What Are the Benefits of Acupuncture for Anxiety?

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  • Written By: Marissa Meyer
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 31 March 2020
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Acupuncture has been used as an alternative method of treating physical and mental ailments for about 5,000 years. Research indicates that auricular acupuncture, a process in which tiny needles are placed on the skin around the ear for as long as one hour, might relieve anxiety. Many holistic medicine experts recommend acupuncture to combat anxiety and prevent it from evolving into depression. Patients who use acupuncture for anxiety also avoid the side effects and risks that are associated with some forms of traditional psychological medicine. Although some medical experts are skeptical about the effectiveness of acupuncture for anxiety or other conditions, some studies have produced results indicating that auricular acupuncture is an effective treatment for some types of anxiety.

If a patient's physician recommends acupuncture for anxiety, the patient might appreciate having a natural option that doesn't require any chemical medications. Some medications that are meant to control or relieve anxiety cause side effects such as fatigue, nausea and difficulty concentrating. They also can be more expensive than acupuncture, and some patients might have allergies or other forms of intolerance. Another benefit that is touted by proponents of acupuncture for anxiety is that the treatments are meant to alleviate anxiety at its source, rather than treat symptoms as they occur. Most anxiety medications do not claim to be cures for anxiety.


The physical effects brought on by acupuncture for anxiety can improve the health and qualities of life for patients who respond well to treatment. Patients have reported benefits from regular auricular acupuncture treatments, including improved mood, stronger bonding with friends and family members and reduced stress. Both men and women might suffer from sexual dysfunction resulting from anxiety, and auricular acupuncture has been reported to relieve these issues.

If left untreated, anxiety might worsen over time, sometimes leading to depression or suicidal tendencies. Although patients should see licensed healthcare professionals for severe anxiety, alternative remedies such as acupuncture might eliminate anxiety before it becomes severe enough to be dangerous. Many patients begin regular acupuncture treatments when changes in their lifestyles cause heightened stress levels or as soon as they notice anxious behavior. Anxiety that is caught in its early stages is less likely to escalate, and periodic acupuncture treatments are considered to be a non-invasive, safe and convenient solution.

In addition to working directly to relieve anxiety, regular acupuncture treatments help patients adopt a routine of overall well-being. People who receive acupuncture often describe the process as being relaxing and meditative. Patients who suffer from anxiety might experience increased healing brought on by the process of receiving acupuncture, combined with the results from the treatment itself.


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