety and depression are disorders that should not be ignored. These conditions can greatly affect your life, work, relationships, and even your physical health.
Living with anxiety is tough and you can really be imprisoned by the worry and negative thoughts that accompany this condition. Some people turn to medication in order to manage their anxiety, but there are natural ways to dealing with it as well.
Meditation and acupuncture are two of the popular therapies patients with anxiety turn to. Meditation is great at promoting relaxation and reducing the physical symptoms that accompany an anxiety disorder. On the other hand, acupuncture provides a way to stimulate certain points in the body that will help patients achieve physical, mental, and psychological balance.
In order to get a better picture of how meditation and acupuncture sessions can help patients with general anxiety disorder (GAD), refer to these 7 effective ways these natural treatments work.
1. Regulating The Body’s Chemical Balance
These 2 treatments are great even if you are not suffering from an anxiety disorder at all because they work on restoring balance in the body. Anxiety increases stress levels in the body and this can eventually affect your physical health. One of the goals of acupuncture is to undo this and restore the chemical balance in the brain and body. This treatment also affects the brain by reducing its sensitivity to stress and pain. This means that while your job remains equally busy and difficult, you will find yourself not as easily affected.
2. Promoting Relaxation
Meditation is all about clearing the mind of all thoughts. If you have ever suffered from GAD, you know that these worrying thoughts overwhelm your brain at all times. But while meditating or when undergoing an acupuncture session, you are able to remove these thoughts from the brain and even deactivate the overreacting “analytical” part of the brain. This is normally the part that overthinks and ends up worrying about everything.
3. Releasing Positive Chemicals
Acupuncture triggers the central nervous system to release endorphins, or what is more popularly known as “feel-good” chemicals. They will make you feel better and at peace, reducing all that stress in your body.
4. Positively Altering The Brain
In stressful situations, the neurotransmitters and hormones in the body need to be regulated. Acupuncture can restore these levels to fight against negative emotional states and help the brain achieve a relaxed state. In fact, beyond just reducing anxiety, acupuncture can also improve brain function like attention. It also improves quality of sleep, which also has a positive effect on overall health.
5. Activating The Parasympathetic Nervous System
Feelings of worry and stress will activate the sympathetic nervous system. In return, acupuncture activates the opposite or the parasympathetic nervous system. This is done by stimulating the body to produce endogenous opioids that will affect the autonomic nervous system. The end result is the initiation of the body’s relaxation response.
6. Reducing Immune Response To Anxiety
After a session of meditation and acupuncture, patients report feeling immediately better. This is because anxiety affects levels of inflammatory cytokines, as well as lowers levels of TNF-alpha and cortisol. But as soon as 72 hours after receiving treatment, these effects are reversed to the same levels as patients who do not suffer from anxiety disorders.
7. Reversing Behavior Changes Due To Stress
You will find that your behavior and your responses change when you are feeling anxious, as stress can literally alter the brain’s normal function. Acupuncture can reverse these behavioral shifts.
Natural therapies like acupuncture and meditation can achieve the same results as anti-anxiety medication, without the possible side effects and the issues when skipping or stopping them. Anxiety affects not just the mind, but also the body and these treatments will restore balance in the whole system.