Mental health problems are becoming an increasing concern in society today. According to the National Mental Health Association, it is estimated that two-thirds of all youngsters with mental health issues do not receive the help they need. One form of treatment that has been around for centuries is acupuncture, which has proven time and again to be an effective way to treat depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and more. Recent studies show that acupuncture is more than just an alternative medicine—it’s a viable form of treatment for many illnesses including mental health.
Here’s how mental health acupuncture works by focusing on what it does at a cellular level when it’s used as therapy for mental health.
Acupuncture targets specific points in the body to stimulate the release of endorphins. Endorphins are natural painkillers that our bodies produce, and they can help reduce blood pressure, anxiety levels, and other symptoms related to mental health issues.
Some people may wonder how acupuncture works for this purpose when it isn’t a drug; however, the body is very complex and can be stimulated to release certain chemicals just by targeting specific points on the skin. It’s like how reflexology, which stimulates points in the hands and feet corresponding with other parts of your body, works as well.
Acupuncture also helps people suffering from mental health issues through its effect on neurotransmitters that affect mood. Most people are familiar with serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine; however, there is another neurotransmitter called GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) that acupuncture can help improve as well. By targeting specific points on the body, it produces a calming effect that can be instrumental in reducing stress and making it easier for people with mental health conditions to remain stable. Patients may see improvements in their symptoms related to mental health such as depression, anxiety, and chronic pain.
Acupuncture for anxiety
People who are struggling with anxiety can often be helped by acupuncture. It is a very common mental health disorder, estimated to affect around 18.1% of the population in the U.S every year.
Anxiety acupuncture has been found to decrease cortisol levels which can reduce feelings of anxiety and stress as well as help improve sleep quality- both issues that are commonly seen in people suffering from anxiety.
Acupuncture can also reduce anxiety sensitivity. This means that people who experience higher levels of anxiety when they are exposed to certain stimuli will become less sensitive through treatment with acupuncture, which can help them feel more at ease and combat their symptoms more effectively.
Acupuncture is a great way to treat mental health issues naturally with little to no side effects. While it may not completely take the place of traditional treatments for these conditions, it’s certainly an excellent complementary therapy that should be considered by those who haven’t seen success through other methods. Give it a try and see if you notice an improvement in your mental health! Make sure that you hire a licensed acupuncturist that specializes in mental health acupuncture or anxiety acupuncture to ensure that you receive the best treatment possible.