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Acupuncture for Anxiety

Updated: Feb 20, 2023

Supporting body, mind and spirit...


A Stressful World

Sometimes it feels hard to escape our uncertain, fast-paced world; one that's permanently 'switched on'.

And it's taking its toil on many of us... with levels of anxiety increasing; affecting over 8 million in the UK, of all ages and backgrounds at any given time (Mental Health UK).

58% of employees are experiencing symptoms of anxiety (Champion Health 2023).

Research by Deloitte 2021 found almost two thirds of these are women - perhaps due to pressures of combining workloads with home/family responsibilities especially during and post pandemic.

Anxiety Is....

feelings of fear, worry or general unease. Of course, we can all feel anxious from time to time but chronic anxiety tends to affect our quality of life. It can feel incredibly distressing and disabling.

We might have emotional symptoms

  • worry

  • disturbed sleep

  • irritability

  • poor concentration

and/or physical symptoms

  • sweating

  • nausea

  • diarrhoea

  • dry mouth

  • palpitations

  • shortness of breath

  • dizziness, cold hands

  • muscle tension and aches

  • trembling and twitching.

For a comprehensive list of anxiety symptoms, you can access this resource from the NHS.


Recognised options include psychological therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and medication including some antidepressants and benzodiazepines like Diazepam (NICE 2020), although these may cause side effects and issues with withdrawal.

Acupuncture is also an effective treatment for anxiety as shown by the most up to date evidence (Evidence Based Acupuncture), comparing it very favourably to medication and psychotherapy. In addition, its risks are classed as negligible in the hands of competent, qualified practitioners.

The Science Bit

Acupuncture slows the body's production of stress hormones (Eshkevari 2013) and is believed to activate the nervous system to release neurochemical messenger molecules. These affect our homeostatic mechanisms - essentially what our body does to achieve a state of balance so we survive and function correctly. Thus acupuncture promotes physical and emotional well-being.

Research now shows acupuncture benefits anxiety symptoms by:

  • reducing our sensitivity to pain and stress whilst encouraging relaxation (Hui 2010).

  • regulating neurotransmitter levels and hormones such as serotonin, noradrenaline, dopamine; these reduce negative feelings (Lee 2009).

  • activates the parasympathetic nervous system producing a relaxation response - whereas stress activates the sympathetic nervous system (Arranz 2007).

  • reverses pathological changes in levels of inflammatory cytokines (a protein in the body). These are linked with anxiety (Arranz 2007)

There's more information on about research into acupuncture for anxiety on The British Acupuncture Council's website.

Getting Started

I offer a safe, calm and quiet environment with time for you to talk and feel supported. I'm happy to chat to you beforehand and answer any questions you may have about acupuncture. I'm also confident I can help you overcome any nervousness you may have about needles.

I've seen acupuncture work incredibly well alongside existing conventional treatment and because it regulates the body’s chemical balance naturally, acupuncture can even prevent some people from needing medication at all.

Acupuncture can rebalance our emotions and alleviate the unease of anxiety – settling feelings of being on edge, helping to resolve sleep issues and digestive problems that can all stem from stress.

The majority of my patients have a stronger sense of overall well-being after just a few sessions.

Once their anxiety has improved, many patients continue with treatment for holistic health and well-being benefits.

Get in touch

I'm passionate about the benefits of Five Element acupuncture.... to find out more about how it could help you, get in touch and I''ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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